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Wantagh High School 10th graders Margaret Gates and Austin Henglein were first-place winners in the 2019 Kathy Belton Science Fair, held at Molloy College on March 15. Sophomores Seth Braun and Christopher Morale also received accolades for their submission. The Kathy Belton Science Fair is open to ninth and 10th grade science students, who are invited to present their research to small groups of peers and judges.

All four students are members of the high school’s science research program. Margaret and Austin’s project, “Ingestible Galvanic Cells,” looked to create a universal power cell for ingestible electronics. Voltage produced from a copper and zinc electrode were tested in synthetic stomach acid, which is then used to connect the copper and zinc electrodes to complete a circuit.  

Seth and Christopher’s project, “Oncolytic Virotherapy,” looked at how scientists use genetically altered viruses in the treatment of cancer. The duo researched which viruses, such as herpes simplex and roto virus, can be used to directly attack tumors so that cancer patients can avoid chemotherapy and radiation. This less abrasive method of treatment, Seth and Christopher said, is practiced in the Baltic and Latvian states.

Science research teacher John Sotiriadis said the students were responsible for choosing their own research topics and determining which science competitions they would like to attend. “I am learning so much from the students,” Mr. Sotiriadis said. “Their projects are remarkable.”