TWO REGENERON SEMIFINALISTS                                            
Kate Weseley-Jones and Lucia Martin Named as Semifinalists in Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021
On January 7, 2021, the North Shore Schools proudly announced that Kate Weseley-Jones and Lucia Martin were among the top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. The 300 scholars and their schools will be awarded $2,000 each.

Principal Eric Contreras said, “We are very proud of the hard work and significant accomplishments of our student scientists and researchers and the dedicated guidance and mentorship of Dr. Mordechai, our Science research coordinator. Kate Weseley-Jones and Lucia Martin have demonstrated a commitment to scientific inquiry and innovation. Our immediate global challenges remind us that our local initiatives to develop the scientists and innovators of tomorrow are more important than ever. The entire North Shore community celebrates them as Regeneron Semifinalists.”

The Regeneron Science Talent Search provides students with a national stage to present original research and celebrates the hard work and discoveries of young scientists who are bringing a fresh perspective to significant global challenges. This year, research projects cover topics from bioinformatics to public health and energy efficiency.
Kate’s science research entitled, Parenthood: Penalty or Premium? The Effect of Gender and Parental Status on Perceptions of Physicians explored women that experience job discrimination as a result of having children, a phenomenon known as the motherhood penalty. Studies on this topic have largely focused on managerial jobs and have yet to explore the effect of age of children on the motherhood penalty. Kate conducted two experiments and explored whether women physicians would also suffer from this phenomenon. Kate reached out to a few professors at NYU, Princeton, and Stanford to get their feedback at critical points during her research, but her primary mentor was Dr. Molly Mordechai whose help was instrumental at every step in the process. Her first experiment had 300 participants, while the second had 367.

Lucia’s science research entitled, The Effect of Political Division on Compliance with COVID-19 Health Guidelines looked atthe effects of political division on people's compliance with COVID-19 health guidelines. She created a 12-question survey that asked people about their political alignment, where they got their news, and which COVID-19 guidelines they were complying with (for example, wearing a mask, social distancing, etc.) Lucia virtually studied with two professors at LIU Post, Dr. Nancy Frye and Dr. Michele Dornisch. During her research, she analyzed 1,000 responses from adults over 18 years old from all over the country.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,760 applications received from 611 high schools across 45 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and 10 countries. Scholars were chosen based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists, and hail from 198 American and international high schools in 37 states, Puerto Rico, Chinese Taipei, and Singapore.

“The remarkable drive, creativity and intellectual curiosity that each one of these scholars possesses, represents a hopeful outlook for our future and our collective well-being,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science, Publisher of Science News and 1985 Science Talent Search alum“At a time when many students’ educational experiences are being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am incredibly humbled to see gifted young scientists and engineers eager to contribute fresh insights to solving the world’s most intractable problems.”

“An exceptional group of student leaders and innovators comprise this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars, with an array of projects that demonstrate the power of science,” said Hala Mirza, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Citizenship at Regeneron. “We are honored to celebrate the next generation of young scientists and inventors who can elevate the STEM community and our broader society through their high-quality research and novel discoveries. These are the inspiring problem solvers who will help address the current and future challenges facing our world.”
On January 21, 2021, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists. From March 10-17 2021, all 40 finalists will compete for more than $1.8 million in awards provided by Regeneron.

Congratulations to Kate Weseley-Jones and Lucia Martin for these remarkable accomplishments. In addition, many thanks to their science research teacher, Dr. Molly Mordechai, and the North Shore Science department, led by Mr. Steven Menchel. Best of luck to both Kate and Lucia moving forward in the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition!

Article Shelly Newman