Ossining High School Students Place in Top Spots Globally at Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair

From left, Ritika Brahmadesam, Katelyn Wasilenko, Aaron Song and Orlando Osgood. Photo by Alicia Smith

As part of their participation in the renowned Ossining High School Science Research Program, OHS seniors attended the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held last week. The global event was the culmination of three years of hard work on an independent research project.

By the end of the event, three of the four scholars in attendance had earned top prizes.

Katelyn Wasilenko placed 2nd in the Biomedical and Health Sciences category. She presented her research project, “Pediatric BMSC Exosome Treatment Requires Interaction with Bone Tissue Defect Environment to Improve Bone Repair.” She was awarded a $2,000 prize. She will be attending SUNY Binghamton.

Katelyn Wasilenko placed 2nd in the Biomedical and Health Sciences category. She presented her research project, “Pediatric BMSC Exosome Treatment Requires Interaction with Bone Tissue Defect Environment to Improve Bone Repair.” She was awarded a $2,000 prize. She will be attending SUNY Binghamton.

Ritika Brahmadesam earned 3rd place in the Systems of Software category. She presented her research project, “An Active Fairness Algorithm for Estimating Socioeconomic Status from Household Surveys and Satellite Images” and was awarded a $1,000 prize. She will be attending RPI in the fall.

Ritika Brahmadesam earned 3rd  place in the Systems of Software category. She presented her research project, “An Active Fairness Algorithm for Estimating Socioeconomic Status from Household Surveys and Satellite Images” and was awarded a $1,000 prize. She will be attending RPI in the fall.

Aaron Song finished in 4th place in the Plant Sciences category for his research project, “Elucidating Terrestrial Optical Refrigeration Through Transpiring in Rhizophora mangle and Chlorophyll a Fluorescence in Low-Polarity Mediums.” He received a $500 prize and will be attending Cornell University.

Finally, Aaron Strong finished in 4th place in the Plant Sciences category for his research project, “Elucidating Terrestrial Optical Refrigeration Through Transpiring in Rhizophora mangle and Chlorophyll a Fluorescence in Low-Polarity Mediums.” He received a $500 prize and will be attending Cornell University.

Although he did not place, Orlando Osgood, who will be attending Wesleyan University in the fall, presented his project at ISEF, “Analyzing the Distribution of Excessive Noise Exposure and the Risk of Tinnitus Onset in Opera, Orchestra and High School Musicians.”

“These students have made our entire town, county, state and country proud – placing among the top in the entire world in their respective fields,” said Superintendent of Schools Ray Sanchez. “No other school in Westchester County has placed three students as high in the rankings as Ossining has. These young people have dedicated hundreds of hours to their work for years and they deserve our praise and admiration.”

The Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair is the world’s largest global science high school competition. This year the competition involved 1,750 students from 63 different countries. The competition took place May 6-13, 2022 in Atlanta, Ga.

Prior to attending ISEF, scholars first had to place in the top spots at the Westchester Engineering and Science Fair, which Orlando, Aaron and Katelyn did. Ritika was a top winner at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair, which enabled her to also attend ISEF.

The OHS students are part of the school’s Science Research Program, in which students engage in three years of independent research. The program began in 1998 and has since grown to include more than 100 OHS students. Students enrolled in the program can earn up to 12 college credits through the University of Albany. The program is directed by teachers Angelo Piccirillo and Valerie Holmes.

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