Fontbonne Hall Academy seniors Keara Donahue and Isabella Grillo were finalists at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF).
Ten Fontbonne seniors were invited to participate in the preliminary round. Keara and Isabella were the only Catholic high school students to advance to the finals round which was held at the American Museum of Natural History on March 28.
They joined students from several other prestigious schools, including Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Technical High School, Stuyvesant High School, Horace Mann and Spence.
Keara finished third in the category of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Her topic was Gender Specific Associations between Childhood Maltreatment and the Development of Psychopathy.
Isabella finished third in the category of Medicine and Health Sciences. Her topic was Vitamin C as an Alternative Cancer Treatment to Restore TET Enzymatic Function in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
These 10 seniors are the first group of students to complete Fontbonne’s three-year Science Research Program. During the course of this program, students investigate particular areas of study and formulate specific research objectives under the advisement of mentoring scientists.
Keara’s mentor was Dr. Robert Latzman of Georgia State University. Isabella’s mentor was Dr. Luisa Cimmino of NYU Langone Medical Center.
Fontbonne is the only school in Brooklyn that offers this type of high school research program. Students may also earn up to 12 college credits from SUNY Albany by participating.
The NYCSEF application process required the students to submit their research papers along with supplemental forms with references from teachers and mentors.
Seniors in Fontbonne’s Science Research Program are required to submit their research papers to several other high school science competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search and the Junior Science Humanities Symposium.
The students will present their work at Fontbonne’s Science Research Symposium. The symposium will take place on May 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. and is open to the public. Fontbonne is located at 9901 Shore Road.
The students attended seminars on various aspects of journalism and listened to the keynote speaker, Nkem Idejika, who is a presenter on the BBC World Service Newsday program.
The students also took a tour of the Crimson building, including the printing press. At the end of the conference, a panel of current Harvard students gave the high school students some advice on preparing their college applications and spoke about student life.