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Eagles Shine at Regeneron Fair

Even among some of the brightest scientific minds in the area, Eastchester students are finding a way to stand out. 

 

On March 16, a group of EHS students participated in the 2024 Regeneron Westchester Science and Engineering Fair at Somers High School. Over 700 students from Westchester and Putnam Counties were on hand to present their multi-year research projects to judges, peers and the public, making Saturday’s event the largest to date since the Regeneron fair was launched in 2001.

 

Of the 14 Eastchester students who competed at this year’s event, seven—Mahima Ghosh, Aidan Ruane, Josue Venegas, Adrienne Reilly, Gunnar Moen, Nanaka Murakami and Joceyln Chen—received accolades for their work, with the final results being announced on Thursday, March 21. 

 

Ruane won first place in the Chemistry category, Ghosh claimed second in Neurology, also winning the “Carl Zeiss Microscopy” Award. Venegas placed second in Plant Science and won the “Using the Arts to Grow the STEM Workforce” Award and the “Genius Olympiad” Award, while Reilly and Chen both placed fourth in Neurology.

 

Murakami won the “Visionary Engineering” Award while Moen won the “Excellence in Computer Science and Mathematics” Award.

 

Kenneth Miller, who heads the EHS Advance Science Research program, said that the work done in ASR represents a unique opportunity for Eastchester High School students, as it allows them an introduction into the world of STEM research and encourages them to explore the world outside of the classroom to see how leaders in various STEM fields approach their own projects.

 

Miller says that once a student comes up with a potential project idea, he will work with them to ensure they have the resources and connections to carry out their research both in and out of the classroom.

 

“The way our education system works, students aren’t often given a lot of freedom in what they want to do, but what we tell them here is it doesn’t matter what you want to do—as long as it’s safe—we are going to do our best to make that happen,” said Miller. “I think that participating in something like this is empowering; they see that the professional researchers in these fields are just like them, and if they work hard, they can accomplish great things.”

 

K-12 Supervisor of STEM Minnie Iannuzzi believes that the Regeneron Fair—and the ASR program at the high school—showcase the sort of STEM learning that can have a transformative effect on high school students.

 

“ASR is a really special program, and our students get to go to the fair,showcase their research, talk to industry experts and have the opportunity to defend their work, much like any scientist would have to do,” said Iannuzzi. “It’s that kind of hands-on, real-world training that can prepare them for a future in science or another field.”

 

Iannuzzi added that Eastchester’s latest showing at the Regeneron fair is proof that district students are approaching their ASR projects with diligence, enthusiasm and creativity. 

 

“I think it shows that we are advancing and putting STEM at the forefront of what we do and what we believe in here,” she said. “We want our kids to be ready for the future, and we’re thrilled that our students were recognized at a prestigious event like Regeneron.”