Showing their ‘grit’

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“We need to develop an alternative energy source that is environmentally friendly,” said Chen, who conducted his research at the Garcia Center at SUNY Stony Brook under the direction of Dr. Miriam Rafailovich.

Presumptions about what bullies looks like and why they act the way they do led Kay to this topic. “There are preconceptions society has about bullying, then there is what we really see,” he said. “On TV the bully in the playground is a big, brawny kid. In my school there’s a different perspective: Everyone bullies because, from my perspective, everyone is competing for social and sexual advantages.”

Kay didn’t have to leave his home during Sandy, but dealt with a loss of power for close to two weeks. He surveyed ninth- through 12th-graders at Hewlett High, and found that stress, anxiety, frustration and disappointment facilitate bullying.

His project mentor, Dr. Patricia Nardi, a Hewlett science teacher, said that Kay’s work underscored the importance of both enabling and motivating factors in bullying behavior. “When investigating bullying from this perspective, it isn’t difficult to realize that bullying behavior is a more commonplace behavior than it is typically believed to be,” she said.

People like to be scared

Sullivan was impressed that Sosnowik could make horror films the focus of an academic study. Saying that “it doesn’t make sense to like horror films,” she showed clips of scary movies to teenagers, who then answered questions about their emotional responses. Her most surprising find? “People who are the most afraid gain the most pleasure from the horror film,” said Sosnowik, whose favorite scary movie is “Scream.”

She had to scramble to get her project done by the deadline because her family’s house in Lawrence was without power after Sandy, and she was staying at her uncle’s house in Queens for nearly two weeks.

Intel alumni have made unique contributions to science and been awarded more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science.

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