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!
Visit Allan’s Facebook page, AllanWeather NYC, for more updates!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
Written by Noor Asif and Pauletta Lazarevskiy (Class of 2017).
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.
Written by Allan Nosov (Class of 2017)
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.
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).
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
Scholarships, awards, Bitcoins, and dollar prizes were awarded to 15 Midwood High School research competitors at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) Awards Ceremony on April 1. Two students received the most prestigious award, an invitation to represent New York at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
The ISEF award is the main goal for research competitors Bilal Azhar ’16 and Urooj Ansari ’16 both received the invitation and will represent New York at ISEF in Phoenix, Arizona May 8–13 along with 14 other representatives In addition, Azhar, Ansari, and Gloria Cao ’16 received the First Award, which is considered as a first place award. Second and Third place awards were also given out to several research students.
"I feel great and excited for ISEF," said Azhar "It was definitely worth the stress since I got to participate in a very strong STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] community and won."
The Midwood Research class enables students to participate in NYCSEF and other competitions. Students are required to go through extensive work in their junior and senior years. By mid-junior year students are required to work in a lab with researchers, professors, and scientists and use their newfound research as the basis for competitions. Detailed understanding and skills are required for those aiming to win at NYCSEF and other fairs.
Azhar’s project won in the category of Physics & Space Sciences. He conducts his research with Dr. Karl Sandeman in Brooklyn College. Urooj Ansari won in the Microbiology category, and her research was conducted with Dr. Nicolas Biais in Brooklyn College. For further details, view the Midwood Science website
Azhar said "I understood my project very well It takes a lot of researching to understand the concepts. In addition, I had to practice my presentation several times before the judging."
The First Award and ISEF invitation aren’t the only prizes. Scholarships and sponsorships also glorified a few of Midwood’s research students. Seniors Kieran Bissessar, Nga Ying Lo, and William Xie were each awarded four-year scholarships to Hunter College.
"The scholarship is an amazing opportunity for students to attend college with significantly less debt. It is definitely worth taking," said Xie.
Midwood 2016 NYCSEF Finalists, clockwise from bottom: Urooj Ansar, Kieran Bissessar, Bilal Azhar, Kai Saunders, Victor Lee, William Xie, Joshua Pilipovsky, Colleen Simon, Emily Hui, Xia Jun (Gloria) Cao, Yusra AbdurRob, Xiu Ling Weng, Nga Ying Lo.
Another award is a Bitcoin from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. A Bitcoin is virtual currency that can be traded and is worth approximately $417. Joseph Parziale ‘16 and Kai Saunders ’16 each received one Bitcoin.
NYCSEF is a big part of Midwood Science research, but it isn’t the only one. The competitors now continue to prepare for other tasks and fairs.
Xie said that he plans on focusing on college. He added that he would enjoy pursuing research during his freshman year of college, but the likelihood is dependent on several factors. Also, the students are preparing for Brooklyn College Science Day.
Research teacher Mr. Glenn Elert is happy for the students, but the load of work to come is substantial.
"It will be a lot of fun, but it will also be a lot of work,” said Mr. Elert "Our schedule is so bad that the only time you’re not doing anything official is when you’re eating or sleeping.”
The Rolling Drones, one of Midwood’s robotics teams, will be moving on to the FTC World Championship from April 27–30 in St. Louis, Missouri. [Note: Due to lack of funds, The Rolling Drones were unable to attend this event as planned.]
The team will be competing against teams from all over the country after being one of the twenty-four teams to move on from the FTC East Super-Regional Championship that took place in Scranton, Pennsylvania from March 18 to March 20. Bötley Crüe, the other team that made it to the Super-Regional made it to the semi-finals, but did not qualify for the World Championship.
Before heading to the Super-Regional competition, Bötley Crüe won the trophy for the winning alliance and the Connect Award for helping the community understand FIRST, the FIRST Tech Challenge, and the team itself at the LI/NYC regional competition that was held at Townsend Harris High School on February 28. The Rolling Drones were awarded the trophy for the Finalist Alliance and won the PTC Design award for the design of their elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic.
"I was overwhelmed with excitement knowing that they are both moving on to the Super-Regional," Ms. Ali said. "It is the ultimate reward after all of their hard work."
