Bay Ridge

Fontbonne students earn praise in science talent search

January 30, 2018 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Kristina Scarfo (left) and Teressa Martinelli are pleased that their scientific research papers have earned national recognition. Photo courtesy of Fontbonne Hall Academy
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Two enterprising Fontbonne Hall Academy students are winning praise for the research papers they submitted to a nationwide science competition.

Fontbonne seniors Kristina Scarfo and Teressa Martinelli were both awarded badges for the work they handed in for the Regeneron Science Talent Search, one of the country’s oldest science and math competitions for high school seniors.

Scarfo earned the Regeneron Science Talent Search Research Report Badge, an honor given to the student who produces a well-written, college-level, research report based on independent science research. She worked in consultation with Dr. Philip Schatz of Saint. Joseph’s University on her paper “Gender Differences in Concussion Symptoms as Reported by Youth Athletes and their Parents.”

Martinelli, who was also awarded the Report Badge, submitted a paper titled “Increased Risk of Attentional Bias in First-Time Parents Exhibiting Symptoms of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression During Pregnancy.”

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She worked for two years under the mentorship of Dr. Clancy Blair at New York University to produce her research paper.

In addition to the Report Badge, Martinelli earned a Student Initiative Badge in the talent search.

Scarfo and Martinelli are members of the Science Research Program at Fontbonne Hall Academy, a three-year sequence of classes that allows students conduct their own unique scientific investigations while working under the guidance of a research scientist.

Students in the Science Research Program enter their research papers into the Regeneron Science Talent Search as well as other competitions during their senior year.

Located at 9901 Shore Road in Bay Ridge, Fontbonne Hall Academy is a Catholic high school for girls. The school is sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, a religious order of nuns.

“For 80 years, Fontbonne Hall Academy has been preparing young women to become professional leaders who serve their communities with confidence and compassion. We challenge our students to achieve their highest intellectual and creative potential in science, math, the arts and humanities by providing them with the tools necessary to achieve success in their college studies and their chosen career,” Principal Mary Ann Spicijaric wrote in a message on the school’s website.


For more information about academic programs at the school, visit


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