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Two RHS Students Place 2nd in National Research Competition

Roslyn High School senior Cayden Shen and sophomore Tessla Chan were among five Long Island students who qualified to attend the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (held in Albuquerque, NM, May 1-4) and the only ones to win awards at the national level. Cayden won 2nd Place in the Physical Science oral presentations, which came with an $8000 prize, and Tessla won 2nd Place in the Math and Computer Sciences poster presentations. 

Both students are involved in Roslyn High School’s Research Program, run by Dr. Allyson Weseley. “This showing is really incredible,” said Ms. Weseley. “It’s amazing to have two students qualify and come home with awards!”

“The judging was really intense,” said Cayden. “They asked a lot of technical and probing questions.”

Cayden conducted his research on creating an inexpensive near infrared spectrometer last summer in a lab in Taiwan, while Tessla designed her machine-learning project without a formal mentor. To get to the national level, the students had to make it through three rounds of local competition.

“Tessla and Cayden’s mastery of their subjects and ability to present their research is a product of a program that gives them the basic tools to do any kind of research they want, then supports them in their efforts to pursue their passions,” said Dr. Weseley.

During their time in Albuquerque, Cayden and Tessla heard from a variety of keynote speakers, including one from the Army Corps of Engineers and another from a carbon dioxide removal start-up. They also tinkered in a maker space and competed in a trivia competition. 

“The best part was meeting students from all different parts of the United States and bonding over a common love of science,” said Tessla.

Cayden and Tessla