From the left: Honorable mention recipient Lillian Wu, honorable mention and special award recipient Nicole Kiaei, and second-place winner Nicole Yeroushalmi from North High were among nine LISEF award winners from the Great Neck Public Schools. (Contributed photo)

Long Island Science And Engineering Fair

A total of 11 science research students from North High School and South High School were selected to compete in the final round of the 2024 Long Island Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF) on March 5. This regional competition is for the most advanced high school projects and gives students the opportunity to present to professionals in their subject areas from local universities, scientific institutions, and professionals in the field.

Great Neck students who presented their research were Nicole Kiaei, Lillian Wu, and Nicole Yeroushalmi from North High School; and Caden Li, Michelle Luo, Sarah Sun, Aman Thawani, Erin Wong, Alexander Xu, and Tiffany Zhang from South High School.

Grand Awards
Grand Awards—first place, second place, third place, and honorable mention—are awarded to the top presenters in each of 15 research categories.

Michelle Luo from South High won first place in the engineering and energy sustainability category for her project, “Anisotropic Ion Transport Properties of Thin-Film Solid Polymer Electrolytes.” As a first-place winner at LISEF, Michelle will automatically advance as a finalist in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), to be held in Los Angeles, CA, in May.

Two students were awarded second place in their respective categories: North High’s Nicole Yeroushalmi won second-place in the animal biology category for her project, “The Effect of Diet on Galleria mellonella Larvae’s Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis,” and South High’s Caden Li won second place in the translational medicine category for his project, “Automated Volumetric Biomarker Segmentation and Combination for Superior ADPKD Progression Prediction using Machine Learning.”

A third-place award in the intelligent machines and software category was presented to South High’s Alexander Xu for his project, “CARe-BERT: BERT-Powered Graph Augmentation for Context-Aware Radiology Report Retrieval.”

Five students received honorable mentions in their respective categories: Nicole Kiaei, North High, molecular chemistry category; Aman Thawani, South High, chemistry and material science; Erin Wong, South High, computational biology and bioinformatics; Lillian Wu, North High, biomedical research; and Tiffany Zhang, South High, math, physics and astronomy.

Special Awards
Four Great Neck students were named as recipients of Special Awards, which are presented by various science associations, government agencies, and private companies in recognition of outstanding research in specific areas.

North High senior Nicole Kiaei was presented with an award from the United States Metric Association for the best use of the International System of Units in this year’s competition.

South High senior Tiffany Zhang received the NASA Earth System Science Award, which is presented for projects that best demonstrate insight into Earth’s interconnected spheres.

South High senior Michelle Luo was presented the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award (RSDA) Certificate for an outstanding project that addresses social and environmental challenges as well as a meaningful solution for a more sustainable future.

Caden Li and Erin Wong from South High were both presented the Yale Science and Engineering Association Award, which recognizes the most outstanding eleventh-grade projects exhibiting in the areas of STEM.

Great Neck’s high school science research programs are led by advisors Christopher Bambino, Alison Widawsky, and Jessica York at North High, and advisors Nicole Spinelli and Dr. James Truglio at South High.

—Submitted by the Great Neck Public School District

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