SHS Students Take 1st Place at GLOBE Science Research Symposium (SRS)

From left: Lucia Kempton, Paige Hochodel, Molly Forker, Ryan Schoztic (SPS/contributed photos)

This past weekend, four Stamford High School (SHS) students won 1st place at the GLOBE Science Research Symposium at the University of Texas for their research based on nanotechnology. A total of seven SHS students, under the direction of SHS teacher Susan Dougherty, were among student researchers from across the country to compete in the U.S. Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Student Research Symposium at the University of Texas at Tyler. The trip was made possible through grants from NASA, NOAA and the NSF.

The SHS team of seniors, Molly Forker, Paige Hochadel, Lucia Kempton, and Ryan Shoztic won Best Use of the Research Process for their project entitled, “The Efficacy of Graphene in Preventing Gamma Radiation on Cancer Cells”. The team also won the Peer Review Prize, an honor awarded to the team that received the most votes from their competitor peer reviewers. The team was presented with a Crystal Award, medals and now has the opportunity to have their research published on the NASA and GLOBE websites. The team’s research recently won second place out of 240 teams at the UB RISE Student Research Symposium held last month at the University of Bridgeport. In addition, the team has submitted their experiment for the Application for Spaceflight. If selected, their experiment will be launched from a NASA facility in the summer of 2023.

“The GLOBE Science Symposium is well respected by both the academic and science communities and SHS students’ research was very well received. The students worked on their research after school, evenings and weekends, while managing sports, extracurriculars and full course loads,” explained Dougherty. “They demonstrated excellent 21st-century skills including collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. They competed with some of the top student researchers in the country and it required their grit and perseverance to win. We are all so proud of them.”

“This is just another example of the types of opportunities our students have access to while attending SHS,” explained Stamford High Principal, Matt Forker. “Mrs. Dougherty’s passion for space science is infectious to our students, pushing them beyond their exemplary achievements!”

The SHS team of Shreyans Daga, Nitish Gannu, and Rihan Thajeer also participated in the weekend competition in Texas. Throughout the symposium festivities, students networked with STEM professionals and educators, learned to fly drones, fished for macroinvertebrates, and made and measured with a Clinometer.

GLOBE is a worldwide science and education program that offers a curriculum written by NASA, NOAA and the National Science Foundation for K-12 schools. GLOBE provides a platform for students K-12 to share their research virtually and hosts SRS events all over the world. Ms. Dougherty has been a GLOBE certified teacher for 15 years, and hosts monthly virtual “Water Cooler” professional development events for teachers from across the United States. Ms. Dougherty will serve as the GLOBE keynote speaker at their annual meeting being held this July in Denver, CO.

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