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2 Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists describe moments they found out they were selected

The finalists will be heading to Washington, D.C. in March for the final competition among all 40 finalists nationwide.

News 12 Staff

Jan 25, 2023, 10:46 PM

Updated 509 days ago

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Four local students were among those selected as this year's finalists in Regeneron's Science Talent Search.
Harrison High School Senior Ariella Blackman told News 12 how she found out she was selected.
"I was actually tutoring a middle schooler and saw the call and I jumped up and sprinted out of the library, and they were like do you know why we're calling? And I was like 'Yes!' It was very exciting," says Blackman.
The other finalists are Cindy DeDianous, from Scarsdale High School, Samantha Milewicz, from Byram Hills, and Joseph Robertazzi, from Ossining High School, who told his mom when he got home from school.
"She started screaming … freaking out. We were all so excited. We called my dad, and he was in disbelief, and we were in shock," said Robertazzi.
Each had to present a research project. Robertazzi's project centered on his passion for geomagnetism.
"If there's a big weak spot in the Earth's magnetic field, and many of these birds rely on the field to migrate, I was wondering if that field would influence their migration or migratory paths over the decades," says Robertazzi.
Blackman's passion is in space, so her project specifically focused on how humans living on Mars could grow their own food.
"I wanted to use resources that would already be on Mars to develop these life support systems… so I ultimately grew bean plants in different ratios of potting soil and simulated Martian regolith which is essentially Martian dirt," says Blackman.
The finalists will be heading to Washington, D.C. in March for the final competition among all 40 finalists nationwide.


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