Thursday, 22 February 2018 12:00

Sub-Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

[Photo provided]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Saturday, Feb. 3, Saratoga Springs High School students Isabel Herzog and Veronica Sih competed at the sub-regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). Each presented their own original research, and each placed third in their respective categories. Herzog presented research in the field of environmental chemistry and focused on “Optimizing a Paper Microfluidic Device with the Purpose of Measuring Iodide Contamination from Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater in Natural Water Sources.”

“It was very exciting to win third place, especially considering how accomplished and impressive the other students’ projects were. I could not have done it without my science research teachers, Mr. Robinson  and Ms. Lohnes, and my mentor. I encourage other students to get involved in research, as it is such a unique and amazing experience,” Herzog said.

Sih explained her research, “after reading some articles speculating a possible correlation between eating disorders and Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis when they found a high prevalence of underweight Scoliosis patients, I wanted to verify that hypothesis, and I also thought that perhaps it could be a hint to the unknown cause of Scoliosis; not so much that eating disorders was a cause of scoliosis, but a vitamin, mineral, or specific eating behavior could be linked to scoliosis. Thus, I wanted to find if BMI and psychological wellbeing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis patients are correlated. I gave questionnaires assessing psychological well-being and eating behavior in scoliosis patients and non-scoliotic patients. The scoliotic group came from Albany Medical Center and the control group came from the local school district. I found no correlation between a decreased psychological well-being and BMI, no significant differences in questionnaire scores between patient and control groups, and surprisingly, no underweight scoliotic patients. Even though my null hypothesis was accepted, I still think that it is important that future studies consider the results of my study for some reasons. First, there are many studies expanding on the finding of many underweight AIS patients to continue searching for AIS’s cause, and since my study found no underweight patients, I think those studies who have accepted that AIS is linked with a low weight should consider more carefully the validity and reliability of that finding. Second, my research is one of the only comprehensive studies that used five validated questionnaires in a population of approximately 50 patients and 50 controls.”

Regarding her win, “I wasn’t expecting anything huge, so it was a pleasant surprise. After hearing that the judges mostly just found my presentation skills lacking, however, I feel slightly greedy for more, but now I will definitely practice public speaking more,” Sih said.

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