The tables turned during regionals. The Rolling Drones won four out five of their qualifying matches while Bötley Crüe only won one. Bötley Crüe had connection issues that prevented the robot from working. At one point, the phone that holds all the programs that allowed the robot to work fell out of its case and hindered the robot from moving. Due to the good relationship with Techno Chix, a Girl Scout group ranked fourth, they were able to move onto the Super-Regional championship. In 2009, Techno Chix and Bötley Crüe moved onto the World Championship together.
"During one of the matches, we went up the mountain way too fast," said Shazem Khalid ’16. "Our robot flipped over and that cost us one of our matches."
Bötley Crüe Captain Victoria Gnip ’16 said, "It was really close and we didn’t think weren’t going to make it because we had so many technical issues. Luckily Techno Chix chose us to be part of their alliance. We were able to fix our technical problems and win the competition."
Shazem Khalid ’16 and Michael Nurilov ’16 are the drivers for Bötley Crüe with Dana Gan ’16 as the coach. As for Rolling Drones, Caitlin Tsang ’17 and Jessy Li ’16 are the drivers while Ihor Bakhank ’16 coaches from the side.
Between each match, the teams had time to make small adjustments to their robots. Mostly, the teams switched up parts of the robot to be better prepared for the different sides of the field that they would be competing on.
Rolling Drones was ranked second and they were able to pick their three alliances and move onto the semi-finals and the finals. Bötley Crüe won one out of the five qualifying matches due to technical difficulties (mostly Bluetooth disconnection) and were ranked 25th.
Both teams moved on to the Super-Regional where they competed in the Grace Hopper Division made up of 36 teams. The other division, Nikola Tesla, was also made up of 36 teams. While Rolling Drones only lost 2 of 9 matches, Bötley Crüe was not as fortunate. The Rolling Drones were in fourth place and got to chose which teams would move on with them to the elimination rounds. The Rolling Drones and Bötley Crüe were allies at the semi-finals but lost the elimination match. The winning teams from each division faced each other for a final match. The Hopper Division won the match, and the teams from that division moved up on the ranking chart. Because of their ranking, the Rolling Drones moved on to the World Championship. Since the Midwood alliance did not win the elimination match, Bötley Crüe could not qualify for the World Championship.
"As a captain, it’s a lot of pressure to keep the team together, organized and strong so we are able to perform to the best of our abilities from match to match. Being calm, cool, and collected was the key to success," said Rolling Drones’ Ihor Bakhnak ’16.
Mr. Jahn said, "I was really proud of both teams for making it that far. Both teams did extremely well despite the fact that Bötley Crüe was teamed up with teams that made it hard to win. I’m glad one of the teams made it."
Moving onto nationals, Kai Saunders ‘16 has gained recognition in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium for her project "Urban Soils: Metal Content in Artifacts".
On February 27, Saunders took part in the regional finals and won Now she is advancing to the National Symposium in Dayton, Ohio from April 27 to 30.
Saunder’s journey began in a research class at Midwood, where Ms. Shaniece Mosley introduced her to the JSHS competition. The inspiration for her project was gained at an internship at Brooklyn College. Saunders was under the guidance of Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng and Dr. Hermine Huot in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Saunders said, "Hermine was like a mother to everyone." She continued to explain that Huot guided everyone with their projects, as it was more than just Saunders in the internship.
Kai Saunders will represent NYC at the National JSHS in April
The project began as Saunders and other researchers studied the papers of Richard V. Pouyat and El Khalil. These papers were on topics similar to what she went on to research for her project. It inspired her and informed her a lot on urban soil and the metal contents.
Saunders met up with her professors on a weekly basis, around twice a week depending on her lacrosse schedule. She managed her time wisely and had a weekly plan. Ms. Mosley, Saunders’ supervising teacher, monitored her project by checking on her research logbook when Midwood research students meet up once a week.
Ms. Mosley would ask her research students to explain their projects to her. If they are able to, then it is implied that the students understood their topic fully and can present their projects elsewhere.
"When the research is out of my field, one of the easiest things I can do is have the students explain to me what they are doing because they can relate their research to anyone in any discipline when they share their findings. I also think having students explain their research to me ensures that they really understand the concepts and the experimental procedures associated with their projects," said Ms. Mosley.
As Ms. Mosley sees how her students have changed, she is proud to see them establish better communication skills and become successful in their research. This includes Saunders, as she proceeds on to the National JSHS.
