The Home of Midwood Science Research

Massive blizzard to slam NYC with over a foot of snow Tuesday

Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2017 by for Everyone.

Here is the very latest update with timing and conditions, model predictions, and the new snowfall forecast, which is likely over a foot across the entire NYC area. A final call to come tomorrow, so like and follow AllanWeather NYC on Facebook or Twitter for the latest!

Posted by Allan Nosov (Class of 2017)

Trifecta of storms

Posted on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 by for Everyone.

With a late-season arctic blast due to invade the East late this week and into next week, three chances for snow are possible in the Tri-State through next week!

Weather map 1
STORM #1, High Confidence, Friday: A couple to several inches likely from NYC to DC with a moderate-strength clipper system ushering in the arctic air.
 
Weather map 2
STORM #2, Low Confidence, Sat./Sun: A storm coming from the Central Plains will redevelop as a coastal storm late Saturday. Many factors will decide the track of the storm, which currently by the models is far enough south of the area.
 
Weather map 3
STORM #3, Low Confidence, Tuesday: This one could be the biggest one of the bunch just before the arctic air departs. The problem, its still a week away. Three main scenarios, and each has widely varying effects.

Visit Allan’s Facebook page, AllanWeather NYC, for more updates!

Nomon Mohammad and Hufsa Tasnim are JSHS Semifinalists

Posted on Friday, February 10, 2017 by for Awards, JSHS.

Husfsa and Nomon standing in front of stairs holding certificates

On Sunday, February 5th, 2017 two Midwood Students — Hufsa Tasnim and Nomon Mohammad — were chosen as semifinalists to present in front of judges and other semifinalists at York College for the New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). Both students won second place in their individual categories. Nomon Mohammad was chosen to move forward as one of the top 10 finalists in the city. Once again, our research students have not failed to make Midwood proud!

  • Nomon Mohammad
    "Anthraquinone as an effective electrolyte for redox flow batteries." Nomon worked under the supervision of Dr. Sophia Suarez and Mr. Domenec Paterno in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.
  • Hufsa Tasnim
    "Epistatic interaction between sgo‑1 and htp‑2 mutants in chromosome and centrosome inheritance." Hufsa worked under the supervision of Dr. Mara Schvarzstein in the Department of Biology at Brooklyn College

Written by Noor Asif and Pauletta Lazarevskiy (Class of 2017).

Heavy, significant snow Thursday night

Posted on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 by for Everyone.

BREAKING: DeBlasio has decided to CLOSE SCHOOLS TOMORROW. 12–18" expected!

The VERY latest on tomorrow’s potentially crippling snowstorm, which will likely be a blizzard for Eastern Long Island! Updated models and forecast accumulations! For more information, visit AllanWeather NYC on Facebook.

AllanWeather NYC Map of snow accumulations through Thursday night

Written by Allan Nosov (Class of 2017)

Midwood collects top awards at St. Joseph’s College

Posted on Sunday, February 5, 2017 by for Awards, St. Joseph's.

On February 4th 2017, the 22nd Annual High School Poster Session was held at St. Joseph’s College in Fort Green, Brooklyn. 22 midwood students presented their research findings at the event to multiple judges. Midwood faced strong competition from many schools including Union City, which had twice as many students as Midwood. Midwood students took away all first and second place awards as well as 4 honorable mentions.

