SUMMIT, NJ - Summit High School’s Science Research Program sent 10 students to the North Jersey Regional Science Fair held at Rutgers University.

Students presented posters showcasing research projects they have been working on throughout the 2013-14 academic year under the direction of faculty mentors Dr. Benjamin Greene and Ms. Cynthia Vitale, and parent community volunteer, Anahita Wilson, who is a research scientist at Syngenta.  Conducting research in the areas of engineering, environmental science, microbiology, and physics, these motivated students impressed the judges, garnering recognition and awards across a range of categories.  Awards went to the following students: 
Alexander Kelser - Second Place, Engineering NJIT Summer Academy Scholarship
Kristen Miller - Second Place, Environmental Science Public Health Award, Senior Division
Emily Tulsky - NJIT Summer Academy Scholarship, Alternate Rutgers Student Award
Curtis Dukes - Freshman NJRSF Entrant Award Rutgers Student Award

Pallavi Patil - Theobald Smith Society Award, Honorable Mention
Gabriel Ribeiro - Honorable Mention, Microbiology
Benjamin Kelser & Liam Stewart - NOAA Pulse of the Planet Award, Senior Division / NJIT Academic Fellowship Award, Alternates
Caroline Rafizadeh - Rutgers Student Award                                                                                                                                                                      
Students gain experience that stretches beyond the classroom or lab as well, learning how to confidently present their findings to the judges who hail from corporations, academia, and the military.  The students in the science research program best sum up the benefits and experience they get through participation.  As freshman Dukes observed, “My experience at the fair was exceptional. I met a lot of new people from different towns.”  Senior Miller agrees, stating, “The science fair is a great chance to meet other students who are also interested in science and see examples of current research.”                                                    
Established in 2009, the Summit High School Science Research Program is open to any student interested in scientific research — no experience required — just an inquisitive mind and an interest in science.  Students work closely with Greene and Vitale, exploring their individual interests, identifying topics for more in-depth study, and designing, conducting and managing their own experiments, and then presenting their findings at sponsored science fairs.  Patil, a junior, expressed her appreciation for the dedication and motivation provided by the teachers, saying, “The only way I got the opportunity to participate in the science fair was through the support and encouragement of the science research teachers.”