Scientific research and independent study have taken a huge leap this year at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls. Under the direction of Research Coordinator Dr. Salvatore Parrino and Science Department Chair Dr. Chana Glatt, over 30 SKA students are already participating in this ongoing initiative.

Many students choose a topic of interest to explore and research in depth, or they work on a discipline suggested by Dr. Parrino. There are ten different groups of students across 15 various projects and competitions. Areas of interest range from experimental Biology, Psychology, and Education to research and develop STEM projects.

Junior Talya Lippman is working on ExploraVision, a science competition where students reimagine current technologies as they could be in the future. Together with 11th Graders Chani Heimowitz and Dassie Jaffe, Talya is envisioning how the technology of corrective lenses would look in ten-plus years. The girls chose to explore glasses that auto-adjust to change the field of focus automatically so separate “Reading” or “Distance” glasses would be a thing of the past. “Dr. Parrino has directed us through each required component,” Talya notes. “This has been a great opportunity for me and my fellow students to learn research skills and brainstorm original ideas. I have learned so much.”

Senior Batya Kimyagarov joined the program last year and is equally excited. Batya is working on Next Generation Hemostat; the goal of this project is to create a clotting agent with less disseminating clots compared to what is available now. “So far,” she says, “our biggest issue is measuring whether we are successful or not. It is difficult to tell, with the resources we have, whether the clots stayed on our creation or whether they would be circulated throughout the blood because of how opaque the blood is. As a result, we’ve spent time redesigning our study to use clear plasma and not whole blood.”

Since Batya is planning to be a physician, and pre-med programs demand much scientific exploration and research, Batya feels SKA’s independent research program is invaluable.

Motivating and engaging, SKA’s Science Research program has been developing skills such as collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking in our students. The early exposure to research also helps the girls develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter than is possible through classroom instruction alone. The program inspires budding SKA scientists to be innovators, making science relevant to everyday life and preparing them to make a difference in the world.