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Byram Hills High School senior Alexandra Remnitz was selected as a top national finalist for the prestigious American Academy of Neurology Neuroscience Research Prize for high school students.

Byram Hills High School senior Alexandra Remnitz was selected as a top national finalist for the prestigious American Academy of Neurology Neuroscience Research Prize for high school students.

The American Academy of Neurology annually awards students who have completed extraordinary work exploring the world of the brain and nervous system through laboratory research.  As a national top finalist for this award, Alex has been invited to present her project at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Los Angeles, CA, in April.

The Academy is the largest organization of neurologists in the country.  Each year the group recognizes 15 high school students who have created projects that investigate topics in neuroscience at a scholarly level. The student entries are reviewed by a panel of physicians and scientists who are leaders in the neuroscience field.  Four representatives of the 15 finalists are then selected to present their work at a national neurology conference.

Earlier this year, Remnitz and three other Byram Hills High School students -- Stella Li, Jeremy Ma and Kylie Roslin -- were students recognized by the AAN as finalists for their research projects.

Alex worked with the marine fish, Sailfin Molly, and determined that this hardy species did not alter their typical behavior due to increasing ocean acidification, unlike most fish.  This is a novel finding demonstrating the robustness of this specific species.   

 

Alex is a certified scuba diver and her love of marine life and her concern for the future of our oceans was the inspiration for her study.

Byram Hills High School Tops Regeneron STS Scholars

Five Byram Hills High School students - the most from any single Westchester County high school - were selected as scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search. This is one of the most prestigious pre-college science and math awards for high school seniors and was previously known as the Intel Science Talent Search.

The Byram Hills students are Alexis Aberman, Alexandra Brocato, Stella Li, Jeremy Ma and Kylie Roslin.  

In total, 24 students from 13 high schools in Westchester County found out Tuesday that they were selected. Byram Hills High School had the most scholars from any single high school, public or private, to garner this prestigious distinction in the county.

From the select pool of scholars, 40 finalists will be invited to Washington, D.C. in March to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists and compete for the top award of $250,000.

The goal of this competition is to recognize the best and brightest young scientists for demonstrating exceptional scientific leadership potential. It is the result of years of study, research and dedication by the students, along with encouragement and direction from the Byram Hills School District and the Dr. Robert Pavlica Authentic Science Research Program, directed by Stephanie Greenwald.

“We are so proud of these students and the recognition they have received for their remarkable projects. Their work is also a credit to the long-standing science program at Byram Hills High School that receives solid support from the District and Board of Education,” said Mrs. Greenwald. This is the 29th year of the Dr. Pavlica Authentic Science Research Program at Byram Hills High School and during this time 104 students have been recognized in this national competition, she added.

Byram Hills High School 5 Regeneron STS Scholars
Left to right: top row: Stella Li, Jeremy Ma, Alexandra Brocato. Bottom row: Alexis Aberman, Kylie Roslin.

The projects:

ALEXIS ABERMAN:  A Direct Comparison of Infants’ Comprehension of Unique versus Generic Versions of Objects

Alexis investigated if a milestone exists in which infants can make abstractions from unique object labels to generic categories. Utilizing photographs of infants' own objects, eye tracking devices measured infant gazes to determine infants' comprehension of objects' labels. Results provided some evidence that infants have a better understanding of their own objects, suggesting that such a milestone may exist.   

ALEXANDRA BROCATO: Illuminating Non-Neuromuscular Phenotypes and Their Temporal Trajectory in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Using Electronic Health Records

Ali's work centered on Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a neurodegenerative disease that is the leading genetic cause of death in infants. Ali analyzed data from over 45 million Aetna insurance records to create a timeline and trajectory of the disease, which can be used to assist drug development and can allow doctors and researchers to intervene and prevent the next symptomatic fluctuation. Ali’s research methodology paves the way for preventative medicine.

STELLA LI: Differential Effects of Snake Neurotoxin, Taipoxin, on the Endocytosis of Vesicle Membrane Proteins  

Stella analyzed the effect of a snake neurotoxin's ability to differentiate the workings of nerve impulses, specifically the endocytosis of vesicle membrane proteins. This enables neurologists to more fully understand synaptic mechanisms and could, in turn, enhance drug development.

JEREMY MA: Perceptual Interactions in Depth Perception: A Quantitative EEG Study

Jeremy created a unique study to measure brain activity of people while perceiving different representations of depth. He used EEG measurements and developed a novel method for analyzing the data. This study is one of the first of its kind to quantitatively analyze visual depth perception.

KYLIE ROSLIN: Exploring the Role of Herpes Simplex Virus-1 Antibodies in Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis

Kylie identified a unique relationship between the Herpes Simplex Virus and a neurologic autoimmune disorder called NMDAR encephalitis. Her findings could be used to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this rare condition.

  

The Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS) is a program of Society for Science & the Public. Alumni of STS have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most distinguished science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science. Each year, 300 Regeneron STS scholars nationwide and their schools are recognized.

For more information, contact Stephanie Greenwald, Director of the Dr. Robert Pavlica Authentic Science Research Program at Byram Hills High School at 914-273-9200 ext. 4516 or sgreenwald@byramhills.net

 

Four Byram Hills High School students were recently selected as national finalists in the Neuroscience Research Prize awarded by the American Academy of Neuroscientists (AAN) Research Prize for high school students.

