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JUne 2022

Special Science & Technology Edition

Dear Harrison Families,

It is with great pride that I share this Special Science and Technology Edition of Highlights, our District newsletter with you. It shares  achievements of our students locally, nationally, and internationally.  This year, three Harrison High School students qualified and competed at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair. Qualifying is an achievement itself, yet two of our students emerged as top winners.  

I am equally proud of the students who participated in and presented at our science and technology symposium, and elementary and middle school science fairs. They engaged the scientific process and are developing the skills and knowledge to compete at higher levels in the future.  

The work of our students and teachers in science classrooms throughout the District is comprehensive, engaging, and impressive. The approach to teaching and learning, especially our science and technology curriculum, is guided by the conceptual practices of design thinking and based on inquiry, collaboration, refining ideas, and problem solving. Students own their learning process: hypothesize, actively explore solutions, learn from failures, achieve discovery and understanding from evolving results.

I invite you to join me in celebrating our students’ successes featured in this edition of Highlights.


Louis N. Wool, Ed.D. 

Superintendent of Schools

Harrison Students Soar at Competitions

HHS Students Top Winners at Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair



Harrison High School Science Research Scholars, seniors Mai Blaustein, Jack Kelly, and junior Ariella Blackman, competed in the prestigious Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.  Ariella Blackman and Jack Kelly were among the top winners for the 2022 competition. Ariella Blackman earned 2nd Place in the Plant Sciences Category and the Air Force Research Laboratory Award. Jack Kelly placed 4th in the Behavior and Social Sciences Category. The Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF), a program of the Society for Science for over 70 years, is the world’s largest global science competition for high school students. Through a global network of local, regional and national science fairs, millions of students are encouraged to explore their passion for scientific inquiry. Each spring, a group of students is selected as finalists and offered the opportunity to compete for approximately $5 million in awards and scholarships.  The fair takes place in person, but students also created an online presence. We invite you to visit the virtual presentation booths and watch video presentations of their projects.  

ISEF Virtual Presentation Booths and Video Presentations

Jack Kelly, Senior - Quantifying Linguistic Polarization for Congressional Representatives Facing Primary Challengers: A Random Effects Logit Regression Approach

Ariella Blackman, Junior - Developing a Model in situ Resource Utilization System for Oxygen Sustaining Life Support and Launch Cost Reduction for Mars

Mai Blaustein, Senior - Identification of Chemical Contaminants in Spiked Beverages with the Use of Infrared Spectroscopy Through Development of Inexpensive and Inconspicuous Device To Identify Date-Rape Drugs

HHS Students Earn Awards at Local and Regional Science & Engineering Fairs

New York State Science and Engineering Fair - Mai Blaustein, Ariella Blackman and Zaynab Faisal qualified for the final round of the New York State Science and Engineering Fair (NYSSEF). Since Mai already qualified for ISEF, only Ariella & Zaynab competed at the state fair. Ariella won first place in her competition category, was named among the top 15 projects out of almost 300, and won the Mu Alpha Theta award for the creative use of math. Zaynab earned honorable mention and won the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

Westchester Science & Engineering Fair - Mai Blaustein and Jack Kelly won "Best in Fair'' (top 20 projects) and placed first in their competition categories, Mai for Chemistry and Jack for Behavioral Sciences, at the Westchester Science & Engineering Fair (WESEF). Additional WESEF 2022 Awards: Morgan Remeza: 2nd place in Environmental Science, and the Environmental Perspiration Award; Katie Pflieger: 3rd Place in Bioinformatics; Ariella Blackman: 4th Place in Plant Sciences, and the American Meteorological Association Award; Nicole Giandomenico: 4th Place in Cellular & Molecular Biology; Keelan Vaswani: Honorable Mention in Behavioral Sciences; Yuiko Suzuki: Honorable Mention in Behavioral Sciences; Macarena Hesse: United States Air Force Award; Zaynab Faisal: Teatown Young Environmentalist Award.  WESEF encourages students to participate in hands-on science by providing a forum for showcasing the outstanding research of high school students in Westchester & Putnam counties of New York.  Nearly 550 students from 39 schools competed at WESEF this year.