"I am glad to see my students grow as individuals and see their hard work pay off They far exceeded my expectations, by just being able to stand in front of their peers and other scientists and a talk at length about their research is astonishing feat," she continued.
Through the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, her public speaking improved and she gained confidence. She was able to meet other researchers and learn about their experiences from their projects.
First place went to Midwood’s Ocean Science Team at the 2016 Bay Scallop Bowl administered by Stony Brook University on Saturday, March 5.
Simply put, teams of four players compete against one another in rounds structured around two "team challenge questions" sandwiched at the beginning and end by a 6 minute round of buzzer questions. During the buzzer round, multiple-choice toss-up questions are read until a team answers one correctly. That team can then collaborate on a short answer bonus question to score additional points. Team challenges are timed worksheets that require all four players to cooperate and think critically to answer the prompts. The team with the most points at the end of the final buzzer round wins.
The day began at 15 minutes before six in the morning at Midwood on Saturday for the coaches, competitors, and spectators as they boarded the bus to Long Island.
"Midwood has sent a team to the Bay Scallop Bowl for seven years with nothing higher than last year’s third place finish, but I have a gut feeling this year is going to make Midwood history," said A-Team coach Mr. Alan Stack.
This year Midwood, once again, had the opportunity to bring an A- and a B-Team to compete.
"Having a B-Team gives the underclassmen a chance to experience the competition and work through their nerves, so they don’t have to go in blind when they compete for the win next year," said A-Team Captain Andrew Li ’16.
Following a complimentary breakfast and guest speakers, the "group stage" that determined seeding began. In the first round, Midwood’s A-Team faced St. Ann’s who had knocked out Midwood and won it all two years prior.
This year, the Hornets would have none of it. Quick buzzing left St. Ann’s in the dust as A-Team racked up a 98-48 victory.
"Their captain had his face in his hands by the end of the match from being beaten to the buzz on nearly every question," said Mr. Stack with a smile.
B-Team faced a quick buzzing team of its own in Commack but still pulled out a win of 74–58.
In the second round, it was Midwood vs. Midwood, which was the friendliest competition either team faced that day. A-Team and B-Team coaches Mr. Stack and Ms. Kimberly Lau shook hands cheerfully, and the round was off. The A-Team quickly took control and won comfortably 114–17. Nonetheless everyone was all smiles.
Round 3 pitted the A-Team against Commack and the B-Team against St. Ann’s. The A-Team won convincingly 105–52 by the end despite the shocking speed of Commack’s player 3 and some close calls earlier in the match. The B-Team had it tougher facing St. Ann’s and was down by 18 before the final buzzer round. Then B-Team turned it up and began to interrupt with confidence. They clinched the round 60–53 with a final interrupt and bonus with under ten seconds remaining.
"It was a frenzy. We just answered what we knew," continued B-Team co-Captain Allan Nosov ’17, "Luckily, victory was in the forecast."
That marked the end of group stages with the A-Team sitting at 3–0 and B-Team at 2–1. Following lunch, the A-Team was seeded second and set to face 15 seed Bellport.
The A-Team had trouble early on against the underdog Bellport and was only up by four points after the team challenges. Fortunately, in the final buzzer round the Hornets pulled through and won comfortably 73–36.
"Incorrect interrupts almost cost us there, and although we won, it should have been much cleaner," said Li nervously.
However, the real story was when the seventh seed B-Team was set to face the tenth seed Stuyvesant in Round 4. This was higher stakes than usual because it was single elimination, so a loss here meant a team would be booted from competition. Despite giving it their all, the B-Team fell to Stuyvesant by just over 10 points leaving the remaining eight teams in a double elimination tournament.
"We were tied before the team challenges, we fell behind afterward, and unfortunately Stuy beat us in on the buzz in the final round," said B-Team player Anne Wang ’17.
"Although, I’m disappointed to lose," stated B-Team Co-Captain Jennifer Phu ’17. "Today made me want to place higher when we come back next year."
As luck would have it, the A-Team would face Stuyvesant in Round 5. The A-Team gritted their teeth for a grudge match but led handily early on keeping Stuyvesant to zero until the team challenges. By the end, Midwood won 102–40.
"That wasn’t too bad because we focus exclusively on ocean science," explained A-Team player Bart Rosenzweig ’16, "But their team was visibly just a general science team which gave us the edge."
