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New Rochelle Teen Conducts Scientific Research in Israel

Jacob Aaronson and 19 other Americans spent four weeks at the Weizmann Institute of Science this summer. Aaronson is in the front row, third from the right.
Jacob Aaronson and 19 other Americans spent four weeks at the Weizmann Institute of Science this summer. Aaronson is in the front row, third from the right. Photo Credit: contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Jacob Aaronson, one of New Rochelle's budding scientists, recently returned from four weeks in Israel, at the Weizmann Institute of Science, one of the world’s leading scientific research institutions.

The Institute has nearly 4,000 researchers making a global impact in areas ranging from health and medicine, to alternative energy, to space exploration.

Aaronson graduated from SAR High School in Riverdale this year and was one of 20 U.S. teens selected to participate in the Institute's annual Dr. Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute, or ISSI. The prestigious program gives students the opportunity to conduct research with world-renowned scientists in biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer science.

This year's American participants joined some 60 other young future scientists from around the world, in experiencing the challenges and rewards of working alongside top scientific researchers -- and learning about life in Israel.

"From analyzing the motion of disks in the physics lab to hiking in the Negev desert, my four weeks in the ISSI program encompassed some of the greatest experiences of my life," Aaronson said.

He'll spend a gap year in Israel before attending Binghamton University in the fall of 2017.

Aaronson added that he grew to appreciate the Institute's philosophy of curiosity-driven research. "One of the most important lessons I will take away with me is that science isn't just about answering the questions you've been assigned to research," he explained.

"A great scientist must pay attention to detail in their experiments and recognize when things are just a little strange, because this is how great discoveries are made -- by accident."

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