BHS Research

Welcome to Science Research

The program follows the University of Albany Science Research in the High School (SRHS) program which provides students in their sophomore through senior years with the opportunity to conduct original research.

Students are asked: "What are you interested in? Let me help you explore that interest." Students are then asked to read journal articles, contacting researchers and engage them as mentors, develop hypotheses, collect and analyze data and eventually present their findings. 

The three-year research program lets students earn 12 college credits from the University of Albany and is a great addition to a transcript. This course helps students learn good researching skills, time management and goal setting, becoming more confident in public speaking, and offers many other avenues for personal growth.


Michael Inglis

Kim Dyer

Melissa Carnahan

Annmarie O'Brien


About the Program

Course Description

Students from diverse backgrounds and ability levels complete research that goes beyond what most of us would imagine a high school student might accomplish. Diverse topics, for example, include:

  • The Neural Correlation of the Executive Attention System in Longterm Practitioners of Focused Meditation
  • Evaluation of Cryopreserved Cord Blood
  • Spherical Packing Within Cylindrical Constraints
  • Molecular Mechanisms Involved in the Regulation of Spinal Accessory Motor Neuron Progression in Developing Embryos

Students present their research to their class, their school district and in national and regional competitions. They use the same professional methods employed by professional researchers, developing presentations accompanied by slides or Power Point graphics.

How Researchers Act as Mentors

A key component of the program is the use of researchers as mentors. Once students identify an area of interest, they begin reading commonly available literature and quickly move to articles in the professional literature. As they refine their topic, students are encouraged to contact the author of a journal article that explores a similar hypothesis. These researchers are asked to be mentors, providing guidance for students and answering questions, usually via E-mail or by telephone.

The student then proceeds to work in the mentors lab, designing and undertaking original research.

How Students Benefit

According to a study by The Evaluation Consortium at Albany, students reported that the main benefits of participating in the program were centered around:

  • Taking pride in doing original work
  • Developing the ability to circumvent barriers to conducting research
  • Gaining self-confidence in presenting their ideas and findings in a public forum

How the BHS Research Program Meets Education Standards

National Science Education standards place less emphasis on "student acquisition of knowledge" and "rigidly following curriculum," and more emphasis on "guiding students in active and extended scientific inquiry" and "understanding and responding to individual student's interests, strengths, experiences, and needs."

The BHS Research Program responds to these standards by helping students become active learners engaged in an inquiry-based program into authentic questions generated from their interests and experiences.

Student Awards

Congratulations to Our Research Students for the Following Major Awards:



Neuroscience Research Prize Finalist: Matthew Tu
Decoding Smell: Neuronal Responses to Odor Mixtures in Drosophila Larva Using Calcium Imaging


JSHS Finalist: Jackie Contento
Mutations in the ACVR Type 1 receptor that drive Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progessiva are also found in certain cancer tumors
JSHS Finalist Bronze Winner: Kaveri Gowda
I-SWEEP Finalist Gold Winner: Kaveri Gowda
Sulfamethoxazole and Ciprofloxacin Resistance in Benthic Microbial Stream Communities
JSHS Finalist: Joey Raphael
Ending Epidemics: With a Worm
JSHS Finalist: Lin Xie
I-SWEEP Finalist Bronze Winner: Lin Xie
A Proteomic Approach to Discovering Tumor Specific Peptides for Cancer Immunotherapy


JSHS Semi Finalist: Emma Burns
Circadian Rhythm Shifts in Melanocytes vs. Melanoma Cells and the Effect on Gene Expression Levels


STS Semi Finalist: Dalton Waldock 
Spectroscopic Measurements versus Langmuir Probe Analyses of RF Plasma


JSHS Semi Finalist: Molly Rickles 
Analysis of Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon Diet and Utilization of the Saco River, Maine


I-SWEEP Finalist: Christoper Fischer 
A 3D Paper-Based Enzymatic Fuel Cell for Self-Powered, Low-Cost Glucose Sensing


Siemens Semi Finalist: Karthik Rao and Robert Karp
I-SWEEEP Finalist: Karthik Rao and Robert Karp
Using Next-Generation GPS Technology for Fuel Efficient Flight Path Optimization


JSHS Finalist: Katie Venditti
The Effect of Fat 1 on Angiogenesis


JSHS Semi Finalist: Molly Charney
Changes in Glutathione in Athletes with Repetitive Head Injury Using vivo
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy


Intel STS Finalist: Mark Moretto
Deep Impact Spectral Observations of Naturally Occurring Mini-Outbursts at Comet Temple 1


