The SUNY Old Westbury Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) student researchers returned from the 21st annual STEP Statewide Student Conference with good news. More than 600 STEP students and staff from 48 colleges and universities across New York State participated in the conference, which was held at the Marriott Hotel in Albany, NY in March 2019. Participants had the opportunity to network with fellow researchers, and attend various workshops for professional, college and career development.
The highlight of the conference was the award ceremony, where STEP student researchers celebrated the accomplishments of the poster competition. Olubusola Babalola, Shannon Farnum, Hammad Nawaz and Balquees Shafique, tenth graders at Westbury High School mentored by Dr. Fernando Nieto of SUNY Old Westbury's Biological Sciences Department, received second place in the Biological Life Sciences Middle Division Category for their research titled “Isolation and Characterization of Peeb and HarryOw to Determine their Host Range Potential.” In the Biological Life Sciences Senior Division I, Olusola Babalola, and 11th grader from Westbury High School, mentored by Dr. Sara Alaei and Dr. Fernando Nieto won second place for their research poster titled “The Effect of Temperature and Natural Substances on Biofilm formation.”
Other students who presented their research or participated in the conference include Jennifer Amaya, Belle Connaught, and Ajani Shallow from Westbury High School, and Oluwadolapo Babalola from West Hempstead High School.
The College's STEP program is funded by the New York State Education Department, and its goal is to increase the number of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students prepared to enter college, and improve their participation rate in mathematics, science, technology, health related fields and the licensed professions. The program currently collaborates with junior high and high school students from Westbury, Freeport, and Uniondale school districts.