Skip To Main Content

Header Utility Navigation

Logo Header

King School

An independent day school educating students PreK-Grade 12

Menu Trigger Container

Top Container


Landing-nav, don't delete

Science Research Night: A Big Success
Research night

Students' passions and the rigor with which our young scientists apply the scientific method came to life during King School’s annual Science Research Night on Thursday, November 10.

The evening offered current and prospective families an opportunity to learn more about King’s inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning and take an in-depth look at King’s upper school offerings in science and engineering – from the Grade 9 Science Fair and elective research opportunities to the Advanced Science Program for Independent Research and Engineering, known as ASPIRE. 

Victoria Presenting

“Science Research Night is a showcase of the variety of different avenues of research King can provide to upper school students, ranging from the Grade 9 beginning scientist experience in the Science Fair, which is part of our standard King curriculum, to off-campus, professional-level research at highly reputable institutions, and everything in between,” added Dr. Victoria Schulman, who is a science teacher and the Director of Science Research at King School.


The stars of the evening were the inquisitive students who shared research projects on topics that are of great interest to them and the opportunities afforded at King to pursue those passions.

Yuriy Sandmeier ’23 presented his research on tuberculosis – a deeply personal topic and one he has delved into through his work in the ASPIRE program. “Although I did not know it at the time, the death of my biological parents to tuberculosis some 15 years ago, when I was just a young boy in an impoverished community in Russia, would shape my desire to conduct research on this endemic pathogen,” he shared.

Through an opportunity King facilitated at Rockefeller University, Yuriy decided to focus on a newly identified gene associated with the disease. “When knocked down, it may present an avenue for future therapeutic developments,” Yuriy explained.

Nily Presenting

Ben Persily ’23 addressed the audience to share his experience with ASPIRE and his success at national and international science competitions, including the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Ben spoke about his research using stem cells and prime editing to study and correct the genetic mutations that cause cystic fibrosis.

Nicole Guido ’24, a student in the Science Research class, presented a multidisciplinary research project that involved engineering, computer science, and sign language skills in order to develop a 3D-resin-printed prosthetic hand. “I am interested in improving hand prosthetics by increasing the range of motion and decoupling individual finger movements, such as pointing or holding up only two fingers, for the purposes of communicating via American Sign Language,” she shared.

Ryan Wempen ’24 is interested in the fields of aerospace and defense. His ASPIRE research on hypersonic vehicles, missile defense, and space travel brought him to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory. “I was influenced by my grandfather's work on the Apollo missions in the late 60s and my uncle's passion for science, which he never got to pursue as he lives in an underprivileged society.”

During her two years as an intern at Yale University, Gouri Krishnan ’23, also an ASPIRE student, has focused on energy-saving electrochromic windows. “I chose the topic of efficient energy use because it not only tackles one of the world’s most important issues but also because I have a personal interest and connection to this problem; many of my relatives live in Mumbai, a city facing an incredibly severe energy crisis,” Gouri shared.

Ben Presenting

For the Grade 9 Science Fair, Anya Anderson ’25 and her classmate Olivia Asnes ’25 worked to explore the effect of antimicrobials on bacterial growth. “We both recalled our parents making tea for us when we were sick, adding things such as lemon, honey, and ginger,” said Olivia. “After doing some research, we found that these ingredients were antimicrobials, a more natural way of stunting bacterial growth,” she added. Her partner, Anya, shared: “It was really intriguing to see how natural substances such as lemon can help stop bacteria growth. It interested me how the natural world can really play a part in scientific advancement.”

“The level of research presented during Science Research Night is a testament to how deeply engaged students become when exploring personal interests and how far they can take those interests when they find themselves in a supportive environment that encourages and celebrates their curiosity,” said Head of School Carol Maoz.

The night was a success, and families walked away with a better understanding of the research opportunities King offers. 

“This event shines a light on what the science department does – creates opportunities for students to do science, develop as scientific thinkers, and see themselves as scientists,” said Nick DeFelice, Chair of the Science Department. 

As stated in King’s strategic plan, King strives to be a leading research-focused institution. Science Research Night presented a sneak peek into the work students and teachers engage in in support of that strategic priority.


The King Fund supports STEM opportunities. The ASPIRE program is also supported, in partnership with the King Fund, by the Advanced Mathematics and Science Study Program (AMSSP) Endowed Fund. Established in 2018 by Margharet, Frank, Bea '15 and William '17 Nash, the AMSSP Fund supports select students with demonstrated ability and interest in achieving true excellence within science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics in global competition preparation, and/or laboratory research experiences. Your philanthropic investment in King School through the King Fund, Endowment, and Major Gifts supports these and other distinctive offerings for students at King.