Huntington High School senior Nina Varvatsas.

Senior Nina Varvatsas Loves Science Research Class

Huntington High School senior Nina Varvatsas.

February 4, 2022

Senior Nina Varvatsas is researching “The Effect of Quaternary Ammonium Compounds on Drosophila Melanogaster” with her partner, Olivia Polinsky. The topic sounds rather intimidating, but the two Huntington High School teenagers are up to the challenge.

Ms. Varvatsas is one of the high-flying members of the Class of 2022. She has compiled an exceptionally strong academic record and is very well-liked around the high school and community.

Over the last few months, Ms. Varvatsas and Ms. Polinsky have been developing a science research class project on the topic of QACs in cleaning products. The pair investigate known and possible effects of the compound on people and living things. The duo finds the work to be fascinating.

QACs are a chemical that has gained attention during the COVID-19 pandemic since the use of cleaning products has skyrocketed.

Ms. Varvatsas and Ms. Polinsky are being mentored by professionals in the field and they are both interning with the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition.

“We both worked on separate projects last summer,” Ms. Varvatsas said. “I worked on a student Ted-Ed Talk regarding endocrine disruptors, specifically MSG. I am most excited to research more about QACs and its effects on the Drosophila Melanogaster (fruit flies). I find researching chemicals and endocrine disruptors very interesting. I’m also excited to analyze the behavioral responses once the QACs are introduced to the flies’ environments.”

Huntington High School’s science research course has been Ms. Varvatsas’ favorite class for many years. She said she “loves learning new things” and said she has learned “so much” over the past few years.

“I’ve made great friendships along the way and I’m grateful for this class and all the opportunities it has brought to me,” Ms. Varvatsas said.