Town of Hempstead Honors Siemens Westinghouse Finalists, Regional Finalist and Semifinalists

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray honored students from throughout the township at the January 8th Town Board meeting. The students are finalists, semifinalist and regional finalists in the Siemens Westinghouse Science Competition.

“We have such an extraordinary amount of talent in the Town of Hempstead and these students represent the best and brightest that our town has to offer,” said Murray. “Not only is their high level of work extraordinary, but the dedication to their elite projects are commendable.”

The Town of Hempstead is very proud to honor the following students for making it to the semifinals: Devan Oodal of Garden City High School; Kyle Johnson, Thomas Keady and Samantha Preshad of South Side High School; Shovan Hasan, Kathryn Hockberg, Daphne Superville, Benjamin Kramer and Valery Zajkov of Hewlett High School; Jessica Ramos and Lee Stetson of Freeport High School. Our very own regional finalist is Evan Chernack of South Side High School. In addition, Hempstead Town is home to three finalists: Jeremy Appelbaum, William Gil and Allen Shin of Hewlett High School.

Regional finalist Evan Chernack of Rockville Centre received a $1,000 scholarship for having competed in a regional competition at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in November.  His project was: “A Study of the Role of the ROCK Kinase Pathway in Dental Pulp Stem Cell Differentiation and Mineralization.” This project dealt with advanced research for clinical regenerative therapies.

The finalists, Jeremy Appelbaum of Woodmere, William Gil of Valley Stream and Allen Shin of Valley Stream are teammates who competed in the finals at George Washington University in Washington D.C. The three teammates split a $100,000 scholarship with each other.  Their project was, “COP1 Arrests Photomorphogenesis in Dark Grown Gametophytes of Ceratopteris Richardii; A Study of COP1 in Cryptogams.” This project examined a fern protein with potential for fighting cancer.  Even more remarkable, the team did this after struggling with the flooding effects of superstorm Sandy on their exhibit posters, which were stored in Jeremy’s basement in Woodmere. Not only were the posters ruined, but also their school was shut down for eight days because of the storm’s impact.  The teammates managed to design smaller substitute posters and local school officials supported their efforts to use the school building on weekends. 

“The Town of Hempstead is very proud of these exceptional students,” said Murray. “I would like to congratulate the students, their families and schools for this outstanding achievement. I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

There were 2,255 applicants in the competition.  322 students were named semifinalists and 93 were named regional finalists, representing 25 states.  63 students were named Semifinalists and 16 students in New York State were named Regional finalist, the largest number for any state. 15 students reside in the Town of Hempstead (3 Finalists, 1 Regional finalist and 11 Semifinalists).