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Way to Go! Brentwood students' STEM research recognized by grant program

Javier Garcia, a senior at Brentwood High School,

Javier Garcia, a senior at Brentwood High School, has been researching ways to assist individuals with disabilities who work in factory production settings. Credit: Brentwood School District

Two Brentwood High School students are using grant funds to help assess and mitigate pressing engineering and environmental issues.

Senior Javier Garcia is researching ways to assist disabled individuals who work in factory production settings, while junior Joshua Castellanos is assessing the impact of increased nitrogen on local salt marsh ecosystems.

Their projects were among 29 from metropolitan area high schools recently recognized by the New York Institute of Technology's Mini-Research Grant Award program, an initiative designed to offset expenses pertaining to high school research proposals or continuing projects in science, technology, engineering and math – also known as STEM.

Each student received $300.

"Through science we have the ability to make changes in society and through engineering we can make change and assist people," said Garcia, who designed a device to help disabled workers label boxes.

Castellanos' project, meanwhile, focuses on increased nitrogen from runoff and cesspool leaching in coastal ecosystems. He is working with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the nonprofit Save the Sound and New York Sea Grant, a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York.

"We applaud our students, Javier and Joshua, for their ambition and commitment to their studies," Brentwood School District Superintendent Richard Loeschner said.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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