CHS celebrates the 22nd Annual Science Research Symposium


Students, families and staff gathered at the Cohoes High School recently for the 22nd Annual Science Research Symposium.

The event is the culmination of the year for the Science Research course, a three-year program through the University of Albany’s “University in the High School” program. This year’s group included 11 students – one senior, eight juniors and two sophomores. 

The keynote speaker was Dr. Dylan Farnsworth, senior research scientist at the RNA Institute located at UAlbany, who presented on gene expression and his work with zebrafish. Dr. Farnsworth discussed gene changes that take place with eyes that can lead to cataracts in the fish, as well as how they regenerate their spinal cords or other parts if they are severed.

Senior Luke Paradis presented his project, “The Development and Outlook of Electrocatalyst Technology in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells,” a topic that sparked his interest when he read an article about converting sewer gas to hydrogen using bacteria. 

Other research topics included 3-D printed lower limb prosthetics, the origin of life, game-based learning effects on education, and the effect on substance abuse on mental health, to name a few. 

The class is led by CHS Science Teacher Michael Kloczko, endearingly referred to as “Kloczko” by his students who describe him as “supportive and caring, as a teacher and a mentor.”

The program begins during their sophomore year, when students begin reading peer-reviewed journal articles. They begin to reach out to professionals in their field at the end of their sophomore year or beginning of their junior year, depending on their topic and how quickly they settle on one. 

“They contact them via email and ask questions about their research hoping to create a rapport that will lead to mentorship,” said Mr. Kloczko.

Students start designing their project in their junior year, complete them as seniors, and present them at the symposium. 

Following the presentation, projects were displayed during the poster session, where students had the opportunity to describe their work to family and friends.

“Each year I get to step aside and witness the culmination of their work and watch them shine in the spotlight,” said Mr. Kloczko. “Each project is a representation of the individual student and where they find their passion in science. I am very lucky to be able to help guide them and be a part of their educational journey.”

Preparing our students for success in tomorrow’s world.

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