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Applying ‘Big Science’ at SWR High School

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Students in Dana Schaefer’s Seminar in Science and Engineering class are hard at work with their ongoing research project investigating the health of the pond that sits on the high school property and working to facilitate a revitalization of the surrounding ecosystem.

As part of a yearlong investigation the four students – Brianna Donnelly, Torre Ann Parrinello, Taylor Peperno and Jalal Sawas – removed sediment core samples from in and around the pond and then performed initial chemical analyses on extractions of the samples to identify particular elements. The samples were then prepared for further analysis at the National Synchrotron Light Source-II at Brookhaven National Laboratory, (a particle accelerator used for high resolution X-rays and spectroscopy, among other applications).