Earlier this month, the Central Islip High School got recognized in a positive light. On January 8th, one of our brightest students, as well as class valedictorian, Yu (Kevin) Zhu was named semi-finalist in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2020 competition. The Regeneron STS is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science competition for high school seniors. This impressive feat was only enhanced when we discovered that he was 1 of 300 students chosen out of a pool of 1,993 applicants from all around the world. His project was an analysis on the effects of simulated microgravity on the biofilm production and susceptibility of Acinetobacter Tween Arginine Translocase Mutants. Evidently it’s not only a mouthful but it also managed to truly impress the judges. He, as well as the CIHS, have been awarded $2,000 each. Kevin responded to his win by saying, “I was thrilled to show our community the potential of CI and to show other communities our potential too.”
Kevin worked tirelessly for months, constantly staying after school with the help of Mrs. Roderick who teaches the Science Research Program, in which Kevin has been a student since his freshman year. The Science Research Program at CIHS started just five years ago and has already had two student-scientists place as Siemens’ Semi-Finalists. Mrs. Roderick is incredibly proud of Kevin and was quoted on the Central Islip School District webpage saying, “Over the years, I have watched Kevin grow and become a legitimate science researcher, and this is something you cannot put a price on. I’m so thrilled for him.” She also acknowledged with gratitude Dr. Koenig, our superintendent, as well as the Board of Education for their support of our students and programs. As a person, Mrs. Roderick has always been very supportive of the students in her class. As a teacher, she cares not only about grades, but the development of true scientists. On behalf of The Rapier staff, I would like to thank Mrs. Roderick for everything she does and congratulate her on this accomplishment because it also reflects on her.
Personally, I have known Kevin since middle school and it’s inspiring to see him become so accomplished and get the recognition he deserves for all his dedication. Shout out to our very own Yu (Kevin) Zhu– all of us are so proud of you and wish you the best in your future endeavors!