MidTerm Abstracts

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Please post your abstract of your research here for your classmates to view and analyze in preparation for the MidTerm Oral Exam.

The abstract should be succinct, proofed, and between 200-300 words. Post your abstract here so other students may read it to prepare questions for your oral exam on January 21st.Your exam grade will be based on:

 1.) your written abstract
2.) your responses to student questions
3.) questions you ask other students

Use the following links and samples to assist in producing a high-quality abstract.

 Writing an abstract. Click here

 Practical Tips for Science Writing. Click here



Heavy Metal Bioaccumulation in Long Island Sound’s Great Meadows Marsh

Bioaccumulation of heavy metals is amplified with increased trophic levels. A variety of species from Long Island Sound’s Great Meadows Marsh were sampled for heavy metals through a metallothionine quantification protocol. Metallothionine is a universally heavy metal binding enzyme that catalyzes with heavy metals found in the organism. A mathematical model was developed to predict expected levels of heavy metals in higher trophic levels.

 The Effects of MTBE on Well Water in Stamford

 This project involved testing Stamford-area artesian wells for Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or MTBE. MTBE is a substance added to gasoline in order to reduce tailpipe emissions and to increase gasoline octane ratings. MTBE gets into well water supplies by way of gasoline spills, gas-line leaks in the ground and by means of the natural emission of MTBE into the environment through automobile tailpipes.Samples were collected directly from faucets in homes mostly located in the 06903 and 06902 zip codes. The water samples were assayed for water hardness, alkalinity, pH and conductivity. In addition, samples were tested for traces of MTBE using GC-MS. Next, the sites were mapped using G.I.S software, and attempts were made to find correlation between the location of the sites and the human impact on the area surrounding the sites.

 Effects of Room Acoustics on the Generated Sounds of Percussion

This project is aimed towards the effects of various environments on percussion instruments’ sound and performance. Each environment exhibits reverb capabilities with various generated sounds of percussion. Each type of percussion instrument will display different decibel levels when played at various distances from a central location within the environment. Through the use of a Sound Level Meter and various analysis programs, both the decibel levels and effects of reverb of the marching snare drum, tenor drums, bass drums, and crash cymbals, will be tested and analyzed to determine which instrument creates the greatest levels for both reverb and decibel readings, as well as which environment is most conducive to high volumes and sound resonance.The results will be compared to existing data concerning the effects of decibel levels and reverb on the human ear. Hearing loss can result from extended exposure to high decibel levels, and through the comparison, determining the safest environment for playing percussion instruments will be possible.


Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.
Applied Science Research is migrating to:

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Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

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On hiatus

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Applied Science Research has been on hiatus while I transition from Newtown High School to Oxford High School. We will be back in action for the 2008-2009 school year, while students develop and execute their original science projects.

Article Analysis

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Click here for the article analysis form

Write a 100-200 proofed, succinct document explaining some aspect of the research you are examining. Be sure to think of the implications of the work you are sharing.

Title Page Format

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Title page in the following format:

Times New Roman Font, all centered
12-point font, 6 carriage returns
Change to 18-point font, type title in invert triangle form
Change to 12-point font, 12 carriage returns
Change to 16-point font, type by: name
Change to 12-point font, 16 carriage returns
Submitted to:
Frank LaBanca, Program Director
Newtown High School Applied Science Research Program

Interpreting Data

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

One of the great challenges of conducting research is to present your data in an appropriate, yet effective way. Use the exercises on Dan Meyer’s blog to think about ways to interpret information. Download one of the .mov files and watch. Discuss a concept that is presented and how it would help you to make a professional and easy-to-interpret graph as it relates to your research.

Interview Series 2007: Dr. Dora Pinou

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Dr. Dora Pinou is a professor at Western Connecticut State University. She is in the Biology Department and is a herpetologist by training.

Read about herpetology here.

Dr. Pinou has her own website. Read about her here.
Her research interests are here.

Using the information above as well as your own interests and further research, compose appropriate, relevant questions to ask Dr. Pinou when she visits us on May 3rd. Questions should be conceptual, in-depth, and original (do not repeat other students’ questions). Post them here so we can share our ideas and thoughts.

Our interview will conclude with the “Big10.” . . . a series of rapid-fire, quick-response questions based on The Pivot Questionnaire. You will probably recognize them as similar to the 10 questions James Lipton asks of his interviewees on the television program Inside the Actor’s Studio.

01. What is your favorite word?
02. What is your least favorite word?
03. What gets your creative juices flowing?
04. Who has made the biggest impact on your life? (name and relation)
05. What is your favorite scientific word?
06. What sound or noise do you love?
07. What sound or noise do you hate?
08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
09. What profession would you not like to do?
10. What phrase or message should all people know?

Last call for abstracts

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

I hope your February break is treating you well. Please be sure to post a final abstract for our symposium program book. Use the following format:

Title <>
Your Name <> <>
Abstract (200-300 typed PROOFED words)


Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Post a biography here for our symposium program book. Please note: I will NOT correct spelling errors – be sure to edit your work. Samples below:

Alex Albritton is a junior at Newtown High School. His passions in life are science reading and swimming. Alex’s favorite subject in science is biology and he is especially interested in viruses. He is currently working of a project involving bacteriophages. His love of reading is what actually led him to his interest in biology and viruses. He became interested in viruses when he read an extremely interesting book called the Hot Zone by Richard Preston. This book painted a very real and terrifying image about some of the most dangerous viruses in the world. Alex also enjoys swimming and is on the Newton High Schools boy’s swim team.

Maricate Conlon is a junior at Newtown High School. She joined the applied science research course to further her interests in environmental and biological sciences. She competitively swims year-round and is a part of the girls’ varsity swim team. She is also involved in clubs at school; she is a member of the Guidance Honors Association and is her student class council secretary. In the future, she plans to pursue a degree in biological or environmental areas of study.

Drew Taylor is a junior at Newtown High School. He plays on the varsity soccer and golf team. He works at Rock Ridge Country Club as well as Southington Mountain as a snowboard instructor. He took Applied Science research to further his interests in ecology and the Long Island Sound. Drew is also Vice President of student council and a member of SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions. He is presently looking to apply to the Air Force Academy, where he wants to become a pilot.
Ivan Virovets is a sophomore at NHS. He joined Applied Research class due to his interest in physical and biological sciences, which started many years ago, at least the physical part, when he discovered plans for a tesla coil on the Internet and built one. From then on he loved high voltage, and then with the high school science program, also developed an interest in microbiology.