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Croton-Harmon Scientists Impress At Research Symposium

Croton-Harmon High School’s science research program participants shared their research during the Science Research Symposium.
Croton-Harmon High School’s science research program participants shared their research during the Science Research Symposium. Photo Credit: Contributed

CORTLANDT, N.Y. – Croton-Harmon High School’s science research program participants shared the progress of their research during the annual Science Research Symposium on Monday, May 16.

The program allows students to choose a topic to begin researching as sophomores, which continues into their junior year and concludes during their senior year.

“It is always wonderful to celebrate the hard work our students have been doing all year long and share it with the community,” said science research teacher Donna Light-Donovan.

Light-Donovan introduced the evening’s moderator, junior Bengum Abam-DePass, who shared background about the evening’s speaker, Samantha Epstein, the invasive species program coordinator for Clearwater. Abam-DePass is working with Epstein on her research project, “Hydrilla Verticillata Management in the Croton River.”

Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant species that has been growing rapidly in the Croton River. Hydrilla grows several inches per day, in depths of up to 25 feet and requires only 1 percent sunlight to thrive, according to Epstein. The plant was found in the Croton Bay in August 2013, and a follow-up survey in 2015 revealed its rapid growth.

Epstein encouraged locals to get involved in volunteer efforts to survey hydrilla as it continues to grow in both the Croton River and its spread into the Hudson River.

The evening continued with speaker sessions with each of the program’s eight seniors, whose topics ranged from “Analyzing Caretakers’ Attitudes Towards Including Relations with Down Syndrome in Genetic Therapy Studies” to “Usability and Tolerability of Novel Concussion Reduction Device Used in High School Football.”

Following the seniors' presentations, sophomores and juniors answered attendees’ questions and shared their research.

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