PMHS science research program sends three to International Science and Engineering Fair

The Pelham Memorial High School science research program will have three students competing at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) that runs Saturday through Friday.

Leah Sherbansky, Julia Meyerson and Olivia Pollock are going to Atlanta for ISEF, which is a program of the non-profit Society for Science

“This is an amazing opportunity for our students,” said Steven Beltecas, one of the science research teachers at PMHS. “They move on to compete against students from 80-plus countries. Additionally, students develop bonds and friendships throughout the weeks with students that have similar interests and passions from these other countries.”

The fair is challenging to qualify for. To compete, high school students must enter an ISEF-affiliated science fair and then be chosen to move on to the international event. Students also have to do research for their project throughout the year.

“You must present to four to five professionals in the field you are competing in,” said Beltecas. “You present your eight-minute poster presentation and then the judges ask you questions for the next seven minutes. Judges look to poke holes in your research and test your depth of knowledge. It is extremely hard to get into the competition. Our region, Westchester and Rockland, is a very competitive group of programs for science research. Only the top 20 projects qualify from more than 500 that have entered the (regional) fair.”