Olivia Polinsky is an academically curious, intellectually sharp and altogether talented, determined and hardworking young woman. The Huntington High School freshman is well-liked by her classmates and highly regarded by faculty and staff members.
The current school year, while filled with COVID-19 pandemic related challenges and modifications from traditional practices, is going well for the teenager. She is pursuing her interests with enthusiasm and exceling along with the way, including being named to the high school’s high honor roll.
“I have always enjoyed the art programs which Huntington has offered and I am going to continue taking classes in future years,” Ms. Polinsky said. “I am also thrilled to continue the science research course elective. I went into this course just hoping to continue practicing public speaking and learning more about presentations. But this class has had a great impact on me. I learned a lot about different areas of science from watching the upper classmen present and biology class, which I am taking now, became of greater interest to me because I was able to dive deeper into the subject area and explore this subject a lot more.”
The freshman is so talented that her ultimate academic and career options appear to be unlimited. Still, Ms. Polinksky has been quietly, but steadily, determining where her long-term interests might lie.
“I plan to look at colleges over the summer,” Ms. Polinsky said. “I’m not exactly sure what I’d like to be when I grow up, but what I do know is that I want a job which helps people. Striving for a job in an area of study which is full of challenges, exploration and leadership are necessities of mine. Recently, I’ve been interested in immunology and cardiology. I find these two sciences interesting mainly because there is so much to learn and expand upon. I would love to be a part of bettering society’s knowledge of certain diseases and various ways to prevent them.”
The happy teenager looks forward to school and participating in extracurricular activities. Ms. Polinsky has many friends and she’s looked upon as loyal, kind and considerate; a person who genuinely cares about others and their feelings and needs. She is always there when a friend needs her most.
“My experience at Huntington so far has been very good.” Ms. Polinsky said. “Each year I meet new people and learn a lot more about myself and others. Huntington has so much to offer and I can’t wait to take advantage of all the great sports and clubs it offers for the next three years I’m here. In the future I hope to go on builds with Habitat for Humanity and attend fundraisers with Key Club, but so far I think there have been great opportunities provided.”
Ms. Polinsky is currently engaged in a research project with classmate Brooke Parks. The duo is working well together and delving into a worthwhile and important topic.
“We are conducting a scientific experiment based on an increase in demand of soybeans,” Ms. Polinsky said. “Soybean production has more than doubled in the last 20 years due to the fact that they are a great source of protein and include a variety of health beneficial nutrients. Recently USDA has started to recommend soybean-based products to school feeding programs. There are numerous factors contributing to the paranoia of farmers, vegetarians and the general public throughout the world. This includes, but is not limited to, the NaCl stress and seed size.”
The two research partners are really exploring their topic. “Salt below the ground normally isn’t of much concern to farmers, nevertheless the lack of rain which dilutes the NaCl intensity means crop failure is inevitable,” Ms. Polinsky said. “Unless we find a solution to help put an end to the harmful effects of excess salt on seed germination and sleep dormancy, then our soybean product is at risk. The variable, seed size, has often been thought to contribute to seeds sprouting success rate.”
The experiment consists of four categories” large, medium and small size seeds and seeds treated with a salt solution.
“Some scientists argue that smaller seeds have a vast chance of germination success because of their quicker ability to generate energy and utilize it in its growth process,” Mr. Polinsky said. “Although further research has given counter arguments and evidence to support. We will test to what extent seed size can be used to determine germination success considering environmental stressors such as salt stress by using an NaCl solution of 35 percent.”
As the second half of the school years moves forward, Ms. Polinsky continues to hit her stride and use every experience to her advantage.