Students conduct research using BNL technology

Five Westhampton Beach High School students are using Brookhaven National Laboratory technology to conduct research projects through the lab’s Student Partnerships for Advanced Research and Knowledge program. 

As part of the program, the students – Matthew Daleo, Danielle Freda, Cole Hempel, Cambell Kast and Evan Lockwood – are taught to use the lab’s NSLS-2 Beamline and Infrared Spectroscopy technology for their research. The NSLS-2 is one of only nine such beamlines in the world and is able to detect elemental composition and 3D structure of macromolecules. 

During the week of Dec. 3, the students and their teacher, Dianna Gobler, received four hours of training in the NSLS-2 and learned from BNL beamline scientists how to drive the SRX Beamline to detect background interference and analyze data. Once fully trained, the students will be able to run samples for their research in the spring. 

For their research, Freda and Kast will explore microplastic accumulation in sediments and shellfish; Daleo and Lockwood will analyze the elemental composition of paleontological samples they collected during their middle school PALEOS trip with middle school science teacher Rob Coleman in summer 2017; and Hempel will examine drinking water for the presence of microplastics.