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Science Department

Science Research Program

Science Research Program in the Northport-East Northport School District
Bryan Horan, Science Research Program Coordinator,
Kim Collins, Science Research Program Coordinator,
Greg Guido, Physics Content Specialist,
Michael Rath, Biology Content Specialist,


The Science Research Program provides academically motivated high school students the opportunity to engage in hands-on research and experimentation. Students work with distinguished faculty and scientists, learn laboratory techniques in cutting edge facilities, and become active members of research teams which include graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at leading research universities and institutions including Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Stony Brook University.

Grading in this course is based on Pass (P) or Fail (F) based on a set of criteria which may include class work, presentations, lab reports, written reports and completed requirements in support of research and competition. 

Science Research may be taken during the school day for 1.0 or 0.5 units of credit or may be challenged as an independent program of study.  Please consult with the Research Science Coordinator in Room L-107 for further information.

Participation in science competitions this past academic year include:

  • Regeneron Science Talent Search
  • Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology
  • Long Island Science and Engineering Fair (LISF)
  • Middle School Science and Engineering Fair (MS-LISEF)
  • National Broadcom Masters Competition
  • Long Island Science Congress (LISC) Senior Division
  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory – Long Island Barcode Project Symposium
  • Stony Brook University Symposium

Students enter national competitions annually, write scholarly articles and papers for potential publication in peer-reviewed journals, may elect to submit their paper as an Extended Essay in the IB Diploma Program, and present their findings at national, regional, and local conferences. Equally important are the educational opportunities the students have been given to not only perform scientific research at the forefront, but to become an integral part of the excitement of research and scientific discovery as they attend our science research classes at Northport high school under the direction and guidance of the Science Research Program Coordinator. Many of our alumni continue to pursue fields of university study and careers in scientific research.

With additional content specialty support in biology and physics from our science faculty, science research students conduct “in-house” research projects in the following areas:

  • Primary productivity in marine algae under simulated acidic ocean conditions
  • Aphid aversion behavior to natural extracts
  • The effect of nitrate sources on plant growth in a model hydroponic system
  • Extraction and quantification of biofuel from decaying plant matter
  • The effect of a resistant force on the frequency of a guitar string
  • Peak power production by microorganisms in soil
  • The ability of 3D printed plastics to withstand impact force
  • A Vernier accelerometer study of baseball bat dynamics
  • The effect of temperature on thermal expansion of seawater

A few overarching principles form the pedagogy of our Science Research Program. Students become successful scientific researchers through developing the skills of observation, hypothesis testing, experimentation, statistical analysis, and communication.   Student research investigations, no matter how basic or sophisticated, take science beyond content knowledge and engage in active, inquiry-based learning which emphasizes questioning, generating and evaluating data, and critical thinking and analysis. In addition to a science research class, students extend themselves well beyond the school day to participate in one or more of the following:

  • On-campus meetings to discuss scientific theory and literature, research planning and methodology, data analysis and interpretation of results, and the creation of detailed oral and written reports and presentations
  • Off-campus meetings at university and institutions of higher learning to work with graduate students and lead researchers in the field using cutting edge technology as well as establishing new research contacts, summer laboratory placements and fellowship
  • On and off-campus regional and national presentations and scientific competition
  • The goal is to offer every student in the Science Research Program the opportunity to reach and engage in regional and national levels of competition prior to high school graduation.

Recent Science Research Projects & Presentations

  • An Assessment of the Effects of Sex Hormones on Spatial Cognition in Parkinsonian Adult Rats Using the Barnes Maze, Stony Brook University Simons Fellow, Jessica Conforti, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Stony Brook University
  • The Distribution of ADARB1 in Induced Pluripotent STEM Cells Affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia, Team Packard Scholar Program, Emily LaBruna, Brain Science Institute, Johns Hopkins University
  • Identification and Reconstruction of Neutrino Collisions in a Simulated Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber, High School Research Program, Emma Todd, Physics Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)
  • Bird's Eye View: The Effect of Shape and Color of a Bird Feeder Opening on the Feeding Behavior of Finches, LISEF Middle School Fair, Maxwell DeBrino, East Northport Middle School
  • A Perplexing Paper Problem: The Effect of a Paper's Composition on its Properties, LISEF Middle School Fair, Isabella DeBrino, East Northport Middle School
  • Fueling the World One Layer at a Time: Improving the Efficiency of the Gratzel Cell with Nanotechnology, Aidan Dwyer, Northport High School
  • Phase Changes in Lithography of Calcium Ruthenate and Sumerian Sulfide using Atomic Force Microscopy, Greg Dilimetin (Northport HS) and William Zheng (Great Neck South HS), Physics Department, Stony Brook University

