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Way to Go!: Jill Dolowich

Jill Dolowich's study of honeybees created enough buzz to win a national award.

Dolowich, a junior at Jericho High School, was one of 12 students nationwide last month to win a 2011 Young Naturalist Award from the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. The competition asked students in grades 7-12 to use scientific research to investigate the world around them.

Her winning project analyzed landscape memory retention in 1,000 honeybees by releasing them from varying distances to see if they could successfully navigate to the hive.

"I've always been interested in honeybees," said Dolowich, 16, who won $2,000. "I am most passionate about environmental research and preservation -- especially the problem of protecting some of the most vulnerable forms of wildlife."

To study the bees Dolowich painted blue and pink dots on their thoraxes. She first released them .8 kilometers away from the hive site; a day later, she released them 1.8 kilometers away from the hive site. Her results showed the bees' long-term memory diminished rapidly over the course of nine days. Projects were judged based on originality, demonstration of the ability to gather data, and thoughtfulness in analyzing and interpreting findings.

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