Based on their stellar work this past summer at the Garcia Summer Science Research Program at Stony Brook University, seniors Aviva Landau and Sara Teitelman earned the distinction of attending and presenting at the Materials Research Society Fall Meeting, held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. The MRS Fall Meeting provided an opportunity for researchers from a wide range of scientific fields to discuss and share current and emerging findings in materials research. Scientists, ranging from Nobel laureates to high school students, engaged in networking opportunities to help further advance the field. Our two Central representatives were among the youngest students to exhibit research at the meeting’s poster session. landauAviva presented her project, “Utilizing Gold-Platinum Nano-Particles to Enhance the Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell.”  “The poster session is like a huge science fair for professionals,” says Aviva. “We each stood at our posters and explained our projects to other researchers. It felt really good to be able to answer the high-level questions of people with advanced degrees. They we re surprised to find out we were just in high school! I enjoyed viewing the other research projects at the poster session. That I was able to understand most of them made me realize how much science I have learned in the past five months.” Sara presented a poster on the determination of the molecular weight of polystyrene using the techniques of spin casting and ellipsometry. teitelmanSays Sara, “I had the opportunity to hear about cutting-edge research in the field of materials science and engineering and to discuss my own lab work with scientists from all over the world. Very few of the thousands of researchers who attended the MRS Fall Meeting were high school students, and I recognize that I am privileged to have had this incredible opportunity. I extend a special thank you to Professor Miriam Rafailovich and Mrs. Rebecca Isseroff of the Garcia Research Program for arranging for me to have had this invaluable experience.” Science Department Chair Ruth Fried extols Sara and Aviva’s successes: “I am so proud of both Sara and Aviva. Their willingness to extend their interests out of their comfort zone, work hard to research new areas of knowledge, and then present their findings to a conference of post-doctoral professionals is something that would be daunting for a graduate student. These high school students had the self-confidence to place themselves in a situation where they had to defend their work to a room of professionals.” Kol hakavod!

 

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