South Orangetown Central School District

At last night’s annual Science Symposium Tappan Zee High School Science Research students presented their work on topics ranging from B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) to global warming. “Students choose a topic of study that interests them, and choice is a powerful motivator for learning,” explained Science Research teacher Chris Lorusso.

“I chose this class because I wanted to learn more about different topics. I started with cancer and dove into immunotherapy,” noted Danielle Kivlehan, a freshman. “I want to become a pediatrician and children in industrialized countries have a one in 2,000 risk of developing ALL. In the future, I want to research how environmental factors contribute to that risk.”

“I knew that I was interested in mental health and was inspired by the movie ‘Split’,” said sophomore Hillary Abankwa, who studied Dissociative Identity Disorder. “It is typically triggered by trauma and a person with the disorder can have up to 15 different personalities.”

Science Research students typically enter the program as freshmen and learn research basics and develop knowledge in a particular area of study. As sophomores, juniors and seniors, the goal is to work with research mentors in the community and produce original work. “We have a real need for mentors. Our students do identify and contact organizations and people working in their field of interest, but haven’t had success in securing mentors or even getting a response,” said Mr. Lorusso. Interested in becoming a Science Research mentor? Email Mr. Lorusso at

Congratulations to all the Science Research presenters:

  • Daniella Cambrea, “How Does Diet Affect Athletic Performance and Overall Health?”
  • Darien Esposito, “Hydrotherapy in Canines”
  • Grace Killeen, “Appearances and the Brain”
  • Danielle Kivlehan, “What are the Ways Scientists Can Lower the Mortality Rate for Patients with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?”
  • Angelina Tanksley, “Global Warming”
  • Grant Sweney, “Eczema”
  • Brianna Santilli, “Complication Outcomes of Surgical Procedures”
  • Courtney Culot, “Equine Osteoarthritis”
  • Hillary Abankwa, “Dissociative Identity Disorder”
  • Michael Morozyuk, “Gene Therapy”

More photos on Facebook.

Student with "Global Warming" poster and male teacher