  1. Jennifer Phu and Elizabeth Skapley
    "Synthesis of trifluorinated alkynes as intermediates to catechol synthesis." Jennifer and Elizabeth worked under the supervision of Dr. Wayne F.K. Schnatter in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University.
  2. Marco Ramirez
    "Alkyl chain length influence on conductivity and activation energy of pyrrolidinium-based RTILs." Marco worked under the supervision of Dr. Sophia Suarez and Mr. Domenec Paterno in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.
Jennifer and Elizabeth standing in front of their poster Marco standing in front of his poster
  1. Amna Aslam
    "Role of nucleolar stress factors in DNA damage response." Amna worked under the supervision of Dr. Anjana D. Saxena in the Department of Biology at Brooklyn College.
  2. Mahmoud Abouelkheir
    "Intra-microcolony spatial positioning affects antibiotic susceptibility in Neisseria gonorrhoeae." Mahmoud worked under the supervision of Dr. Nicolas Biais in the Department of Biology at Brooklyn College.
Amna standing in front of her poster Mahmoud standing in front of his poster
  1. Erica Levin
    "Determining the mercury concentrations in the atmosphere using a biotracker." Erica worked under the supervision of Dr. Anthony Carpi and Dr. Erin Mann in the Department of Sciences at John Jay College.
  2. Vivian Luu
    "A variable temperature study of the conductivity and activation energy of aqueous solutions of VOSO4 in 1 M TFSA." Vivian worked under the supervision of Dr. Sophia Suarez and Mr. Domenec Paterno in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.
  3. Jasleen Kaur
    "Evaluating efficient methods for determining bioaccessible lead." Jasleen worked under the supervision of Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng and Ms. Sara Perl Egendorf in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College.
  4. Whitney Wong and Yang Fan (Angel) Zou
    "Inducement of LEA proteins from Ramazzottius varieornatus for desiccation tolerant Escherichia coli." Whitney and Angel worked under the supervision of Dr. Ellen Jorgensen and Mr. William Shindel at Genspace NYC.

Group photo of the Midwood winners, standing shoulder to shoulder in a row
All 10 award winners from Midwood High School, left to right: Vivian Luu, Jasleen Kaur, Mahmoud Abouelkheir, Marco Ramirez, Elizabeth Skapley, Jennifer Phu, Whitney Wong, Amna Aslam, Yang Fan Angel Zou, Erica Levin

Written by Noor Asif and Pauletta Lazarevskiy (Class of 2017).

Ocean Science Team prepares for competiton

Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2017 by for Media, Ocean Science.

As February quickly approaches, the Ocean Science team is preparing for their next big competition.

Ocean Science is an academic competition focusing on topics such as biology, chemistry, physics and geology within the school where they meet three times a week. They prepare to compete in regional tournaments as qualifiers for nationals.

"The team is very dedicated and I’m proud to be a part of it," said Celine Lam ’18.

According to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, there are 25 regional competitions in which the winner from each will advance to the finals, which are typically held in April. This year’s finals will be held in Corvallis, Oregon, and the top three winners will be awarded with a trip to exciting locations.

Lam says that to do well on the team, you need to have perseverance and to maintain your grades.

The team is divided into two groups, A and B team. These teams usually contain a mix of juniors and seniors, with a few sophomores. In the beginning of the school year, members take a pretest, quizzing their prior knowledge. Throughout the school year, the members go through the rigorous curriculum. Then they take their posttest before their qualifying tournament, which decides whether or not they go into A team, B team, or neither.

Last year’s A team performed extraordinarily well and placed ninth place in the national Ocean Science tournament.

"I do feel tensed because you’re expected to get things right, but nobody’s perfect so we’re all working hard," said Jennifer Phu ’17, captain of the A team.

The assistant coach Ms. Kimberly Lau said, "There is now pressure to maintain the title but they work really hard and are doing even more work than last year’s team."

Ms. Lau has been improving the way the team learns the curriculum. Accommodating their regular weekly lessons, the students this year now create targeted questions for each unit in the modules and create presentations per unit. The team then competes with each other after their lessons are completed. Ms. Lau then decides whether or not each student had mastered the subject before moving on.

The head coach for this year will likely remain the assistant principal, Mr. Alan Stack, due to Ms. Lau’s busy schedule.

"I love how everyone is friendly and competitive at the same time," said newcomer Ivy Li ’18, "I love learning weird facts about animals and teaching about a topic in ocean is helping me build confidence in my everyday life."

The team members are very excited for newcomers and want to see how they play in an actual tournament.

"It’s competitive but in the end, we’re all still a family," said captain of the B team, Saleh Salem ’18, "It’s rigorous but as long as you keep up, it’s worth it."

Usually Ms. Lau approaches potential team members, which most of the time are her outgoing students since she knows them well. However, for students who are eager to join can directly approach Ms. Lau on her off hours.

