South Siemens Science Competition Semifinalists

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From left: South High School Siemens semifinalists (first row, second) Cindy Wang, Ann Zhang and Michelle Xing, and (second row, third) Ethan Wang, Kimberly Lu and Shao Chen are flanked by (first row) Dr. Carol Hersh, science research teacher, and (second row) Dr. Christopher Gitz, principal; Bradley Krauz, science department chair; and science research teachers Dr. James Truglio and Nicole Spinelli. (Photo by Jennifer Scheinberg)

Six South High students, Shao Chen, Kimberly Lu, Cindy Wang, Ethan Wang, Michelle Xing and Ann Zhang, were named semifinalists in the 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, one of the most prestigious student science competitions. Their science research teachers/advisors are Dr. Carol Hersh, Nicole Spinelli and Dr. James Truglio.

Chen’s project, The Effect of the OAM of Light on the Spin Polarization of the Electrons in Gallium Arsenide at RT, focused on a property of electrons called spin to see if the spin state of electrons could be changed using light. The eventual goal would be to take advantage of changes in electron spin states in computer processing.

Lu worked on Establishment and Characterization of Topotecan Resistant NCI-H460/TPT10 Cells. A cancer cell line that is resistant to a chemotherapy drug, Topotecan, was created to study the mechanisms by which cancer cells become resistant to multiple chemotherapy drugs. This cell line is a potentially useful tool for the study of resistance to chemotherapy agents, as well as for drug testing.

Wang’s project is Observation of the Chiral Magnetic Effect in the Quark-Gluon Plasma Produced in Au+Au Collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. Studies of the matter that are generated during collisions of heavy ions shed light on interactions between fundamental particles that make up all matter. In this study, a particular phenomenon, the chiral magnetic effect, that had been postulated by theory but not definitively seen before, was observed.

Wang’s team project, Artemisinin and Halofuginone as Balanced Regulators of Oncogenic Signaling Pathways for Potential in Colorectal Cancer Treatment focused on the potential for Halofuginone and Artemisinin, compounds from two inexpensive herbs, to be used as colorectal cancer treatments.

In Xing’s project, Direct Functionalization of Algal Nanocellulose to Enhance Biosorption for Lead (II) Remediation, chemical treatments of algae were carried out to create nanocellulose, which was shown to absorb lead ions from water to combat pollution.

Zhang also worked on a team project, Cloud Mode Anomaly Detection in the Cimel Sunphotometer Using Machine Learning Algorithms. In order to develop good climate models, daily measurements of the atmosphere are made. In this study, certain programming tools were examined to determine if they were able to detect anomalies in the data, which could lead to improvements in the data-collection process.

From more than 1,860 projects in this year’s competition, 491 were selected as semifinalists. The Siemens Competition was launched in 1999 to promote excellence by encouraging students to foster intensive research. The foundation partners with California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, George Washington University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Notre Dame and University of Texas at Austin.

Read about more Great Neck winners from North Shore Hebrew Academy in next week’s paper.

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