Four Byram Hills High School students were recently selected as national finalists in the Neuroscience Research Prize awarded by the American Academy of Neuroscientists (AAN) Research Prize for high school students.  

The Academy is the largest organization of neurologists in the country and each year the group awards 15 high school students who have completed extraordinary work exploring the world of the brain and nervous system through laboratory research.

The Byram Hills School District is proud of the following students who participate in the Dr. Robert Pavlica Authentic Science Research Program at Byram Hills High School and the award-winning work they have done.

Here are the students and a summary of their projects:
STELLA LI:  Stella utilized a novel method to differentiate the workings of nerve impulses. Utilizing the neurotoxins found in snake venom, she demonstrated specific pathways involved in the endocytosis of vesicle membrane proteins. This research will enable neurologists to more fully understand synaptic mechanisms and could, in turn, enhance drug development.

JEREMY MA:  Jeremy created a study to measure the brain activity of people while perceiving different representations of depth. He used electroencephalography (EEG measurements) and developed a novel method for analyzing the data. This study is considered to be one of the first of its kind to quantitatively analyze visual depth perception.

ALEXANDRA REMNITZ:  Working with the Sailfin Molly, Alex determined that this hardy species of fish, unlike most other fish, did not alter their typical behavior due to increasing ocean acidification.  This finding demonstrates the robustness of this specific species.

KYLIE ROSLIN:  Kylie identified a unique relationship between the Herpes Simplex Virus and a neurologic autoimmune disorder called NMDAR encephalitis.  Her findings could be used to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this rare condition.

“Having our students' work recognized by this prestigious group helps to validate the importance of our students' research. Each of these young women and men  identified unique questions yet to be addressed in their field.  Their results will have a profound impact on their respective area of study.  Needless to say, we are very proud of them and wish each of them success as they continue their research,” said Stephanie Greenwald, Director of the Dr. Robert Pavlica Authentic Science Research Program at Byram Hills High School.

These Byram Hills High School students will move on to the next round, which will award three finalists an all-expense paid trip to the AAN 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, where they will be able to present their work and one finalist will present work at the 2018 Child Neurology Society Annual Meeting.From left to right, Kylie Roslin, Stella Li, Alexandra Remnitz and Jeremy Ma.

From left to right, Kylie Roslin, Stella Li, Alexandra Remnitz and Jeremy Ma.

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Speaker Shaun Derik engages the students.

Speaker Shaun Derik engages the students.

Speaker Shaun Derik engages the students.

This year's Wellness Day at Byram Hills High School was particularly noteworthy because for the first time students from all four grades participated in the morning sessions and discussions that encourage positive self-confidence and healthy lifestyle choices.

The students from freshmen to seniors enjoyed taking time from their academics to focus on issues like mindfulness, good eating habits and how to understand their differences and strengths.

"Students don't always take the time to learn how to reduce stress and become healthier young adults, but Wellness Day is an annual event designed to help them do just that," said Doug Carpenter, Health Education Teacher and Varsity Football Coach who was the lead faculty member in organizing this along with Rob Castagna, Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics.

"As a school District we promote good healthy choices by the students in many ways. Wellness Day is an ever-expanding program that helps our students increase their awareness of emotional issues and learn about healthy lifestyle options, and understand ways to reduce stress and enhance self-confidence," added Mr. Carpenter.

But this is ultimately a student-organized agenda. Members of the school's Student Wellness Advisory Committee and peer leaders work for many weeks to discuss what the day should include so this program so is also about students helping other students.

Students are taught about healthy snacks with a representative from Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco.Students are taught about healthy snacks with a representative from Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco.

"We tend to keep in mind what we think will be the most beneficial (for students) as our overarching goal is to establish a more relaxed sensibility with the school community," said senior Chandler Glat, a member of SWAC and a peer leader.

"Wellness Day serves to make students more cognizant of their own individual well being," he added.

Keynote speaker guest Shaun Derik, a motivational speaker who focuses on connecting with young adults, got the Byram Hills students smiling, laughing and thinking about their own individuality and how they can shape themselves into the adults they want to be.

He urged the students to take on the advice that was given to him: "Stand out for being great."

Derik struck the right chord and connected well with the students, said Chandler.

"He took an interesting approach of using comedy and music to get a really strong message across: The endeavors we choose to pursue and the goals we set for ourselves are more attainable if we have people who encourage us to be our very best self. With this encouragement, and by looking towards the future as opposed to fixating on trivial aspects of the past, we can all establish a very fulfilling future for ourselves," the student added.

The Debra Leipman Yale Memorial fund (in partnership with Byram Hills Education Foundation) generously funded the event.

Following Derik's presentation in two assemblies, students were asked to choose from more than 15 breakout sessions with topics ranging from goal setting and mindfulness to art therapy and kickboxing.

Participating organizations included local professionals including Talia Baurer from My Sister's Place talking about healthy relationships, Amy Rosenfeld from Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco sharing recipes and tastes of healthy snacks, and parents such as Stacy Bergman leading a yoga class.

Students participate in a yoga workshop during Byram Hills High School Wellness Day.

Students participate in a yoga workshop during Byram Hills High School Wellness Day.

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