Written by Ashley Masih and Kareem Ibrahim (Class of 2018).
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 edition of Argus.

Robotics Team Rolls into Victory at FTC

Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2017 by for Media, Robotics.

The Rolling Drones, Bötley Crüe, and Pink Droyd of the robotics team will be competing on January 14 for the First Tech Challenge.

"This is preparation for the real tech world," said Rabia Javaid ’17, Bötley Crüe’s engineering notebook keeper.

The teams have been preparing for the qualifiers for months. This year’s competition is Velocity Vortex sponsored by Qualcomm. FTC is a big competition that role plays for real life situations. Collecting balls and bringing them to an higher place is this year’s main theme for scoring high but risky points.

"In other words, future innovator’s robots could go up in space and collect particles," said Javaid ’17.

Programs like FTC spurs up competitive spirits and push out 21 century work-life skills like problem solving, management, and communication to a higher level. Each captain of the team have high responsibilities and management for the team.

"The most difficult thing I had to do was to get everybody on the same page so they could visualize my goals for the robot," said Ron Lazimi ’17, captain of the Bötley Crüe team. "Our robot is decently built with a good chance on getting past the qualifiers but we’re missing some major components like sensors because they didn’t come in time."

Even without the most vital parts of robots, the teams managed to work around the problem. Other captains also expresses their concerns and success.

Larger group portrait

Captain of The Rolling Drones Mari Geguchadze ’17 said, "I’ve never really had to account for an entire team before. Sometimes it’s a little suffocating. I think that aside, we have a pretty good grasp on the competition."

Although The Rolling Drones are experiencing some trouble coordinating, they’ve pulled through with a robot built much quicker than the other two teams.

"This year, AutoCad is very intense due to our time limit. The team works very well together trying to back each other up and giving good feedback on plans and tactics for winning," said Captain of Pink Droyd, Mohammad Ishtiaq ’17.

In the end, the most important thing is that all teams have each other’s support and working together to reach their ultimate goals. "

As time progressed, my team and I grew a bond together and we’re able to make changes and build on each other’s ideas," said Sidney Yee ’18, a builder of Bötley Crüe.

Matthew Eng ’17, another builder of Bötley Crüe, said, "Building with what we came up with was easy but testing and rebuilding takes a lot time in order to reach the consistency that is crucial to robots."

Smaller group portrait

Captains weren’t the only ones to have their hands full. Tasks assigned to team members receive high expectations and are expected to be complete within a certain time frame.

Budget is another problem in this year’s FTC competition. New logos were designed by each respective team. This means there needs to be a new batch of team attire to be ordered and each team member had to pay for their own attire.

"This year’s funds were a lot less than last years and I don’t have direct control over it. I can’t make everyone pay $30 for a T-shirt," said Mr. Jahn, coach of the robotics teams.

Funds were in the hands of Parent’s Association and accessing it was not as easy. With barely enough money to cover the fees of sign-up for the competition, funds were used sparingly.

However, Anthony Annuziato ’17 from Bötley Crüe managed to hook up everybody with three local sponsors. The team is able to get more funds for parts which helps greatly since many remaining parts for the robots were previously abused to even function properly. Sarah Wu ’17 and Tiffany Zhang ’17 from Pink Droyds also put in efforts in fundraising by crafting perler beads art.

This year we also have designed a completely new website ran by Pink Droyds team with Bötley Crüe’s contribution. It serves as a purpose of attraction for people who are interested in our program inside and outside of the school. Visit midwoodrobotics.org for more information and details about the teams and classes.

"It’s time for us to face the real challenge, and we are ready," said Javaid ’17.

Written by LeiBin Li (Class of 2018).
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 edition of Argus.

Researchers Compete at ISEF

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016 by for ISEF, Media.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) winners were announced on May 12 and 13. Urooj Ansari ’16 and Bilal Azhar ’16, along with 14 other high school seniors, represented New York in this international competition.

The competition is split into several categories of science. Some categories include Biochemistry, Microbiology, Physics, Materials science and many more.

