Kennedy High School senior Samuel Epstein has been named a finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search.
Epstein was one of only 40 students out of 300 across the U.S., including Puerto Rico and five American high schools overseas, to be chosen as a finalist. He joins only four other Long Island students with this designation.
“This is incredible news,” said Superintendent John DeTommaso. “Every day I continue to be impressed by the dedication, hard work and accomplishments of our student body and staff in Bellmore-Merrick, and today is no exception. Congratulations to Sam, his family, his teachers and the entire faculty at JFK who helped him reach this amazing goal."
Epstein’s research project, “The Effects of the Modulation of TOR Signaling and Microbial Exposure on Feeding Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster,” observed the dietary patterns of fruit flies in an attempt to research how caloric intake can be controlled to reduce the risk of disease and potentially slow the aging process. Epstein worked with mentors out of Long Island University.
Earlier this month, Epstein was announced as a semifinalist along with Kennedy High School classmates Beatrice Brown, Justin Shapiro and Jayson Chojar, who moved out of the district in his senior year.
“I am extremely proud of Sam’s accomplishments,” said Kennedy Principal Lorraine Poppe. “He is a wonderful young man who is well-respected by students and staff alike. Being named a finalist reaffirms not only the quality of Sam’s research, but also his dedication and commitment to the research process. At Kennedy, we have had three Intel finalists. Sam joins this prestigious group and serves as a role model for other students, demonstrating a level of excellence that can be achieved through hard work and determination. I also applaud Sam’s teacher, Mrs. Barbi Frank, as well as all of our students and staff who are involved in our research program.”
Epstein will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March, where he will compete for more than $1 million in awards, including $150,000 for the top three awards.