Luke Rinaldi and Sophia Marchetta are working on a really neat science research project this year. The Huntington High School sophomores are studying the known and unknown environmental factors that impact plant growth.
“The research to be conducted in this experiment will further the knowledge of an important symbiotic relationship that benefits both soil and plant growth by increasing water/nutrient uptake, increasing plant health and increasing drought resistance,” states a project abstract. “This widespread relationship can be attributed to the survival/maintenance of numerous ecosystems, seeing as it stimulates plant growth, which in turn supports the ecosystem. In addition, lichens are also quite common, so it would be very interesting to see how they interact with each other, if at all.”
The high-powered duo is excited about their project. “This experiment can impact society by shining light on a possible inhibitor of plant growth and indirectly contributing to the prevention of this inhibition on a global scale. Several environmental factors negatively impact plant health, some of which haven’t yet been identified. This experiment could identify one of these factors and lead to effective methods of prevention.
The 15 year old Ms. Marchetta is “extremely interested” in biology, especially human anatomy. “In these next few years, I will be focusing on a career in health science to become a cardiothoracic surgeon or an interventional radiologist,” she said. “My goal is to publish cutting-edge research and further develop an understanding of 3D printing in the medical field.
The teenager plans to participate in the high school Key Club, A World of Difference club and the Science Honor Society this year. Ms. Marchetta can be found in science research teacher Lori Kenny’s room every morning.
“The science research program has expanded my presentation skills enormously and I find myself using these newfound skills in every class, each day,” Ms. Marchetta said.
Mr. Rinaldi is also 15 years old. He enjoys spending time with his friends. He plans to keep busy this year by participating with Huntington’s robotics club and The Dispatch, the high school’s student newspaper as well as the Science Honor Society.
“I have always had a passion for science and one day I hope to pursue a career in that field,” Mr. Rinaldi said. “As such, I have really enjoyed my high school experience thus far, especially because of my participation in the school’s science research program.”