The Home of Midwood Science Research

Happy graduation day to the class of 2021

Posted on Saturday, June 19, 2021 by for Seniors.

Although we were never together in one physical space, we were always united in science. Thank you class of 2021 for keeping Midwood Science alive and well.

Video conference screenshot

Midwood magnolia

Posted on Monday, April 12, 2021 by for Everyone.

I took this photo when I was at Midwood last Thursday but forgot about it. The magnolia tree only blooms like this for a couple of days. No, it's not fake. They sky really was that blue.

Magnolia tree and blue skies in front of Midwood

STEM Matters NYC summer programs

Posted on Monday, April 12, 2021 by for Freshmen, Juniors, Sophomores.

This summer, unplug and explore STEM with STEM Matters NYC programs Students entering grades 10–12 in September can apply to work with field experts in real-world learning experiences in urban farming, industrial design and manufacturing, glass blowing, computer science, or art and architecture. Apply now for a one or two week program this summer at MakerSpace NYC, New York Historical Society, The Battery Conservancy, The Green-Wood Cemetery, or UrbanGlass. All participants receive a daily MetroCard.

Seats are limited! An online application and teacher reference form is required. Participants are selected by a review committee. Learn more and apply by Friday, April 23. For questions, contact

STEM Matters NYC banner

2021 HOPP Summer Student Program at MSK

Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 by for Freshmen, Juniors, Seniors, Sophomores.

Students who attended the 2020 Major Trends in Modern Cancer Research lectures at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), or students who are just interested in pursuing careers in the biomedical sciences, should check out their Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) Summer Student Program. This program gives motivated high school students an opportunity to participate in independent research projects, extracurricular activities, training, and more at MSK. All current high school students from freshman to seniors are eligible to apply.

Typically, the program runs from the end of June to mid-August, but obviously due to COVID-19 restrictions this schedule is subject to change. It is a full-time internship, so students are expected to commit to 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday. Participants are required to complete the full eight weeks of the program from the first day to the last, so do not apply if you know you will be doing any traveling during the summer.

Applications for the 2021 HOPP Summer Student Program will open sometime in December 2020. All interested students should sign up for their mailing list now so that they can receive notifications when the application process goes live.

2020 Major trends in modern cancer research

Posted on Thursday, November 12, 2020 by for Extra Credit, Juniors, Lectures, Seniors.

Add to Calendar

On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will host its 15th annual Major trends in modern cancer research lecture for high and college students and their teachers. (Members of the public are also welcome to attend.) The event will take place virtually from 6:00–7:30 PM. Registration is required.

This event is a free community education program designed to engage and inspire the next generation of progressive researchers and scientists. MSK has a wide range of opportunities to volunteer at our labs, find mentors at MSK, and potentially join our research community.

One point of extra credit will be awarded to all students who attendon the day of the event and complete this assignment for any one of the speakers. Email your completed (PDF) assignment to Mr. Elert by Friday, November 20.


Craig B. Thompson, President and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


Karuna Ganesh, MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist, and Physician-Scientist


Justin Perry, PhD, and Immunologist


Thomas Norman, PhD, and Systems Biologist

Splash: Columbia University Educational Outreach

Posted on Friday, October 23, 2020 by for Juniors, Seniors, Sophomores.

Columbia University Educational Outreach is running a free, one-day, educational program called Splash on Saturday, November 7th from 10 AM to 1 PM and then from 2 PM to 5 PM. This semester, Splash is running over Zoom. With Splash, you can register to take fun, exciting, and unique classes taught by Columbia students to get exposed to material you may have not been exposed to before. You can check their catalog here:

Registration will open Thursday, October 22 at 6 PM EDT, and close on Saturday, October 31st at 11:59 PM. Please note registration is first come first serve. Please register here:

You can choose to take as few or as many classes as you want. Make sure to click "Confirm Registration" after you choose your class(es). If you have any questions or concerns, please contact

Splash banner

Happy graduation day class of 2020

Posted on Friday, June 26, 2020 by for Seniors.

Group photo in the Research Room

Quarantine Blog: Midwood Science Fair

Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 by for Quarantine Blog, Science Fair.

