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Massapequa Student Team Achieves at Medical Marvels
A team of five aspiring scientists from Massapequa High School’s Ames Campus were recognized for their presentation skills in the annual Medical Marvels competition, hosted by the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and the Northwell Health Center for Workforce Readiness.
Ninth graders Brandon Bialog, Christina Fradella, Karn Jaswal, Aleksandra Krysiuk, and Nicole Sperounis comprised a team that presented at the science conference on Feb. 28 to a panel of health care professionals. This year’s theme was vaccinations. The Ames team focused on how doctors can educate the public on the importance of vaccinations, specifically targeting OB-GYNs and pediatricians, who serve expectant mothers and parents of young children. In addition to creating a posterboard display highlighting their research, they had to give a two-minute oral presentation and answer questions from the judges.
“They gave an excellent presentation,” science research teacher Kimberly Bruno said, adding that they were well organized and well prepared. Two teams competed in an internal competition at Ames, with one being chosen by science teachers to represent Massapequa at Medical Marvels.
More than 135 students from 29 schools participated, and the Ames team won the presentation competition in its cluster of 10 schools. The team earned a $300 prize, with each student receiving a $60 gift card.
The science research class at Ames, which includes both a team and an independent research project, gives students their first exposure to science competitions. Ms. Bruno said that Medical Marvels is a great experience because students get valuable feedback from judges, see the work produced by other high school students and bring ideas that are then incorporated into the research of Northwell’s scientists and health professionals.
“It is a really great way for them to realize that the work they’re doing matters,” Ms. Bruno said. “It takes a real-world problem and makes it relevant for the students.”
She noted that Medical Marvels is always based on current public health issues, as past topics have included the opioid epidemic and teen vaping. It is rewarding for students to know that the solutions they propose through their research projects could become reality.