SUNY Old Westbury's Science and Technology Program (STEP) student researchers returned from the 20th Annual STEP Statewide Student Conference with good news, knowledge, and accolades. Over 600 STEP students and staff from approximately forty-five colleges and universities from New York State participated in the conference, which was held at the Marriott Hotel in Albany, NY from March 23-25, 2018. Participants had the opportunity to network with fellow STEP student researchers, attend professional development and college and career development workshops and attend the college fair.
On the final day of the conference, STEP student researchers celebrated the accomplishments of the poster competition. Olusola Babalola, a 10th grader at Westbury High School mentored by Dr. Fernando Nieto of the Biological Sciences Department, and Dr. Sarah Alaei from Stony Brook, received first place in the Biological Sciences Middle Division Category for her research titled “The Effects of Commercial Mouthwash on Biofilm Formation.” In the Biological Life Sciences Senior I Division, Westbury High School juniors Stacey Alvardo and Jennifer Amaya, and senior Courtney Williams won third place for their research poster titled “Treating The Effects of Lead On Drosophila melanogaster Using Cilantro and PMA.” They were mentored by Nieto and Dr. William Gillis of Biological Sciences.
Other students who presented their research and participated in the conference are Lesly Leon Torres, Keyri Guerra, both from Westbury High School, Mason Bazemore from Freeport High School, Samuel Salazar from Baldwin High School, and STEP Student Ambassador Brandon Bello.