My phone reminded me that today was supposed to be the 2020 Midwood Science Fair. It even gave me a heads up so I'd have enough time to get there by public transit.

Cell phone alert screenshot

Quarantine Blog: I’m floating

Posted on Monday, May 25, 2020 by for Quarantine Blog.

Bad and good plastics

This time with the coronavirus is something like I have never experienced before. This pandemic is affecting everyone in the world and it seems as though it has become our new norm. Everything is different. School has been so stressful in addition to having so much to think about and deal with at home. Prior to the start of the lock down in March, I was battling an illness that left me in severe pain for weeks. I still had to push through with going to school and getting my work done. I still had to do my work in between hospital visits, hours of agony, and complete emotional disposition. My gloomy mood and constant pain makes me unmotivated to do school work and I feel as though I am just floating by day by day. To add fuel to the flames, so many close family members and friends are being affected by COVID-19 and it truly has become draining. My cousin has been in a coma, and no one can go see him due to hospital visitation rules. This time has been depressing. I am so distracted with what is going on personally, that it is truly hard to focus academically. I am persevering everyday to get through everything. But it has been hard.

Naffisat Atanda (Class of 2020)

Quarantine Blog: Handling the anxiety of school

Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2020 by for Quarantine Blog.

Daily planner

Due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, schools in New York City have been shut down since March 16. It has become evident that students have been struggling to adjust to online classes. Teachers are trying their best to be more lenient because they are aware of the troubles Covid-19 has brought upon families. I can confirm that for many of my peers these are hard times. The sudden change in schedule due to Covid-19 has had a negative impact on everyone. Students are finding it hard to wake up early, finish their assignments on time, and deal with personal problems. As a result, school assignments and tests have become hard to handle. The growing pile of assignments due at 11:59 pm causes anxiety and adds stress to an already bad situation.

In order to deal with the stress, my peers and I worked together to create a schedule that is similar to school. It is important to keep a good routine to stay healthy and productive. We wake up by 8-10 am, eat breakfast, and write everything that needs to be done during the day in a planner. The assignments are spread out throughout the day and in between other responsibilities. When a student cannot finish an assignment, we encourage them to submit it as soon as possible and not to worry too much. If a situation is very hard to handle, we encourage them to email their teachers and try to get as much help as possible. These times are hard and in order to get through this, we need to try our best to help one another. If you need help, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Anum Jabeen (Class of 2020)

Virtual ISEF recommended events

Posted on Monday, May 18, 2020 by for ISEF, Juniors, Seniors.

The 2020 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) has gone virtual and is happening now. There is new programming everyday from May 18–22. The full schedule is online now. View Finalist's projects from around the world or watch live panel discussions and interviews. Anyone with an interest who registers is welcome to attend.

I would like to recommend three, highly relevant events for the juniors and sophomores in science research. All are scheduled for Thursday, May 21.

  • 3 PM: Research at Home: Life Sciences Edition (add to calendar)
    • Anna Rhymes, Society for Science & the Public, Washington, DC
    • Bill Wallace, PhD, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC
    • Tina Gibson, PhD, The Mississippi School for Math and Science, Columbus, MS
  • 4 PM: Behind the Curtain of Uncertainty: A Statistics Crash Course (add to calendar)
    • Caitlin Sullivan, Society for Science & the Public, Washington, DC
    • Paul Strode, PhD, Fairview High School, Boulder, CO
  • 5 PM: Research at Home: Big Data and Engineering Edition (add to calendar)
    • Anna Rhymes, Society for Science & the Public, Washington, DC
    • David V. Black, New Haven School, Spanish Fork, UT
    • Vincent Joralemon, Frank McCourt High School, New York, NY
    • Michael Carapezza, Hk Maker Lab & NY Bioforce, New York, NY

Virtual ISEF home screen

24/7 Lecture: Plastics

Posted on Monday, May 18, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

Bad and good plastics

24 seconds: Did you know that everyday products such as plastic bottles or plastic bags are extremely harmful to the environment? These conventional plastics can take hundreds of years to decompose and although many people try to recycle, a huge amount of plastic ends up in landfills or the surrounding environment. There those plastics stay polluting the environment and harming organisms both on land and in the oceans. In order to keep the earth, our home, clean we have to start putting more effort into using less products containing these harmful plastics. For example, why not use reusable water bottles instead of the disposable ones? Or, why not use cloth bags or paper bags instead of the plastic alternatives?