Round 6 was the winners’ bracket semifinal, and the A-Team won without a hitch against Woodlands 90–28. Rosenzweig stunned the judges by answering a multiple-choice question on taxonomy verbatim before any choices were read.
Round 7 pitted Midwood against the first seed, host, and returning champion Mount Sinai. There was a crowd of Midwood and Mount Sinai spectators watching this winner’s bracket final that pitted two undefeated Goliaths against each other (figuratively of course, because we’re nerds after all). It was tied at 24 following the first toss up round, but the Hornets trailed at the end of the two team challenges. It was close when the Hornets came to within 6 halfway through the final buzzer round, but an interrupt cost them four points. They fell 57–71.
"We tried hard, but we could’ve been faster," remarked A-Team player Joseph Parziale ’16, "It’s not over yet."
This defeat left Mount Sinai in the grand finals undefeated to face the winner of the losers’ bracket finals. There, in Round 8, Midwood faced Stuyvesant for a rematch. It went the same as the first matc — the A-Team picked up points left and right leading the whole way through, winning by over 30 points.
"That loss could’ve demoralized us, but instead we powered on and got our momentum back," exclaimed A-Team alternate Austin Siu ’16.
That left Midwood with one loss versus undefeated Mount Sinai in Round 9. The Hornets needed to win twice in a row to win it all — no small task.
"Let’s go meet our maker," said Rosenzweig nearly with a straight face.
Then they were off. The first buzzer round was a blur, but by the end of it Midwood led by nearly 20 points. Despite taking a net point loss from the team challenge questions, Midwood outpaced Mount Sinai in the final buzzer round and won 87–57.
"The pro-Sinai crowd was shocked silent, and I knew the guys could do it!" cheered Ms. Lau.
Before the final round, at well past six in the evening, Mr. Stack simply said, "You did it once. They’re demoralized. Go out there and show them what you can really do."
At the outset, things looked grim. The A-Team was down 0–20 midway through the buzzer round but managed to scrape back to 14–24 by the end of the round. The challenges came, and Li said he didn’t feel at all confident. After the first challenge scores Midwood was down by 16 points, and the boys in blue sunk in their chairs.
"We knew the second even less than we knew the first," said Parziale grimacing.
To the team’s surprise, Midwood scored four more than Mount Sinai. Then down by 12, the Hornets were back in the game.
"I saw them jump to attention in their seats when they saw the scores, and I knew they were back in it," said spectator Michelle Do ’16.
The six minutes began to tick down. Midwood buzzed in correctly and converted a bonus to a come back at 38–40. Then Sinai lengthened their lead to 44–38. Midwood seized the lead for the first time with another toss-up and bonus conversion making the score 48–44, but Sinai quickly tied with two minutes left.
"They were neck-and-neck, and there were less than two minutes left," said Ms. Lau, "My eyes were glued to the stage, and my nails were clawed into my chair. I can only imagine how the guys on stage were feeling."
After a few incorrect responses on both sides, Midwood broke the tenuous tie and took a 52–48 lead with only 30 seconds left. Mount Sinai needed one question to tie and could win with a bonus.
The moderator began to read. It was about the Portuguese man o’ war’s anatomy. The reader got to the second choice. There was a buzz, interrupt, recognition, an answer and silence. Time was at five seconds. The reader looked down at the screen. He looked back up and said, "INCORRECT." There was a hush in the crowd. Minus four from Mount Sinai. Mr. Stack threw his hands into the air. Mount Sinai’s player 1 held his head in his hands. Time ran out. Midwood got a full reread and answered correctly. There was applause. The bonus question was foregone. The reader kept reading, but time was out. The time keeper yelled, "GAME." It was Sinai–44 and Midwood–56.
"There it was. Midwood had won, and I couldn’t believe it," gasped Ms. Lau, "I had to wait for the announcer to be sure."
"These guys put in years of work and it paid off in full," said spectator, alumnus, and former Captain Helen Wong ’15.
The next stop for Midwood is National Ocean Sciences Bowl in Morehead City, North Carolina in late April.
"I knew they could do it," concluded Mr. Stack. "I couldn’t be happier for them and what their victory will mean for the school for years to come."
Scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 will be awarded to the victors of the 2016 Moody’s Mega Math Challenge. Ten Midwood students competed nationally against other high schools in two teams of five, held on February 27 and 28.
