Calista Adler ’22 and Elle Banach ’22 have earned second place in the Project Proposal category at the 2021 Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair. Their proposal, The Role of Serotonin in Alzheimer’s Disease Using Dugesia Dorotocephala Model, developed a study to investigate the effects of serotonin levels on memory and cognition in planarians (flatworms) in hopes of developing a possible preventative measure for Alzheimer’s disease. The students worked closely with Chemistry teacher Elizabeth Mathew, who mentored and guided them through the process.
Adler credits the experience for strengthening her interest in scientific research. “Completing our science project and participating in the state science fair was a rewarding experience that challenged me to expand my problem-solving skills and piqued my interest in neuroscience and biochemistry. One of the key things that I learned from this experience is how crucial it is to tap into your imagination and creativity. Most of all, I enjoyed delving deeper into neurodegenerative diseases and beginning my scientific journey.”
While Ursuline students have competed at the regional level, this is the first time Ursuline students have placed at the state level. “Participating in the science fair was one of the highlights of my junior year,” said Banach. “I enjoyed being able to pour my time and energy into a specific scientific issue that I am really interested in. After spending months working on this project and overcoming many obstacles along the way, it feels great to have our efforts recognized at the state level.”
Congratulations to Calista and Elle on their hard work and achievement!