Grand Avenue’s Tyler Bissoondial named finalist in national science competition

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Tyler Bissoondial, an eighth-grader at Grand Avenue Middle School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central School District, was recently chosen as one of the 30 finalists in the Broadcom MASTERS competition.

Bissoondial has won $500 plus an all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. Oct. 19-24. Additionally, Grand Avenue Middle School will be awarded $1,000 to be used towards STEM activities. 

He conducted his research project as seventh-grader under the guidance of science research teacher, Tami Cruz. 

“Tyler is a very hardworking and talented student who is always willing to help his peers," said Cruz.

His project is “MicroRNA-156 regulates gametophyte to sporophyte development and sensitivity to salinity in Ceratopteris richardii.”

In his research, Bissoondial investigated the mechanisms by which salt stress affects the fertility of plants. He demonstrated that changes in the level of specific molecules, called microRNAs, can affect development and fertility of plant, especially during salt stress. Understanding the mechanisms by which plant respond to salt stress can help develop strategies to improve fertilization and crop production. 

He was nominated to participate in the national Broadcom MASTERS competition after winning first place in the regional Long Island Science and Engineering Fair in March. 

This is the second consecutive year Bissoondial has received this nomination to participate in Broadcom MASTERS and his first time selected as a semifinalist.

“I couldn’t be prouder of Tyler’s work and Ms. Cruz’s mentorship through the process,” added Principal Carlo Conte.

Broadcom MASTERS is the nation's premier science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competition for middle school students.