Ansari competed in Microbiology, while Azhar competed in Physics. Ansari and Azhar both got into the competition by winning the ISEF award in NYCSEF on April 1.

“The competition was a lot of fun. It required a lot of work, but the experience was worth it,” said Azhar.

Within each category, awards are given to first, second third and fourth place. In addition, “special awards” are given to competitors for specific criteria.

Ultimately, the Grand Prize is a special award given to the best presenter. Awards are given through judging.

Group photo in front of desert plants

Students are encouraged to prepare/design their posters with creativity and depth, and present with emphasis and clarity.

The specific rubric can be found on the Intel ISEF website. Mr. Glenn Elert, one of the Midwood Research teachers, said, “A lot of the science competitions have awards that are basically invites to other competitions.”

Students get individual awards; however, each competitor is part of a team representing a state/country. Virginia, New York, Canada, and even Japan competed in ISEF on May 12-17 in Phoenix, Arizona.

New York won several awards in a variety of categories. Ultimately, Canada has won the Grand Prize, The Gordon E. Moore Award of $75,000.

“ISEF is a lot of work, a lot of fun, and a lot of eating. We spent most of the time figuring out where we will eat,” said Elert.

The first place award was given to the project that developed a better microbial fuel cell that creates electricity effectively.

Ansari’s project focused on a “chemical warfare” between two oral bacteria. Azhar focused on the energy conversion in two different types of magnets used in solid state refrigeration.

Written by Michael Grandel (Class of 2017).
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of Argus.

Sophomore Researchers Take Spotlight

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016 by for Media, Science Fair.

From projects on honey and bees to acid rain and corrosion, the science fair covered a wide range of topics and food. Mr. Glenn Elert coordinates the science fair each year, along with help from Ms. Stacy Goldstein and Ms. Shaniece Mosley.

According to Mr. Elert, he has been coordinating the science fair for about eight years, but Midwood itself has been holding the science fair ever since the school opened.

"The fair is a really exciting event," said Mr. Elert. "There’s a lot of energy and it’s a really great thing to experience, especially since some of the alumni come back."

Sophomore research students had to present their projects while the junior and senior research students were the judges. According to Mr. Elert, the judges score the presenters in different categories, then tally up the scores. Afterwards, Ms. Mosley and Ms. Goldstein look at all the scores on a spreadsheet since the presenters are seen by multiple judges, and decide on first, second and third place, along with honorable mentions. Winners will be decided in June after the scores are calculated.

Photo of one of the presentation rooms with presenters and judges
Presenters and judges at work.

Junior judge Mahmoud Abouelkheir ’17, reminisced about when he was a presenter and compared his presenting experience with his judging experience.

"It’s definitely a new experience from being in that presenter position last year to judging this year," said Abouelkheir. "It’s exciting but at the same time I’d prefer not to do it because I don’t like to be critical, especially to these students that worked so hard on their projects."

Abouelkheir said that he prefers presenting over judging because he feels he can better express himself in presenting instead of judging.

Other junior judge Zenab Jamil ’17, shared Abouelkheir’s excitement over judging, but would rather judge than present.

"It feels kind of nostalgic judging these projects because I was in their position last year," said Jamil. "I would definitely much rather judge though. It’s a lot less pressure and a lot less intimidating."

Senior judge Laila Akallal ’16, has already had her experience with presenting and judging, preferring the former.

"It’s really nice to see how the projects differ from year to year and see everyone come together," said Akallal. "Personally I like presenting a little more because I love sharing what I’ve learned and presenting is gonna be something that you’ll have to do later on in life as well."

The judges knew how stressed and worried the presenters were, so they tried to make it as smooth as possible. Abby Beginyazova ’18, is one of the many presenters and praised the judges for making the whole event comfortable for them and as easy as possible.

"Ms. Mosley and the judges really helped to make things easier for us. We had three weeks and I feel like that was a really short time since the first week was all AP tests," said Beginyazova. "Ms. Mosley and the judges gave us leeway because they knew how stressed we all were and how hard we all worked."

Beginyazova also said that she wished she had more time to work on the project so she could’ve done more trials, but she feels confident in her ability and her project.

