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Young Pleasantville Scientists Showcase Research

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - Students in Pleasantville High School's science research program displayed the progress of their course-long projects Tuesday evening during the school's annual Science Symposium.

Beginning as sophomores, students in the program study a topic for three years under the guidance of a mentor who usually is a scientist in that area. Throughout the three years, students do bibliographical and hands-on research. The program features three seniors who attempted to explain their research in layman's terms Tuesday.

“I try to remind my students that if they walk out of my classroom knowing something that they did not know when they walked in, that it was a pretty good day,” said curriculum coordinator Greg Dimurro. “So I have a feeling that tonight’s going to be a very good night.”

The keynote speaker for the event was Susan Croll, an associate professor at Queens College who specializes in neuropsychology. She also is associate director at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, where she is a resident.

"What science really is, is a way of answering questions," Croll said. "It’s a culture of wondering and it’s a method of discovering new things. A scientist is a wonderer, a daydreamer, an explorer, and someone who hungers for the answers of questions, over, and over, and over again."

Of the 17 students in the program, Croll said she knows not all will choose to become scientists, which she thinks is a good thing. Croll believes too often people take things at face value, but students trained in scientific thinking will learn to question.

“I think it’s wonderful that some of you may be scientists. I think it’s even more wonderful that some of you will not,” Croll said. “So please, whatever path you take, remember that a true scientist is not one who practices science but one who thinks like a scientist.”

Here is a complete list of students enrolled in the program:

Seniors: John Conway, J. Michael Grom, Rebecca Moore.

Juniors: Cameron Demaree, Colette McCullagh, Kyle Sanduski, Jeremy Onuma, Jeewan Naik, Jack Eisenberg, Charlie Tulchin.

Sophomores: Sasha Dolgetta, Brendan Largey, Amy Mackin, Muhammad Joyo, Ellen Halimou, Devin Kalish, Aaron Huang.

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