Calhoun ASR Students Awarded NYIT Mini Research Grants

013117_main_asr.png thumbnail116643

Three students in Calhoun High School’s Advanced Science Research program were each recipients of a $200 research grant for their recent research proposals.

Jonathan Ellison, Zachary Kaminiski and Alex Kuschner were each awarded a NYIT Mini Research Grant. January marks the midyear point where ASR students begin to present their topics at both local and regional research competitions.

“This grant will help to offset the costs involved with materials and/or printing expenses pertaining to their research projects,” said Jennifer Pefanis, the school’s research director. “All three boys have spent the last three years working tirelessly on their projects and it is with great honor that they accept this grant.”

Ellison’s research, The Relationship Between Motor, Cognitive and Quality of Life Scores in Patients With Parkinson’s Disease,” looked to find the relationship between how the caregivers and patients each viewed the patient’s quality of life.

“I looked at motor declines, changes in gait, rigidity, cognitive declines such as dementia,” Ellison said. “I used statistical measures and software to determine that the two scores had a different view.”

Kaminiski conducted “A Comparison of the Effects of Different Electrolytic Solutions, Flow Rates and Cell Designs on the Power Density in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries.”

“I was trying to optimize the battery, trying to see under which conditions of the battery’s operation would give us the most power back,” Kaminiski explained, adding that he chose this topic because it is part of the clean energy field. “Protecting the environment and clean energy are very important to me.”

Kuschner’s research, “Interactions of MMP14 Between Trilobite Gene Mutation and Kif5B Jaw Phenotype in Danio Rerio,” studied crossbreeds of zebra fish.

“It determined the relationships between certain proteins and genes involved inside zebra fish,” Kuschner explained. “I was able to observe different crosses and matings of this fish.”

Both humans and zebra fish are vertebrates, therefore Kuschner’s goal was to “map out relationships and interactions between the genes of super fish and hopefully find a model that is similar.”

Their work will be presented at the Long Island Science Congress in April.