Students and Teachers

More than 70 proposals from hundreds of students supported by 29 teachers in 10 schools were reviewed by school-level judging panels.   The best were forwarded to WNY STEM for judging by a Step 1 Review Panel of Judges.  Three finalist proposals were sent to the NCEESE for a Step 2 national review panel.  One finalist from the Buffalo Niagara Coalition was selected for flight to the International Space Station. The winning team will attend the State of the Union in STEM in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

Finalist Proposals

Tuber Growth in Microgravity Team

Winners: Gabriella Melendez (Grade 7), Toriana Cornwell (Grade 8), and Shaniylah Welch (Grade 8)

Winning Proposal: Tuber Growth in Microgravity
School:  Hamlin Park, Buffalo Public School #74
Principal Investigator:  Gabriella Melendez (Grade 7)
Co-investigators:  Toriana Cornwell (Grade 8) and Shaniylah Welch (Grade 8)
Teacher:  Mr. Andrew Franz

The Effect of a Microgravity Environment on the Rate of Breast Cancer Cell Growth
School:  Global Concepts Charter High School
Principal Investigators:  Zaina Alsadam (Grade 11) and Kendall Cerrone (Grade 10)
Teacher:  Mrs. Rebecca Poremba

The Battle of Antibiotics vs Bacteria in Microgravity
Harry Abate Elementary School, Niagara Falls
Principal Investigators:  Louis Lodovico, Michelina Renda, Genesis Sanders, Parker Urban (all Grade 5)
Teacher:  Mrs. Ronni McGrath

Honorable Mention Proposals

Community School #53 in BPS (Grade 8 Team) – Mrs. Kathryn Lister, Teacher
Effects of Gravity on Crystal Formation & Growth
Investigators:  Carlos Guzman and Deron Loder

NFHS (Grades 9 &11 Team) – Mrs. Karen Syrus, Teacher
Will ozone serve as a more effective growth inhibitor in microgravity than on Earth?
Investigators: Grant Asklar, WanXiang Chen, Fattimah Fakih, Valerianne Jacobson

Buffalo Academy of Science Charter (Grade 8 Team) – Mr. Andrew Notary & Mr. Michael Sclifke
Polyurethane in Microgravity
Investigators: Ilaray Gutierrez , Nazir Houston, ­ Ahsanul Zubair, ­ Umme Joynob ­,Laurent Arroyo, ­ Crystal Abbey

Gaskill Prep in Niagara Falls (Grade 8 Team) – Ronni McGrath, Teacher
Kombucha Fermentation in Microgravity (Grade 8 Team)
Investigators:  Tyler Pigg, Tyisha Adderley, Andrew Thomson


These local researchers have agreed to assist student investigators in conducting their ground truth experimentation and the analysis of data collected from a microgravity environment on the International Space Station.

Dr. James Berry
Professor, Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo

Dr. Mark Gallo
Professor of Biology
Niagara University

Dr. Adam Kisailus
Assistant Dean for Internships and Education Outreach
Department of Educational Affairs
Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Dr.Mary Bisson
Professor and Chair, Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo

Dr. Sharon Bachman
Community Educator for Cornell Co-operative Extension in Erie County
Cornell Agricultural and Life Sciences Department


Click here to learn more about the Buffalo-Niagara Coalition.

Mission 9 – Students, Teachers and Mentors