Lakeland, Panas Students Excel at Regeneron Westchester Science & Engineering Fair

Science research students at Walter Panas High School and Lakeland High School won special awards at the Regeneron Westchester Science & Engineering Fair.

Lakeland High School students Daniella Gerbasi, Sayani Aggarwal and Sabrina Chen received honors.

Daniella Gerbasi

Daniella, a senior, won an American Psychological Association Award for outstanding research in psychological science.

Sayani Aggarwal

Sayani, also a senior, won an Excellence in Medical Research Award for projects that improve our quality of life and make people healthier.

Sabrina Chen

Sabrina, a junior, won an Expanding Knowledge in Science Award, which goes to students who exhibit excitement and an enthusiasm for discovery.

“I am so proud of these students for their dedication to their research projects,” said Lakeland High School science research teacher Stephanie Massey. “They are very deserving of this recognition!”

Grace Newcombe

Walter Panas High School senior Grace Newcombe won the Mu Alpha Theta Award for the use of math in a challenging, original, thorough and creative investigation. Her research focused on math test anxiety.

“Grace has been a model research student during her four years in the program,” said Frank Tamweber, the Walter Panas science research teacher. “I am very happy that her hard work and perseverance resulted in this estimable recognition.”

Students felt gratified that their work was recognized.

“Normally within science research, students perform research that falls within intense fields like biology, and chemistry. However, my project focused on music and its effects on the human mind. Music is something I am extremely passionate about, so I am undoubtedly honored that my passion and effort have been noticed,” Daniella said. “Psychology is intricate and there is still so much unknown about the human mind and how we process emotions and feelings. I am so grateful for this award.”

Grace explained that her project focused on determining if anxiety in math class affected academic performance, and if it affected genders differently.

“I modified an already existing questionnaire to help determine participants’ opinions in math class, and developed an original math quiz to measure their performance,” Grace said. “I completed my research during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while it was a challenge, I am proud of what I was able to accomplish during this time!”

Sayani said her research used artificial intelligence to make computerized diagnoses of retinopathy from retinal images of diabetic patients. “Winning this award has become a great source of encouragement to me to continue exploring science,” she said.

Sabrina said the goal of her research, and similar work by other researchers, is to develop a therapeutic agent that decreases obesity and insulin resistance. “The research I completed is only one step toward that,” she said. “I’m extremely grateful that I could win an award at WESEF and I hope to continue doing research.”

The fair was held virtually last month.

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