7 words: Reduce plastic waste by using sustainable products.

Oliwia Dankiw (Class of 2020)

Brooklyn College Science Research Day

Posted on Friday, May 1, 2020 by for Brooklyn College.

Dear friends of Midwood Science,

Today would have been the 29th annual Brooklyn College Science Research Day — but you know how things have been going lately. This day has always been special to us at Midwood Science because (somewhat obviously) we are across the street from Brooklyn College, but also because (and to me more significantly) it represented the end of the science research "season".

Science has competitions much like sports do. If there's some way Midwood Science students can show off their skills, you know they are going to do it: Siemens, STS, St. Joe's, JSHS, NYCSEF, Teptu, ACT-SO, ISEF. It's a busy year full of significant events. Brooklyn College Science Research Day was our rock that anchored the research "season". In this year of 2020 we lost that rock.

Here's a string of photos from Brooklyn College Science Research Days past. These were days away from the daily grind that always felt special. When the weather was nice, it felt extra special (that and they always fed us really well).

2019 2019 2018 2018 2018 2017 2016 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2012 2011

I would like to thank the following scientists at Brooklyn College for giving Midwood Science students an opportunity to participate in the research they do this year — no matter how short that opportunity might have been.

Quarantine Blog: Moving to the virtual realm

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2020 by for Quarantine Blog.


I work with Dr. Frank Grasso in the Biomimetic and Cognitive Robotics (BCR) Lab at Brooklyn College. In this lab, we study the behavior of invertebrate animals such as fiddler crabs, axolotls, octopuses along with other animals such as monk parakeets. Lab members also participate in various robotic experiments related to animal behavior. I specifically work with fiddler crabs and their social behavior. Before COVID-19, all members of the lab were required to attend general meetings. These meetings were held to ensure that everyone was aware of the changes made in the lab and the tasks that needed to be done next week were assigned. I would attend the lab regularly and spend approximately 10–15 hours each week. It was a friendly and informative environment.

In addition, group meetings related to our projects were also held to give researchers feedback on their projects. Although schools and colleges have been shut down due to COVID-19, the BCR lab is still active since we were able to transition from our physical lab onto a virtual platform. All the animal systems that were present in the lab were shut down due to the pandemic. The axolotls that we studied in the lab are now safe with Dr. Grasso who now takes care of them at his house. With the abundance of data that was observed and recorded in our lab, we have no shortage of work to get done. The use of resources such as DropBox, email, and Zoom meetings for communication is a must. Due to everyone's dedication to the lab, this transition has gone smoothly.

Mariyum Jahan (Class of 2020)

Quarantine Blog: Quarantine stress syndrome

Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 by for Quarantine Blog.

The quarantine has caused many to become stressed and anxious. Lowering your stress levels means maintaining good health practices, therefore it is important to take care of your physicsl and mental health. Stress is even more prevalent today and to prevent it from becoming a health issue, it is important to distract yourself. Whether it is participating in baking or TikTok challenges or napping for about an hour a day, facetiming friends, or cooking with your family. You can clean or decorate your room too. Change things up in the house.

It is important to get rid of the stressors. Watch the news less often or at least play it in the background. Take up a new hobby and have a Netflix party with your friends and family. Also, make sure to at least exercise 20 minutes a day; you can incorporate exercise into your routine. Do squats or burpees while you are cleaning tall surfaces, do the side plank when you are cleaning under your bed, or do a yoga pose anytime you are warming something up in the microwave. Exercise doesn't have to be boring.

Tanzena Haque (Class of 2020)


Quarantine Blog: Never ending error messages

Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 by for Quarantine Blog.