HHS Students Finish Strong at Somers Science Fair

First year Science Research students competed at the Somers Science Fair. It is the first opportunity for students to prepare and present their proposed topic of research in a formal, competitive environment. The following HHS students placed in their respective categories: 1st Place: Galle Blaustein: Cellular and Molecular Biology Magda Mani: Environmental Science Mako Suzuki: Medicine and Health Dani Topper: Bioinformatics 2nd Place: Izzy Estroff Liberti - Behavioral Sciences Filippa Rasmussen - Behavioral Sciences Korbii Reiff- Earth and Planetary Sciences Alissa Remeza - Physics 3rd Place Alexia De La Jara Cabrero -Behavioral Sciences

LMK Students Receive Medals at New York State Science Olympiad

Fourteen 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from LMK Middle School qualified at the Lower Hudson Valley Science Olympiad and earned an invitation to compete at the New York State Science Olympiad. Congratulations to the four students who received medals at the state competition: Atharv Gandhi and Mizuki Shimatani (Crave the Wave), Isani Mitra and Ron Blaustein (Road Scholars). Science Olympiad at LMK is a club where students prepare for competitions against other middle schools regionally and across the state. This is the first year LMK students advanced to the state competition where student teams compete in five categories: Life, Personal, Social Science, Earth & Space Science, Physical Science & Chemistry, Technology & Engineering, Inquiry & Nature of Science. The goal of the New York State Science Olympiad is to engage and challenge students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics through team-based, competitive tournaments throughout New York State.

Eric Myung Places 1st at Tri-County Science Fair

Six LMK students, selected from the 2022 LMK Science & Engineering Fair, participated in the Tri-County Science & Technology Fair, where 59 students from Westchester, Rockland & Putnam County participated. Sixth grade student, Eric Myung, placed 1st in the Health & Medicine category for his research titled "To Mask or Not to Mask". Eric earned the opportunity to participate in the Broadcom Masters Science Fair in September.

Student Achievements

Harrison High School Seniors Named Regeneron Scholars

Harrison High School Seniors Mai Blaustein, Katie Pflieger, and Keelan Vaswani have been named among the top 300 scholars in the 81st Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and mathematics competition for high school seniors. Read more.

HHS Students Selected as Regeneron Interns

Rising Harrison High School juniors, Stella O'Connell and Galle Blaustein, have been accepted to the Regeneron internship program. Stella and Galle are the first Harrison students to be accepted to participate in this prestigious, highly competitive program. The application process required a resume and two essays about their interests in science and why they wanted to be a Regeneron intern. They were selected to interview with potential mentors and ultimately selected for the program and matched with a mentor with whom they will work full time at the labs at Regeneron this summer. Stella will work with Dr. Stephanie Lau, Postdoctoral Fellow, in Immunology and Inflammation, to help create a comprehensive model of gut microbiomes with Crohn's disease. Galle will be working with Dr. John DaSilva to determine the genetic expressions of tumor cells through the use of a petri dish and microscope to infer the enhancement of gene expression with different alterations to the RNA and DNA makeup of the cell lines. 

HHS Students Accepted to Columbia Science Honors Program

Three HHS students were accepted to participate in the Columbia Science Honors Program this year: senior Morgan Remeza, and sophomores Alissa Remeza and Alexandra Wong. Students were accepted after earning a qualifying score on an examination.  According to a letter from the program director, “The average applicant who won admission to the Science Honors Program this year did better than 98% of a national sample of college freshmen who took the same tests in science and mathematics.” Almost 1800 students competed for approximately 350 available positions to take science courses at Columbia University during the fall and spring semesters.   HHS School Counselor Ms. Ciallella shared how Morgan has explored his scientific interests  at HHS, "Morgan is a curious and passionate learner who has supplemented his interest in rocketry in a variety of ways, from technology courses to the Science Research program, IB Physics HL to  Multivariable Calculus this year, in addition to participation in the selective Columbia Science Honors Program."

Science in Action

Students Present Original Research at HHS Science & Technology Symposium

The Harrison Science Research program provides an opportunity for students to participate in authentic and original scientific research. The multi-year program is designed to provide participants with an understanding of research methodologies in the natural and social sciences, with an emphasis on both laboratory and data-driven research.  Students are encouraged to work with research scientists and professionals within their chosen interest so that they may develop a commitment to long-term focused research. Students conduct independent research in mathematics, life science, physical science, psychology, or the social sciences and are required to use technology to organize research. Students maintain a portfolio of their work, and enter local, regional, national, and international scientific competitions. Students involved in the program demonstrated initiative, perseverance, and creativity, in an atmosphere where independent work habits are developed and fostered. The Harrison High School Science Symposium is a celebratory event honoring the work of our science research students. 

