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POB JFK High School Student Jonathan Aaron Goldman Named 2011 Intel Finalist

The Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District, along with the John F. Kennedy High School Independent Research program, is proud to announce that Jonathan Aaron Goldman has been named a finalist in the prestigious Intel Student Talent Search.

“We are proud of Jonathan’s accomplishment and wish him every success in the ongoing competition,” stated Superintendent of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District Gerard Dempsey. “The board of education joins the entire school community in supporting him in this worthwhile endeavor.”

Goldman conducted his social science research in the district research lab, under the direction of John F. Kennedy High School Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology Teacher Raymond Tesar. Goldman’s research project is titled Evidence for Link Between Native Reading Language and Internal/External Search Processes.

In his research, Goldman hypothesized people would view images in the same direction in which they learned to read. He displayed an image to see if subjects recalled features once the image was removed from view. English readers recalled features faster when located on the right side of the image, while Hebrew readers were faster on the left. In the second task, subjects observed an image and needed to match that image to one of four displayed on a screen. Again, English-readers identified the matching image faster when located towards the right side of the display and vice versa for Hebrew subjects. The results contradicted his hypothesis and indicated that one’s native language impacts the way one recalls images. This has applications in business and education.

“Jonathan Aaron Goldman’s continued success in the Social Science Research Program is a testament to his outstanding academic promise, his teachers’ and mentor’s instruction and guidance, and our district’s great commitment to the importance of experiential study in both the conventional and non-conventional setting,” stated principal James Murray.

“Jon being named an Intel Science Talent Search finalist is a result of his many months of hard work and dedication to the field of behavioral science,” explained Tesar. “It is such a momentous accomplishment when you realize that Jon represents the top 2 percent of this country’s best and brightest young scientists. I am so honored to have Jon represent all the intelligent and motivated students of the John F. Kennedy High School Social Science Research Program on the national stage when he presents his original research ideas on the effect of native reading experience on both internal and external scanning processes.”

Goldman has taken on a challenging program throughout his high school career. He is currently taking five AP courses. He is president of the Science Honor Society, an active member of the POB DECA club and is a part of the High School Orchestra. Outside of school, he finds time to work at a community supported agricultural garden at the Old Bethpage Restoration Village. He has spent the last two summers at University of Pennsylvania and Northeastern University studying physics and business.

Research teacher coordinator MaryLou O’Donnell added, “An incredible feeling of joy and awe came over me when I heard that Jon was named an Intel STS finalist. This is going to be a life-changing experience for him; one that he will never forget. He works hard and overcame every obstacle placed in front of him to earn this award.”

“Jonathan has invested an amazing amount of time and energy into his project,” said Chairperson of Science, Research and Technology Joyce Thornton Barry. “His passion is evident whenever he explains his findings. This experience of being recognized as a finalist in the Intel STS is the educational equivalent to making it to the Super Bowl. Credit must also be given to the team that supported and guided Jonathan throughout his education - our exceptional and dedicated faculty and staff. We are all very fortunate to work in a community where students are encouraged and supported in pursuing their areas of interest, be it music, art, sports or research.”

As a finalist, Goldman will participate in the Intel Science Talent Institute One Amazing Week in March. On the basis of interviews with the judging panel and presentation of their research, 10 top award winners are selected, including the top winner who is provided a $100,000 award. While in Washington, the 40 finalists display and present their research to the public at the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. Here, finalists explain their research to thousands of visitors, many of whom are important figures in the government and science communities, promoting independent, inquiry-based science research. Each year, younger, highly-motivated students who plan to enter the Intel Science Talent Search during their senior year are inspired at this public exhibition.

“The John F. Kennedy High School learning community is truly thrilled to celebrate this enormous educational honor with Jonathan along with his dedicated teacher/mentor Raymond Tesar, “ added Chairperson of Social Studies Maria Carnesi. “It has been a privilege to watch the evolution of Jonathan’s stellar work over the past two years.”

Additionally, finalists visit Washington’s historic, scientific and cultural sites. Past winners have individually met with members of Congress from their home states, and the entire group has even visited with the vice president, first lady, and president. On the final evening, finalists are honored at a black tie gala announcing the top winners.

The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel International Science and Engineering Fair) is the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition. Alumni of STS have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including seven Nobel Prizes and four National Medals of Science.