Kory Ancona earned symposium invite

By Julia Green
Margaretville Central School senior Kory Ancona became the first MCS student to participate in the 24th annual Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Research Symposium in Albany on March 30 and 31. The annual event brings together some of the best and brightest young minds from around the state; over 400 students from more than 40 schools between Westchester County and Western New York presented original scientific research at the symposium.
“She was the first MCS student to participate and we walked away with highest honors,” said Shana Eaglefeathers McIntosh, the MCS science research program director. “I’m pretty proud.”
Ancona won the People’s Choice Poster Selection award, which was based on her review of literature, identification of the hypothesis the research seeks to explain, demonstration of a reproducible protocol for her experiment, and explanation of the results she received. In addition to her poster presentation, Ancona offered a two-minute presentation that demonstrated her thorough understanding of the work and her ability to present a concise overview of her project.
Ancona’s project, titled “Effect of Water Electrolyte Level Used in Proton Exchange Membrane Saturation on the Overall Performance of Membrane Electrode Assembly in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems,” is the culmination of three years of research with the MCS science research program, and focuses on the need to explore clean alternative energies.
“Basically, she selected this form of alternative energy as an option to explore improving efficiency and making the cost of alternative energy worthwhile,” McIntosh said. “Kory has been accepted to Clarkson University for the coming fall, where she will pursue engineering in hopes of conducting further experiments in a related field.”
The MCS science research program offers students the opportunity to receive college credit for their original science research through the University at Albany’s “University in the High School” program.
“There is a program right here at MCS that provides students with academic challenges of a college curriculum,” McIntosh said.
The Margaretville research program will hold its own symposium at MCS on Thursday, June 4 at 6 p.m. in the school auditorium. In addition to Ancona, three other senior students will present their culminating projects as well as 10th- and 11th-grade students who are at varying stages in the research process. The three capstone projects that will be presented by seniors include: “The Effects of Sense of Humor on Creativity in Adolescents” by Kaitlin Buerge; “The Effect of Geographic Location on Imagination in Adolescents” by Brandi Balcom; and “Cortisol Levels, Perceived Stress, Quality of Health and Mood in Adult Visual Artists Versus Adults Without a Creative Outlet” by Holly MacDonald.
“The program uses the model of the science research program from the University at Albany and it offers students the opportunity to work on any topic they choose,” McIntosh said. “It’s a really student-driven course that gives students the opportunity to do science research at an advanced level. Students participate in extensive investigation through reading, interviews, discussion and work experience and develop interaction with scientists working in their fields of interest who serve as mentors.”
The program is open to students in grades 10 through 12.