View the complete 2022 Symposium Booklet 

Watch the Science Symposium Video

LMK Science Fair Spotlights Student Innovation

Students in Grades 6-8 presented their science and engineering projects to the Harrison community at the LMK Science & Technology Fair. The science experiments and technology designs showcased were completed independently by LMK students over the course of three months.  Each student participated in the fair because they wanted to challenge themselves by investigating a topic of interest.  The LMK Science & Technology Fair offered an opportunity for students to present their exciting scientific research and engineering designs.

5th Grade Science Fairs a Huge Success 

Fifth grade students in the District’s four elementary schools participated in the annual 5th Grade Science Fair. During the two months leading up to the fair, students learned about the complex process of the scientific method, used by scientists throughout the world. Each student then chose a topic of interest to investigate. The projects addressed local and global environmental issues, consumer needs and wants or a scientific/engineering topic. Students presented their investigations through poster board presentations and oral discussions with school and community members. 

Learning Physics is Fun!

IB Physics students eagerly welcomed 4th grade students from the District’s four elementary schools to Harrison High School for the annual Physics Extravaganza.   At the event, which began in 2006, graduating seniors have a chance to share their understanding of physics in a non-academic environment. The seniors IB students design, build and present physics-related activities.  The extravaganza gives 4th grade students a chance to participate in hands-on learning led by the high school seniors and build early excitement about science and physics. The Extravaganza reflects the IB learning objectives of developing caring, knowledgeable communicators and, as HHS physics teacher Mr. McCrae explains, this project “is all about design thinking…[calling] on a very specific set of skills around how to connect abstract concepts to hands-on learning. Students learn very early on that their first attempts don’t work very well!  It’s all about trying and refining.”

Hands-On Approach to Learning K-12 

Innovation, Problem Solving Guide Design Technology Teaching & Learning

Students in design technology courses at all levels have been creating, revising and recreating designs since school began in September.  Learning by doing and learning through problem solving guide the pedagogical approach beginning with Design & Drawing for Production (DDP) to IB Design Technology, and Technology for the Modern, Sustainable World.  Students develop an understanding of the elements and principles of technical drawing and design, the creative design process, with an emphasis on problem-solving using the design cycle.  Students in the Technology for the Modern, Sustainable World class create projects using wood, metal, recycled plastics, and composites. Throughout their learning, students develop a core understanding of science and technology and are provided opportunities to apply science and design skills and processes. 

Students began developing designs for the 3-D printer (funded by a grant from the Harrison Educational Foundation) in the fall as they were introduced to new concepts and skills.  Later in the year, students applied the creative design process to design, develop, revise, and produce three-dimensional models of dream homes. In a more advanced course, junior and senior students designed and produced useful, real-world creations from discarded everyday materials. Student work was featured at the HHS Science and Technology Symposium. 

Learning Is on the Move in 8th Grade Design Technology

Eighth grade students taking the Design Technology elective built robots and set them into motion. Robotics is one unit in the 8th grade technology curriculum which also includes sustainability and manufacturing. Students are introduced to production technology through units that range from hands-on woodworking, to learning the history of mass production and understanding how robotics are used in factories. All students are required to take Technology in middle school; eighth graders take Technology for one quarter. Students use the Design Process to create a robot model and then work to make the robot accomplish tasks and solve problems. In particular, the Robotics unit provides students with a fundamental understanding of design with complex machines that are made of metal and plastics, use electricity, magnetism and computer coding.  Materials for the robots were funded by a grant from the Harrison Educational Foundation.

First Graders Take a Journey Through Space


The Harrison High School Astronomy Club students designed a planetarium show aligned with the first-grade science learning standards and curriculum on astronomy topics. The show is designed to be an interactive experience in which 1st grade students use classroom learning to answer questions about seasons on Earth, the pathway of the Sun, phases of the moon, and explore various celestial objects projected onto the planetarium dome. First grade classes from the District’s elementary schools visited the planetarium and participated in this unique learning experience.

Additionally, Harrison High School junior, Ariella Blackman, completed her IB Community, Activity, Service project, educating young girls about women in science.  Harrison Girl Scouts attended a special presentation before the planetarium show and Ariella taught them about different influential women in Astronomy.  Ariella also wrote and recorded educational songs about these women in science and led the girls in an activity where they selected a woman in science to research and present to their friends.