Intel ISEF Finalist: Sarah Ruthen
The Effects of Equine-Assisted Therapy on the Social Functioning of Autistic Adults


JSHS Finalist: Wendy Willner
American Chemical Society Award: Wendy WIllner
Bioremediation of 3,3 Dichlorobenzidine Through the Use of Cathodic Reduction in Two Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells


JSHS Finalist: Nick Poulton
An Exploration to Determine if Fab Molecules are Efficacious in Neutralizing Influenza H1 and H3 Subtypes 


ISWEEP Finalist: James Parlee
Reliability Assessment of Ultra Capacitors Under Various Stress and Shock Conditions


INTEL ISEF Finalist: Jenny Yang
The Effect of an E. coli topA66 Mutation on SOS and Antibiotic Response


ISWEEEP Finalist: Steven Kalayam
The Retention Rates and Retention Abilities of Organic Matter Within Soil During a Period of Rainfall


US National Biogenius Finalist: Nick Poulton
An Exploration to Determine if Fab Molecules are Efficacious in Neutralizing Influenza H1 and H3 Subtypes


JSHS Finalist: Chetan Khanna
Mindfulness Lessens the Impact of Social Rejection on Emotional Experience and Attentional Performance



Intel ISEF Finalist: Joy Li
Using a Molecular Expression Diagnostic Test to Quantify the Level of Immunosuppression in Cardiac Transplant Patients
Young Epidemiologist Scholar Finalist: Christy Green
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder


Intel STS Semi-Finalist: Greg Ellson
Shape Memory Polymer-Nylon Lycra Composites for Orthopedic Cast
Intel STS Semi-Finalist: Michelle Neider
Lucid Dreaming and Prefrontal Task Performance
Intel ISEF Finalist: Jovy Paily
MiR-106b-25 Facilitates Gliomagenesis by Modulating the p21 and Bim Signaling Pathways
JSHS Finalist: Greg Ellsons
Shape Memory Polymer-Nylon Lycra Composites for Orthopedic Cast


Intel STS Semi-Finalist: Elizabeth Cai
An in vitro method of sprouting angiogenesis reveals a relaxation for the requirement of VegfR2 signaling for the formation of endothelial-like cells.


Intel STS Semi-Finalist: Azure Nowara 
The Neural Correlation of the Executive Attention System in Long-term Practitioners of Focused Meditation


Young Epidemiologist Scholar Finalist: Shailee Dave
The Evaluation of Cryopreserved Umbilical Cord Blood "Old" versus "New" units: A Clinical Study


Intel ISEF Finalist: Elizabeth Cai
Developing an In-vitro Method for Testing Genes that Regulate Angiogenesis


Young Epidemiologist Scholoar Semi-Finalist: Jacienta Paily
A Comparison of Two Coronary Revascularization Procedures in Diabetic Patients with Multivessel Disease


Intel STS Semi-Finalist: Lauren Neurendorf
Stress Levels in Captive North American River Otters Dependant upon the Frequency of Behavioral Enrichment


Intel ISEF Finalists: Xinyi Duan, Gauri Manglik, Jenna Rosenberg
Biolody Education Across the Nation


Young Epidemiologist Scholar Finalist: Xinyi Duan
Is there an Association between Vitamin/Mineral Use and Type 2 Diabetes?



Intel STS Semi-Finalist: Spencer Gessner
Packing Uniform Spheres Within Cylindrical Constraints


Siemens Semi-Finalist: Andrew Brandel
Differential Calcium Permeability and Current Mediation by Two Kainate Receptor Subtype

Research Checkpoints

Year 1

Checkpoint 1 - Select a general area of interest      

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Pursued background research on several potential general areas of interest
  • Selected one general area of interest
  • Used on-line bibliographic searches and electronic communication to locate sources related to your general area of interest
  • Used textbooks and general references to become knowledgeable about your general area of interest
  • Explained (in writing) why you selected the general area of interest

Checkpoint 2 - Research and narrow the topic      

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Pursued in-depth research in the area of interest--including primary, secondary, and tertiary sources in scientific journals
  • Communicated with scientists working in this topic area
  • Narrowed the topic through in-depth research
  • Discussed (in writing) the contributions that specific scientists have made to understanding this topic
  • Explained (in writing) your reasons for selecting this topic
  • Explained (in writing) how this narrowed topic relates to other science concepts (fits into the big picture)
  • Explained (in writing) the relevance/importance/potential applications of this topic