Science Research Program Links

Stony Brook University Simons Summer Research Program
Brookhaven National Laboratory High School Research Program
Johns Hopkins University Team Packard


Science Research Program Courses

The Science Research Program is designed to provide students with an understanding of research methodology in the natural sciences. Although emphasis is on both laboratory and literature investigations, most importantly, students will be given the opportunity to experience true scientific discovery. The courses titled, "Scientific Investigations" are intended for highly motivated students and offer an introduction to research methodology. Through these advanced level content science courses, all students will have the opportunity to design and conduct several guided and open inquiry-based investigations in topics that are related to the course curriculum.

Science Research  is designed for students who wish to explore a topic of interest independently and are eager to progress into advanced areas of original research.  The class meets everyday for one credit or every other day for a half credit.  Science Research students may elect to participate in local/national competition including but not limited to the Intel Science Talent Search, Siemen’s Competition in Math, Science and Technology and the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. The course may be taken as an independent study with the permission of the Science Research Program Coordinator.

Grade 9

  • 1 Unit 40 weeks (meets every day - 9733)
  • ½ Unit 40 weeks (meets every other day - 9732)

Grades 10-12

  • 1 Unit 40 weeks (meets every day - 9736)
  • ½ Unit 40 weeks (meets every other day - 9735)
  • 1 Unit 40 weeks (Independent Study - 9734)



Science Research provides students with the opportunity to develop and conduct an original (individual or team) science research investigation. Working in collaboration with the science research program coordinator, students will:

  • Use library and internet resources to identify and explore specific topic of interest
  • Generate experimental ideas and design an original experiment
  • Collect, organize and analyze appropriate data
  • Maintain a structured lab station, notebook and portfolio
  • Communicate with scientists seeking advice on their topic and experimental design
  • Create and present a poster and PowerPoint presentation
  • Write a formal research paper upon completion of research project
  • Participate in local science research competition and/ or symposia
  • Pursue an advanced summer research placement at a registered research institution (optional)

Grading in this course is based on Pass (P) or Fail (F) based on a set of criteria which may include class work, homework, presentations, lab reports, written reports and completed requirements in support of team research and competition activities.

Science Research Program Highlights, Awards, & Achievements

  • Intel Science Talent Search (STS) semifinalists and 1 national finalist
  • 5 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology semifinalists
  • 3 regional winners at Junior Science Humanities Symposium (JSHS) and all three students competed in national JSHS competition
  • 3 Long Island Science & Engineering Fair (LISEF) individual project winners
  • 3 International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) individual project winners
  • 3 regional and 2 national Society for Science and the Public Middle School Science Fair and 3M Discovery Young Scientist Fair winners and finalists
  • Broadcom MASTERS semifinalists
  • 1 Long Island Science & Engineering Fair team project winner
  • 1 International Science & Engineering Fair team project winner
  • 3 American Museum of Natural History Young Naturalist Award Semifinalists; 1 finalist and winner
  • 1 Young Epidemiological Scholars (YES) semifinalist
  • 20 9 and10th grade Long Island Science Congress (LISC) winners
  • 7 Stony Brook University Simons Fellowship recipients
  • 4 featured Newsday articles, 2 The New York Times articles and 1 People Magazine article
  • Research partnerships established with Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California Santa Barbara, ALS TDI, ALS Hope, Silent Springs Institute, Fox Chase Cancer Center, The Jackson Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and The Jennifer Estess Stem Cell Laboratory
  • Established the University in the High School Program at Northport High School granting college credit from SUNY Albany
  • Established the STEM Seminar Lecture Series featuring over 35 guest scientists
  • K-12 Science Symposium
  • Submissions to the DuPont Science Essay Contest and Brookhaven National Laboratory Science Essay Contest
  • Middle School & Elementary Annual Science Fairs with 17 Brookhaven National Laboratory first place winners
  • ALS Science Research Program and AMND Cryopreservation Lab at Stony Brook University Medical Center
  • Over $5000 raised for the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins University through the Team Packard Middle School Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Challenge
  • National conference presentations at the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers Conference (BCERC) sponsored by The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)