Nora Kane Wins Second Place in NSPC Health Science Competition

Sophomore Nora Kane recently won second place at the Neurological Surgery P.C. (NSPC) Health Science Competition of Long Island. This was the first and only competition of its kind in the United States and was designed for high school students in Nassau and Suffolk counties to explore interests within the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) field, with a focus on health science. Kane, along with her peers in the Science Research Program, submitted their projects to this competition, competing with over 700 other submitted projects across Long Island. 

Kane’s project, entitled “The Effect of Applied Electrical Current on the Mobility and Mortality Rates in Dugesia dorotocephala Infected with Escherichia coli,” was about “finding new ways to treat bacterial illnesses, one of those being applying an electrical current to stimulate an immune response.” Kane had worked on this project over the duration of three months and was invited to the finals, where only the top-ten from each category were selected. 

Amongst the fifty finalists, Kane placed second within the biochemistry/biophysics category. “It was a pleasant surprise,” said Kane. “I wasn’t expecting to win second. I was overjoyed.” Kane said that winning second place “gave [her] a really good learning experience for future research competitions” and that she “gained a lot of experience and learned a lot of new things.” 

Kane expressed gratitude for her science research teacher, Kathleen McAuley, as well as Science Department Facilitator Charles Vessalico for everything they have done for her and for how much effort they put forth to help her with everything, from first planning her project to preparing her for finals. “I was so happy for her! It always makes me so happy to hear that one of our students is recognized for their hard work,” said McAuley. “Nora’s work ethic and dedication to the sciences will take her far in any class.” Vessalico agreed, saying, “I was extremely excited and proud of Nora. I knew it was going to be tough. As a sophomore, she was up against some of the best seniors from the top Long Island districts.” 

To commemorate Kane’s work and reflect her mindset, McAuley referred to a quotation by Dr. Angela Duckworth, stating, “As much as talent counts, effort counts twice.” Vessalico agreed, adding that “she is hard-working and passionate about science. That is the right combination for success.” Vessalico said that all students, including Kane, should “keep working hard doing the science you love, and success will follow.”