Checkpoint 3 – Reading the Literature    

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Located and studied several primary research papers related to your topic of interest
  • Summarized the research plan in these research papers using a design matrix
  • Written a 100-word summary of these research papers in layperson's terms
  • Presented oral report on these primary research papers to the class including: purpose of research, rationale for the research, pertinent scientific literature,  methodology, results, discussion, and conclusions 
  • Understand the key elements of the science research process--review of the literature, statement of purpose or hypothesis, methodology, presentation and analysis of data, conclusions and implications


Checkpoint 4 – Finding a mentor    

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Identified a professional researcher who will serve as your mentor/supervising scientist
  • Arranged for a meeting between your sponsor and your mentor scientist
  • Met the mentor and made an arrangement with him to work under his tutelage
  • Developed a written agreement with your mentor that clearly identifies agreed upon expectations for you and the mentor scientist (including roles, responsibilities, time, and materials)


Checkpoint 5 – Write a review of literature

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Written a review of the literature for the your research project
  • Sorted prior research in an organized manner from broad to narrow
  • Related importance of research to your own topic and including relevant statistics
  • Written a comprehensive analysis of research findings in your field by connecting them to your own research
  • Edited the document to insure citations and mechanics are consistent with other papers in the field
  • Built a "references" page of all the papers that contributed to your current research state
  • Discussed with your mentor the significance and authenticity of your ROL (i.e. get it checked)

Year 2

Checkpoint 6 – Adopt a research question & develop a research hypothesis      

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Studied additional background on your topic with a particular emphasis on primary resources
  • Developed a tentative and original research question
  • Discussed your research question with your sponsor and mentor scientist
  • Used additional resources to develop and refine your question
  • Selected a research question that has potential for original research
  • Stated your revised research question (in writing)
  • Explained (in writing) the relevance/importance of your research question
  • Developed a tentative hypothesis or statement of purpose
  • Briefly explained (in writing) the reasoning and research that led to this hypothesis
  • Confirmed that your research question and hypothesis are original
  • Discussed your research hypothesis with your sponsor and mentor scientist


Checkpoint 7 - Design a research plan     

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Drafted a tentative research plan to test your hypothesis through experimentation (data collection) and analysis
  • Summarized your tentative research plan using a design matrix
  • Prepared a list of needed materials and resources
  • Determined the feasibility of the research, including time, materials, and cost
  • Described (in writing) the proposed method or procedures for your project
  • Clearly indicated how you manipulate the independent variable, measure the dependent variable, and control other potential variables
  • Determined that you have included sufficient numbers in both control and experimental groups to be statistically valid
  • Discussed your research plan with your sponsor and mentor scientist
  • Developed a realistic timeline for each component of your research plan
  • Developed data tables for recording raw and derived data
  • Determined that your research plan meets the safety and ethical guidelines (for appropriate research involving human subjects, non-human vertebrate animals, pathogenic agents, controlled substances, recombinant DNA, and human or non-human animal tissue)
  • Prepared a formal research plan (in writing) that describes the question being addressed, the hypothesis/problem/engineering goals, a description in detail of methods and procedures, and a bibliography
  • Answered (in writing) the question, "How did you get the idea for your research?"


Checkpoint 8 - Obtain required approval for the plan    

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Reviewed the information, rules, regulations and forms available at Science Service for the Intel Talent Search (International Science and Engineering Fair Science Project) at
  • Reviewed information, rules, regulations and forms for entry into other science fairs or symposiums recommended by your teacher
  • Used ISEF Rules Wizard at http://www.sciserve/isef/students/wizard/index.asp to determine what forms and approvals are necessary before implementing your research plan
  • Arranged for a meeting between your sponsor and your mentor scientist
  • Worked with your sponsor and mentor to complete the following forms: Checklist for Adult Sponsor, Research Plan (1A), Research Plan Attachment, Approval Form (1B), and SRC/IRB approval (if needed) 
  • Ordered or arranged for needed materials/equipment required for implementing your research plan


Checkpoint 9 - Conduct the research investigation       

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Maintained a Laboratory Project Data Book that includes detailed notes of each and every experiment, measurement and observation (follow the guidelines provided by your teacher)
  • Had your sponsor, mentor, or a designated adult sign each of the dated entries in your project data book to provide evidence of your work
  • Implemented a preliminary trial of the methods
  • Revised or refined the methods based on the preliminary trial
  • Discussed with your mentor or sponsor potential techniques for statistically analyzing the data you plan to collect (if appropriate)
  • Submitted any revisions of original research plan for sponsor and mentor approval
  • Conducted your research following your proposed timeline
  • Periodically sought review of your research progress from your sponsor and mentor
  • Prepared photographs to illustrate key methods, equipment, or results
  • Continued to do research to increase your understanding of other scientists' work related to your research project

