Six Herricks High School juniors and seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2017 Siemens Competition in math, science and technology, and two were recognized as finalists. Shifa Ali, Christina Kim, Joanna Lau, Ryan Hou, Rushi Patel and Sahith Vadada earned the outstanding semifinalist distinction, and Rushi and Sahith, along with their team member Vedant Singh from Wheatley School, advanced to take the elite Regional Finalist title.
Up to 10 projects representing each of six geographic areas were selected as Regional Finalists. Vadada was the lead student and Herricks was the lead school. Each Regional team member receives a monetary prize of $1,000 and eligibility to advance to the national level. Patel, Vadada and Singh worked together on the project, “Evaluating the Effects of Graphene-Loaded Poly (4-vinylpyridine) Electrospun Fiber Scaffolds and Spun-cast Thin Films on the Proliferation and Differentiation of Dental Pulp Stem Cells in vitro.”
On all of Long Island, only 56 students were distinguished as semifinalists and Herricks is tied for the largest number from any one high school. Hou’s project is titled, “Exploration of the Cation-π Interaction: Potential for a New Biomimetic Wet Adhesive.” Lau, Kim and Ali collaborated on the project, “Effect of Bisphosphonates on Viability of EGFR-Driven Liver Cancer Cells.”
This program, sponsored by the Siemens Foundation, is considered to be the nation’s premier research competition for high school students. Contestants are required to submit an extensive research report comprised of sections that include an introduction, a materials and methods component, written results findings, illustration of results, discussion of results and a conclusion.
The Herricks High School semifinalists participate in the Science Research Program and study under the direction of teacher Renée Barcia.
The Siemens Foundation established the awards program in an effort to increase access to higher education for students who are gifted in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
—Herricks Public Schools