Ward Melville Students Qualify for International Science Competition

Ward Melville Students Qualify for International Science Competition photo
As a result of their science research projects, Ward Melville High School senior Kelsey Ge and junior Leo Takemaru placed first in their division at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. Both now qualify to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona. 
 
Leo’s project focused on how human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which weakens the body’s ability to fight infection. His research strongly indicates that a recently discovered protein, CCDC11, is required for efficient budding of HIV particles from cells. Therefore, inhibition of CCDC11 may be an effective method to fight HIV-1 in the future.

Kelsey’s research focused on the identification and evaluation of the manifest ways in which tropical cyclone and hurricane evolution has changed over the past four decades. Factors quantifying the intensity, intensification and short-term changes of each cyclone were analyzed over time and assessed for statistical significance. These trends were then compared to heat, moisture and wind composition values. This two-pronged approach points to the long-term environmental changes that are associated with these trends and how they may be related to climate change.

During the international competition, Kelsey and Leo will be competing against students from around the world for a top prize of $75,000.