Middle School Science Superstar

elle Rasquinha with her award for Highest Honors at the New York State Science Congress Junior Division at the University of Buffalo

South Woods Middle School student Giselle Rasquinha recently took home Highest Honors at the New York State Science Congress Junior Division at the University of Buffalo, sponsored by the Science Teachers Association of New York State. This followed her first-place award for the same project in the Most Distinguished Categorical Project in Biology at the Long Island Science Congress.
Rasquinha’s project, “The 5 Second Rule,” explored the validity of the old adage, if you drop food on the floor it’s safe to eat if you pick it up within five seconds. She tested different foods after being dropped on different surfaces, recording the amount of bacteria in each culture. Rasquinha then developed a survey from her results, which she administered to eighth graders. She won $300 and $500 at the Long Island and state competitions, respectively.
Teacher Linda Stollow coached and mentored Rasquinha. Six other South Woods students won High Honor or Honors awards at the Long Island Science Congress under Stollow’s tutelage—Jade Maracic, Sachi Sethi, Michele Shleimovich, Alexa Trapani, Emma Van Dorn and Lara Weinberg. During the State Science Congress, students present their research to judges, community observers and other students in a lecture format. They are selected based on their presentations at various regional competitions, such as the L.I. Science Congress.

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