Ristau values experience in Advanced Science Research for future studies in college


Amodhya Samarakoon

Senior Claire Ristau presented on her research in the effects of omega-3 fatty acid on brain function in American cockroaches. “You’re going to also have a lot of setbacks, but if you keep going, it’ll get better,” Ristau said.

Claire Hallaway, Staff Writer

Students in the Advanced Science Research class presented their findings for this semester.  Senior Claire Ristau conducted her research around the impact of omega-3  fatty acids on brain function, specifically in American cockroaches.  

To test the effect of Omega-3, Ristau removed Omega 3 from their diet to see the effect on the motor cognitive function which was tested through a T-maze.  The results at the end were not conclusive but suggested there were no effects of omega-3 on brain function. 

“There were no conclusive results in that there was a difference,” Ristau said.  

Ristau also conducted all of her research and work at St. Paul Academy and Summit School independently.  She plans to pursue research in college and the class gave her a unique experience and background for science.  

“It was difficult, but it really provides you with practice before going into college and doing research in college, ” she said, “It was fun, but at times it was very difficult and stressful.”  

Prior to the research, the students predicted what the results of the research might suggest.  

“I predicted that once the omega-3 was removed from the cockroaches diet, they would show a decline in motor cognitive function,” Ristau said

This is Ristau’s second semester in the course. She believes she has improved a lot since last semester.

“I would say it was easier to do after a semester of practice…It takes a lot of perseverance and resilience to be able to conduct research, because you’re going to get results that you don’t want to get.  You’re going to also have a lot of setbacks, but if you keep going, it’ll get better,”  Ristau said.