Students from Sanford H. Calhoun High School with their teacher.


Mini Grants Help High School Scientists Maximize Their Goals

March 10, 2017

Photo: The winners from Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick N.Y. From left, Jonathan Ellison, Alex Kuschner, and Zachary Kaminski with their teacher Jennifer Pefanis.

More than 30 high school students and aspiring scientists are on their way to realizing their goals thanks to help from NYIT's first annual Mini Research Grant Award program. The program, sponsored by the Department of Life Sciences, awarded 35 $200 grants to students from around the country.

“Because I’m also a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research, my mind is always on supporting research, not just at the college level but also at the high school level,” said Niharika Nath, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of Life Sciences, who initiated the award program.

Nath also collaborated with Rosemary Gallagher, Ph.D., assistant professor and admissions coordinator at NYIT School of Health Professions, in order to broaden the scope of the research grant to include health-related fields. The grants were awarded to students whose research was focused on biology, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, chemistry, or health.

The grant program was met with positive response from the students. Nath and Gallagher received 58 proposals from students in 14 schools located in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and as far away as Florida.

“Receiving this grant is great because it is a recognition of all the hard work that I have put into my research,” said Zack Kaminski of Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick, N.Y. Kaminski’s research focuses on how to optimize a special type of rechargeable battery.

The program was so well-received by the schools, that some of the high schools have requested that NYIT Life Science faculty members come to their campus and talk to the students about their own research.

“We plan to call some of these students to present their work at NYIT to complete the circle,” Nath said.