Amplify Pelham Science Research Program’s Annual “Wag-a-thon” Event Scheduled for October 22

AMPLIFY (the parent support group for the Pelham Science Research Program) has announced the date of its 3rd annual Wag-a-Thon, a community and family fundraising event that raises money to support Science Research student endeavors at Pelham Memorial High School as they prepare and present their research at state, national and international symposia throughout the school year. All Pelham community members are invited to walk in support of the program. *Pedestrians without dogs are also welcome! For more information about the program, visit

The Wag-a-Thon begins at noon on Sunday, October 22, 2023, and will wrap up by 2:00pm. Participants can pre-register online or register on-site at the registration desk on Esplanade Ave., across the street from the Huguenot Church parking lot. (Those who make the suggested minimum donation of $30 or more receive branded “dog tags” and treats!) The entire walk takes place on the Esplanade, south of Boston Post Road. Walkers will walk to Grant Ave., then loop back around the other side of the Esplanade (heading north), finishing up where they started. The course is less than a mile from start to finish. Food and beverages will be sold to further support the program.

The Pelham Science Research Program is a rigorous four-year educational initiative designed to empower and nurture students in pursuit of their academic and professional passions. PMHS Science Research teachers guide students through their high school years with a structured framework to identify, explore, and follow their unique interests in science, technology, humanities, engineering, mathematics, entrepreneurship, and research. A distinctive feature of the program occurs during the summer of students’ junior and senior years, when they collaborate with seasoned professionals in their chosen field. This hands-on experience enables students to actively engage in cutting-edge research, gain valuable entrepreneurial skills, and immerse themselves in the practical application of their knowledge, thus fostering a deep and lasting love for science and research.

“We constantly seek to engage and involve our community in supporting the growth and development of our aspiring young scientists. Building strong relationships with parents, mentors, professionals, organizations, businesses and alumni is essential in nurturing their passion and potential,” said Steven Beltecas, Science Research Director.

Funds raised through events like the October 22 Wag-a-Thon and other Amplify fundraising initiatives throughout the year support aspects that go above the everyday school budget, offsetting expenses related to student grants for research ideas, registrations for students who require financial assistance, and discounted branded merchandise to promote the program’s identity. Additionally, these funds ensure that dedicated young scientists have access to late-night sustenance and snacks as they often work tirelessly at school in preparation for various symposia throughout the school year. “The money raised contributes directly to creating a nurturing and resourceful community that empowers our students to excel and explore their passions to the fullest extent,” said Science Research Teacher, Joseph DiBello.

“This year, in response to the program’s growing popularity and increasing student enrollment, we are thrilled to welcome the addition of a real-life scientist, a testament to our community’s dedication to academic excellence, who has infused the program with a unique and invaluable perspective,” DiBello said. Lori Tortorella, PhD, a former scientist from Weill Cornell, who is also a 10th-grade chemistry teacher at PMHS, is already making a substantial impact by actively guiding our juniors and seniors, equipping them with the essential skills for their research endeavors, writing, and presentations. “With the combined support and guidance of Director of Math & Science Dr. Callahan and PMHS Principal Berkowitz, this expansion with Dr. Tortorella’s expertise propels the program towards even greater achievements,” said Beltecas.

Regardless of your background or skillset, there is a role for everyone to play in encouraging the curiosity and advancement of our research students and the program welcomes the community’s involvement. “Whether it’s offering mentorship, sharing your expertise, providing resources, or simply showing your support, your involvement can make a meaningful impact on the future of our students, helping them to reach their full potential and make significant contributions to the world. Together, we can inspire and empower the next generation of researchers, innovators and leaders,” said Dr. Tortorella. 

To make a donation to the Amplify Pelham Science Research Program, visit To register for the Wag-a-Thon, visit the registration page: