It was a learning experience for all—participants and judges alike—at the Westchester Science and Engineering Fair (WESEF), held at Sleepy Hollow High School on March 17. A group of medical students, organized by Chelsea Sue Sicat, left, School of Medicine (SOM) Class of 2021, volunteered and participated as judges at the high stakes forum showcasing the research of high school students in Westchester and Putnam counties. They were among the more than 300 judges charged with evaluating 560 projects representing 44 high schools.
“As someone who participated in the New York State Science and Engineering Fair in high school, I know firsthand the importance of having a positive experience with a judge. I reached out to my classmates, as NYMC students easily fit the bill for the ideal science fair judge—not only passionate about science and education, but fervently kind. NYMC students are the types of people high school students hope to emulate as they begin their careers in medicine and science,” said Ms. Sicat. “There were plenty of brilliant young minds in the room at WESEF and I was both thrilled and honored to have been able to be a part of it. It's always a little breathtaking to see just how elegant the work these students put forth can be.”
“I was absolutely blown away by the competitors’ projects. It was very impressive to see students of high school age working in such powerful, complex and relevant medical research,” said James R. McFarlin, second from left, SOM Class of 2021. “Being on the other side of judging is an interesting experience—it offers a unique opportunity to critically assess presentation skills, as well as an enjoyable chance to learn from students that are very passionate about their topics. In particular, starting a dialogue after their presentation led to a lot of fun and informative discussion.”
Other NYMC SOM judges included Hayley Reddington, second from right, Zachary Ballinger, right. All agreed they are looking forward to doing it again next year.