Presenter Jessica Rakhamim ’18, shared Beginyazova’s appreciation of the judges and how they made the event as smooth as possible and the presenters comfortable.

"My partner and I worked on the project together. She’s a very artistic person and we described the project in a way that showed that music can be applied to science, and I think the judges made it a lot easier to do that," said Rakhamim. "For our project, we had to present our topic and discuss our data and show how it applied to real life. The judges asked questions that were simple and valid enough. Everyone was really nice."

After presenting, students were offered a variety of food, including  sandwiches, snacks and a multitude of sodas to reward them for their hard work. Elizabeth Skapley ’17, was gracious of the fact that the faculty had ordered food for everyone involved in the science fair.

"I think it’s a really nice thing that the school did to help. There were maybe more than a hundred of us and so much food. I’m surprised there were leftovers," said Skapley. "After a long day, it felt good to sit down with my friends and talk about what projects we liked the most. Overall, I’m happy with the results."

Written by Kaelah Blanchette and Yumna Ahmed (Class of 2017).
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of Argus.

Researchers Dominate Brooklyn College Science Day

Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2016 by for Brooklyn College, Media.

Brooklyn College was buzzing with scientists from all over the city on Friday, May 6 for the annual Brooklyn College Science Day. However,  researchers from Midwood claimed all the awards in the high school division.

The competition kicked off at 9am, when students arrived to check-in and set up their posters. This was followed by a two hour judging period from 10am to noon. After a short lunch, awards were given out to the best presenters and their projects at 1pm.   

"I’m very proud of the students that won," said Mr. Glenn Elert, Senior Research Coordinator. "Everyone earned their awards through hard work and brains."

Kai Saunders ’16 and Noor Asif ’17 took home the first place honors. Urooj Ansari ’16 was awarded second place, and Roshan Chudry ’16  came in third place.

"I feel grateful to win again," said Saunders. "I feel more confident about my work and how much I can make an impact."

Award winner group photo
Kai Saunders, Noor Asif, Urooj Ansari, Roshan Chudry

Saunders has been on something of a hot streak lately claiming victories in all 5 of the research competitions this year. She was awarded with the equivalent of about $900 in awards and prizes from previous competitions, and she has earned a spot at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia Program nationals.

"Honestly, I pray before every single competition I have," continued Saunders. "I repeat Matthew 19:26 in my head constantly throughout each competition, and it really boosts my confidence."

Asif’s first place finish is also impressive especially considering this is the first time she presented her project at an official competition. She is also the first and only junior to enter a research competition this year.

"When they were announcing the names for the high school winners, I definitely did not expect to win. Even when they said that the first place award went to someone from my professor’s, Dr. Grasso,  psychology lab, I assumed it was my friend," said Asif. " It felt so unreal when they called my name because as I said, I honestly didn’t expect any position, much less first place."

Like Saunders, Ansari has also strung together a series of victories.

"It felt great to win. My lab mates were in the audience and an undergrad from my lab also won. Sharing the moment with them made it much more special," she said. "We all spent countless hours in lab together and we were able to see our efforts pay off together."

Ansari also earned herself a coveted spot in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. This came after her first place finish at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair.

Large group photo
Brooklyn College Science Day — Friday, May 6, 2016

I was able to meet individuals my age who were just as passionate about STEM. Many of them were already CEOs of their own companies and were headed to prestigious colleges in the near future," said Ansari. "Being among such individuals was an honor. To this day, I find it hard to believe that I was selected to be one of the 15 students selected out of the 700 projects entered. It was an inspiring experience overall and has motivated me to work harder."

Last but not least, Roshan Chudry claimed her first award of the year on Friday.

"This is the first time I’ve won in research," said Chudry. "I was extra shocked at first, but then I was elated. I’m grateful and more motivated in my future endeavors in research."

This is the third straight year that the Midwood Science Research program was able to win every award at the high school level at Brooklyn College Science Day.

"We had the stronger projects and it showed," said Elert.

Written by Daniel Guobadia (Class of 2016).
This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of Argus.

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