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HHS student’s research paper published in ‘The Young Researcher’

HHS student’s research paper published in ‘The Young Researcher’
Zachary D'Amico

Brendon Frankel, C’22, was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal, The Young Researcher, after months of dedicated research through Hampton High School’s AP Capstone program. 

His article, “Assessing the threat: Antibiotic resistant bacteria near Pittsburgh hospitals” can be found here. The following is a snippet from the paper’s abstract: “The threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria is not only present, but increasing rapidly. Surveillance data that provides information about the location and caliber of antibiotic resistant bacteria is proving valuable when it comes to arranging appropriate medical responses. This study aims to address the antibiotic resistance surveillance data gap within the city of Pittsburgh and its hospital system.”

“I was finally able to apply long-time passion and interest in microbiology and infectious disease to a structured project through the AP Capstone program,” said Brendon. “There were countless setbacks and even times where I was questioning if a finished paper was possible, but fighting through it has taught me just as much about the challenges of life as the science behind it.”

Brendon plans to attend the University of Maryland this fall to study cell biology/genetics and possibly expand on this research topic. 

About the AP Capstone program

The AP Capstone program consists of two courses: AP Seminar followed by AP Research. Each class is a full year course that meets four days a week. Students can enroll in AP Seminar in grades 10-12 and then take AP Research after completing AP Seminar.

AP Seminar focuses on understanding and constructing arguments about real-world, relevant topics. Students complete both individual and team papers and presentations that factor into their AP scores. 

In AP Research, students spend the whole year investigating a topic or issue of their choosing. They first develop a research question based on an authentic gap in their field, write a literature review, conduct primary research, analyze their findings, and ultimately write a 4,000-5,000-word paper and deliver a 20-minute presentation. 

“One of the best parts of the course is that students can dig into any field they are passionate about,” said Ms. Shannon Roos, HHS English Teacher & Instructional Coach. “Last year, students completed film and television studies, social science research, and lab science experiments.”

Students also often work with expert advisors as they complete their research. 

“Brendon, for example, worked really closely with Heather Dietz (HHS Biology Teacher) as he cultured and counted the bacteria colonies and conferred with research scientists to fine-tune his method,” Ms. Roos said. “These are experiences that students might not normally get until grad school.”