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RHS Teams Named Regional Finalists in National STEM Competition

Two 9th grade Roslyn High School teams are among the Regional and State Finalists in eCYBERMISSION’s 2020-2021 National STEM Competition.

Roslyn’s Team Emoji placed first in New York State for their research into the effect of using emojis in professional settings. Thirty-eight participants were randomly assigned to read emailed requests for a promotion to a fictional boss. Each email contained either five emojis or no emojis. Participants were then asked to rank a series of statements related to the perception of the sender’s competence, professionalism, and warmth. Their findings suggested that emojis might negatively impact the perceptions of an individual’s professionalism. These results could be used to guide young adults in their professional communication techniques. Team Emoji included Roslyn High School students Aasiya Zaidi, Daphne Lin, Stephanie Yeh, and Fariha Majumder.

Honorable Mention in New York State went to Team SEAL for their study on the impact of name and appearance of a baked good on perceived health and taste. The team created four conditions of a photograph of a chocolate chip mini-cake, which they labeled either as a muffin or a cupcake, and manipulated half to illustrate a colored wrapper and decorations, while the other half appeared in an undecorated, plain wrapper. One hundred participants were randomly assigned an image and asked to answer questions about how tasty and healthy they thought the item might be. The study found that muffins were perceived to be healthier than cupcakes, especially by those who considered themselves dieters, and suggested that dieters were more likely to judge a food’s nutritional value based on the name. Team SEAL included Roslyn High School students Elle Kaplan, Alexandra Kanner, and Sloane Simon.

Both teams conducted their research as part of Roslyn High School’s Introduction to Research class. They were mentored by Roslyn High School Teacher and Research Program Coordinator Dr. Allyson Weseley. “I was awed by what these students were able to accomplish in a very limited time frame and am delighted to see their hard work recognized!”

“Participating in ECYBERMISSION was an amazing experience for all of us,” said Team Emoji student Aasiya Zaidi. “We significantly improved our presentation skills and learned how to answer questions under pressure. We also learned how to work effectively with a team, even during a time when we couldn't meet in person.”

eCYBERMISSION is a web-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) competition for students in grades six through nine that promotes self-discovery and enables all students to recognize the real-life applications of STEM.