Checkpoint 10 - Data analysis      

Provide evidence that you have:
  • Use computer spreadsheet software to enter your raw data into a spreadsheet
  • Selected and used appropriate statistical analysis techniques/software to analyze your data
  • Used appropriate computer software to create data tables/charts to summarize/analyze your data
  • Used computer software to created appropriate graphs and figures
  • Prepared a written draft of the discussion/analysis of the data  (including patterns, relationships, support/lack of support for hypothesis, and sources of error)
  • Obtained feedback this data discussion/analysis from your sponsor and mentor

Year 3

Checkpoint 11 - Write a research paper      

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Reviewed the guidelines for writing a research paper provided by the Intel Talent Search at or by your teacher
  • Written a 250-word abstract that includes the purpose of the experiment, procedures used, data, conclusions, and possible research applications
  • Written a rough draft for each section of the research paper including title page and table of contents, introduction, materials and methods, discussion, conclusion, acknowledgements, references and bibliography. (Follow the guidelines provided by your teacher)
  • Evaluated your research paper and project using the "Criteria for Evaluation of Projects" from the Siemens Westinghouse Competition 
  • Sought feedback on each section of your rough draft from your peers, sponsor, and mentor
  • Used feedback and self-evaluation to make revisions to each section of the research paper
  • Prepared a final draft of your research paper
  • Prepared a 100-word easily understandable summary of your project in layperson's terms that includes background, procedures, conclusions, and relevance


Checkpoint 12 - Complete the competition applications    

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Draft and revise answers to Essay Questions 1 - 6 for the Intel Science Talent Search
  • Completed the Intel Science Talent Search Application process (including appropriate forms from your sponsor and mentor)
  • Submitted your application to your sponsor and mentor for review
  • Refined your project as required for inclusion in other science research competitions


Checkpoint 13 - Prepare a poster presentation      

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Reviewed the information of visual displays and the "Display and Safety Rules" available on the Science Service website at
  • Reviewed guidelines for creating an effective poster presentation (provided by your teacher)
  • Prepared a display that is organized, clear, concise, correctly presented, well constructed, and eye-catching.
  • Practiced speaking freely and confidently about your display to demonstrate that you have a good grasp of your project
  • Presented your display to classmates and engaged in discussion and answering questions related to your work


Checkpoint 14 - Prepare an oral presentation      

Provide evidence that you have:

  • Prepared a written script for a 12 minute oral, public presentation about your research following the guidelines provided at the Siemans Westinghouse Competition website 
  • Prepared appropriate visuals for use in your presentation
  • Reviewed the guidelines for oral presentations (provided by your teacher)
  • Practiced using the script/visuals 
  • Used peer review to revise the script/visuals and improve your presentation skills
  • Prepared a CD-ROM and overhead transparencies of your final visuals
  • Practiced for a "Question & Answer" session in which judges will ask questions about your research project


Checkpoint 15 – Reflections on the research experience

Write a reflection that shows:

  • What have you learned about scientific research from your participation in this course?
  • How has participation in this course enabled you to demonstrate your scientific attitude, curiosity, inventiveness, initiative, and work habits?
  • How has your participation in this course influenced you future career plans?
  • What suggestions do you have for sponsors or mentors for how they could better guide future students in understanding and implementing independent scientific research?

Useful Research

Checkpoint 3: Reading the Literature


Checkpoint 4: Finding a Mentor


Checkpoint 5: Write a Review of Literature

Checkpoint 6: Develop Research Questions & Hypotheses


Checkpoint 8: Obtain Required Approval for the Plan

Checkpoint 10: Data Analysis


Checkpoint 11: Write the Research Paper

Checkpoint 12: Complete the Competition Applications


Checkpoint 13: Prepare a Poster Presentation

Checkpoint 14: Prepare an Oral Presentation

Student Competitions

Below are the available student research competitions. In addition to the competition page, many of the links also offer very insightful information. Please feel free to use any and all resources you may find.


Intel Science Talent Search

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Westchester Science and Engineering Fair

Google Science Competition

National Science Teachers Association Student Competitions 

WesRoc Science and Humanities Symposium

American Museum of Natural History Young Naturalist Awards


Senior Portfolios