Do you feel overwhelmed? As though your mind is flooded with never ending error messages? Well, it's no wonder that many of us struggle with feelings of boredom, uneasiness, and frustration — especially right now. The American Anxiety and Depression Association stated that one of the best ways to relieve stress is through physical activity. Namely, cardio exercises such as jogging or walking. However, this way of dealing with the quarantine might not be accessible to everyone. Some people live in more crowded areas where social distancing while going on a brisk walk is not feasible. But there are other ways to manage stress levels. Alternatives include getting enough sleep (and going to bed at the right time), eating clean meals without too much junk food, laughing often, practicing at home yoga, and spending time with family. Moreover, diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing, can trigger a response in the body that relaxes our muscles and slows down our heart rate. Remember, that during an unusual situation like this, we must make an emphasis to take care of our mental and emotional wellbeing. And that means making sure that our mind isn't flooded with error messages.

Nadzeya Fliaha (Class of 2020)

Computer error messages

24/7 Lecture: Magnetic refrigerators

Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.


24 seconds: Conventional refrigerators, the ones that you use at home to keep your food cold, are actually harmful to our environment in the long run. Upon disposal, they release hydrofluorocarbons into the atmosphere and largely contribute to global carbon emissions. A viable substitute to a conventional refrigerator is a magnetic refrigerator. It operates without the use of these harmful gases and instead utilizes magnetic phase transitions to achieve their cooling effect. Magnetic phase transitions need to be studied to improve existing magnetic refrigerators and make current models more energy efficient.

7 words: Magnetic refrigerators are cool without carbon emissions.

Nadzeya Fliaha (Class of 2020)

Quarantine Blog: Grading policy update

Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 by for Quarantine Blog.

Midwood High School

Many people have been impacted by this coronavirus harder than others. Midwood students can find academic relief through this time through the new guidelines by Chancellor Richard Carranza and Chief Academic Officer Linda Chen. For all NY high school students: there will be traditional grades and grade point average, but there's also an option for students to choose to have a "passing" grade instead of a traditional grade, which won't impact their overall GPA. Furthermore, If some students need more time in completing their work, there will be a "Course In Progress" selection and students from 9th to 11th grade will have until January 2021 to make up work. Students can also reach out to their teachers and counselors through email if they need assistance in their academic work.

If students are bored, or want to be more involved in school activities they can right from their couch. Despite the absence of physical meetings of club members, there will be online activities and through Microsoft Teams. The clubs that have begun online activities are Badminton Club, Cultural Diversity, Drama, Girls Who Code, KJC, Mental Health Awareness Club, and UNICEF. For more information on new online student activities follow Midwood Student Council on Instagram.

Ihtsham Chaudhry (Class of 2020)

Quarantine Blog: The broken machine

Posted on Monday, April 27, 2020 by for Quarantine Blog.

During my junior year of high school, my friend and I joined a SUNY Downstate lab, where we analyzed and compiled data. One day I noticed that one of the tests looked extremely strange. Being new to the lab, I was hesitant to notify the professor so I shared the error with my friend. We thought we were simply mistaken in our analysis, however, as new batches of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) arrived we noticed the same trend. At that point, we brought the issue up to our professor who then instructed us to figure out what went wrong. After some digging, we found that the microplate reader used to analyze the Griess assay was broken and was why we were getting strange results. My and my partner's realization ended saving the lab a lot of time by preventing them from continuing to use a broken machine.

Inexperienced or not you can still contribute.

Daniel Drozdov (Class of 2020)

Printed data table with handwritten annotation
Strange data

Quarantine Blog: Can’t sleep? Try getting up at sunrise.

Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2020 by for Quarantine Blog.


Sleeping in until noon everyday used to be the stuff of my dreams. As it turns out, the consequences of doing such on a daily basis are much harsher than I'd imagined. What started as a nonchalant habit of turning in at midnight and waking up at 1:00 PM quickly turned into an unbreakable cycle of eyes tearing at the blue light of my phone screen until 4:00 in the morning and waking up well past lunch time. I was groggy during the day, and inexhaustible at night. My circadian rhythm laughed in my face whenever I tried to close my eyes. I couldn't take it anymore, and I knew what had to be done. I set my alarm for 6:00 AM. I would get up so early that my body would be unable to fight the tiredness come evening. As the sky slowly paled, I fought my every instinct to hit snooze and met the sun at my window. I watched it ascend, the only person awake in my home, and started my day. I did yoga, I made dalgona coffee, I read books, I did homework, I baked cookies, I… I… I was curled fast asleep by 9:00 PM.

Alyssa Kattan (Class of 2020)

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