Home News Projects Resources
On YouTube: Science That — Pandemic Pivots for Brentwood's Student Research
Marine Fisheries Resource Center: Small Grants - News

As seen in this video from the project's YouTube channel, “Let’s Science That!” gives students a voice - from podcasts to artwork, these young scientists are showcasing their talents during these unprecedented times.  "This is the student's response to distance learning efforts in science research in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Rebecca Grella, Ph.D., Brentwood Union Free School District. "The students wanted to showcase their research and artistic efforts and have their voices heard."

Brentwood High School Students Garner NYIT Mini Grants for Research in Long Island's Salt Marshes and Engineering Technology

By Jake Mendlinger, Patch.com - Brentwood

Brentwood, NY, February 4, 2021 — Despite many uncertainties schools have faced this academic year, Brentwood High School's science research department remained steadfast that a global pandemic wouldn't impede on its research. Javier Garcia and Joshua Castellanos, two BHS students, used their knowledge of the scientific process and solving problems to navigate an untraditional approach to research while enrolled in the district's hybrid instruction, a combination of in-person and virtual learning

"On behalf of the Board of Education and central administration, we applaud our students, Javier and Joshua, for their ambition and commitment to their studies," said Mr. Richard Loeschner, superintendent of schools. "Our teachers, in collaboration with our administrators, have developed an award-winning science research program that fosters an environment where our students can find their niche and discover new passions. This year in particular, I am humbled by the undertaking of our staff to pivot when necessary for the continuity of learning and enhanced experiences for our students."

Over the last several months, Javier and Joshua's ambitious approach to science research allowed them to continue working in the field and laboratory to assess and mitigate pressing environmental and engineering issues. As a result, the two students' projects were recognized by New York State Institute of Technology's (NYIT) Mini-Research Grant Award program, an initiative designed to offset the cost of materials and related expenses pertaining to a high school research project proposal or a continuing project in STEM and related disciplines. This year, the funds are being allocated to assist Brentwood's students in designing technology to assist the disabled and assess the impact of increased nitrogen on salt marsh ecosystems, as well as a new research program.

"Science never sleeps. Through partnerships like this discoveries occur," said Dr. Rebecca Grella, Brentwood High School Research Scientist & Research Teacher. "We are grateful for the continued support that NYIT provides our student initiatives."

Javier Garcia, who received a $300 grant for additional supplies from NYIT, pictured with his Computer Assisted Drawing (CAD) of the stamp device design for the Source America Challenge. Credit: Brentwood Union Free School District

BHS senior Javier Garcia designed an apparatus, in conjunction with his peers, that can be used to assist people with disabilities who work in factory production settings. The device is a box labeling system that can be used to increase economic mobility and earning potential for people with a disability.

"Through science we have the ability to make changes in society and through engineering we can make change and assist people," said Javier, who is headed to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the fall.

Joshua Castellanos pictured at the Sunken Meadow salt marsh with New York State Park Personnel Annie McIntyre, Regional Environmental Manager. Credit: Brentwood Union Free School District

BHS junior Joshua Castellanos garnered grant funds for his proposal to assess the impact of increased nitrogen on salt marsh plants. Joshua has been working in conjunction with New York State Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation, New York Sea Grant and Save the Sound to better understand the impacts of nitrogen loading and eutrophication at Sunken Meadow State Park. Joshua's research, featured here, focuses on increased nitrogen in Long Island's coastal ecosystems from runoff and cesspool leaching.

Mr. Jacob Mulderig, research teacher at BHS, spearheaded the development of an engineering research program to promote purposeful discovery for the high school students. Through NYIT's support, the district was able to obtain additional supplies to assist students in perfecting their engineering design.

For more information about the Brentwood Union Free School District, please visit the district's website and 'like' our Facebook page.

More Info: Marine Small Grants

"Let’s Science That!" engages the public in scientific research conducted by the Brentwood High School research students.

The "Let's Science That!" Website is an offshoot of "No Child or Teacher Left Inside," a recent project of the Brentwood and Smithtown West students. 

It's one of six "2019 Marine Small Grants Projects" provided via a partnership between New York Sea Grant, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and the Marine and Coastal District of New York Conservation, Education, and Research Grants Program. In addition to having helped educate students, these grants have enhanced fishing access for people of all abilities, and improved fisheries data collection to enable more New Yorkers to enjoy the state’s diverse marine resources. 

Funding is supported from the Marine and Coastal District License Plate which is administered by the Marine and Coastal District of New York Conservation, Education and Research Board, and authorized through NYS Environmental Conservation Law Article 13, Title 5 Section 13-0503. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Stony Brook University or New York Sea Grant.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, University at Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Elmsford and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

New York Sea Grant Home *  NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Home *  New York State’s Marine and Coastal District of New York license plates

This website is supported through a partnership between New York Sea Grant, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Marine and Coastal District of New York Conservation, Education, and Research Grants Program

Problems viewing our Site? Questions About our Site's Social Media / Other Features?
- See Our Web Guidelines