Annually, Moody’s Mega Math Challenge (also known as the M3) organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) tests the intelligence and creativity of high school juniors and seniors. Each high school can have two teams of three to five students who solve a task that challenges their knowledge in applied mathematics. The team has 14 consecutive hours to submit a solution electronically. The papers of the top six teams are posted on the M3 website, each receiving prizes, in which the first place team receives $20,000. The top six finalist teams in the Challenge will be invited to Moody’s Corporation headquarters in Manhattan to present their papers for the final confirmation phase of judging.
"The M3 Challenge allows students a chance to experience a timely and relevant challenge that requires mathematical modeling and analysis to find a solution," said Ms. Linda Grabowski, the teacher coach for this challenge. "It helps promote STEM education and shows the value of math to solve problems like this. It enables students to experience the challenges that an applied mathematician or someone in a related career choice might face."
This year’s task was focused on car sharing companies and their potential profits, such as Zipcar and Uber. The team members had to generate mathematical and logistical models to present their solution.
Midwood’s first team was made up of seniors Irla Belli, Zhivko Evtimov, Boris Arbuzov, Elizabeth Krazner, and junior Michael Grandel. The second team was made up of juniors Zainab Jamil, Elizabeth Skapley, Jennifer Phu, Nomon Mohammad, and Zainab Salahudin.
Both teams had a similar opinion about the problem, which was deemed to be abstract and diverted from past examples. For example, the 2015 question dealt with college tuition and future success, and the 2014 question dealt with lunch cost and nutrition values.
"I thought that the challenge was very thought provoking and allowed for many theoretical analyses to be made," said Belli. "However, it really tested our capabilities since there was less conventional math involved than we hoped. Since that was the case, we were somewhat caught off guard by the challenge but attempted to seize the moment and work together to produce a solution paper. We approached the problem logically while staying in Starbucks for 11 hours and then going to a friend’s house for the remaining three hours."
These real world problems are normally tackled by experienced applied mathematicians, but this competition presents these problems to students who are expected to provide a solution in 14 hours. This requires versatility from the competitors that is normally present in the mathematicians. Therefore, the inexperience of the competitors promotes dilemmas within the group.
Ms. Grabowski said, "The M3 challenge promotes team-work and brainstorming to come up with many ideas and concepts, but the group has to come to an agreement on one method of attack for their shared solution within the time allocated."
Arbuzov confirmed this, revealing the issues his team faced. He said, "In my opinion, a big issue was a lack of direction from the group. Being previously unexposed to such problems, we struggled to figure out a set plan. This lead to confusion within the group about what we were researching and disagreements of approach. Overall, this culminated in a large loss of time."
The math challenge can also be a representation of how high school prepares their students for the real world. This math challenge exemplifies the high school educational system based on how malleable the students are when it comes to applying what they’ve learned. The competitors from Midwood seem to have contradicting views as to how Midwood’s curriculum prepares them for these situations.
"Midwood prepared us because of the tasks that we do in our classrooms," said Salahudin. "We were taught how to effectively manage our time while working cooperatively with our team. Our end results incorporate our hard work and ideas that came from everyone in the group."
Some students thought otherwise. For example, Evtimov said. "After participating in the challenge, I believe Midwood does not prepare students well enough to survive in real world occupations. Our curriculum is based on the New York State Regents exams, Common Core agenda and the AP exams. None of the classes actually helped us approach this question."
Seniors have once again taken the annual Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) competition by storm.
Both Kai Saunders ’16 and Josh Pilipovsky ’16 were recognized for their outstanding work and represented our school with prestige. With 11Midwood students entered into this competition, seven of them made it to the finals round. Pilipovsky ’16 went ahead and won third place in the Physics category while Saunders ’16 was a finalist and won first in the Chemistry category.
JSHS is a competition which focuses around STEM in grades 9–12 but Midwood has decided to only enter seniors. Entrants must comprise a project with the help of their mentor and supervising research teacher. Individuals then compete in JSHS for scholarships and recognition by presenting to a panel of judges and an audience of peers.
These top students had the help of their science research teachers who include Mr. Glenn Elert, the Research Coordinator and physics teacher, Ms. Shaniece Mosley, chemistry teacher, and Ms. Jennifer Sullivan, biology teacher. All three teachers have an immense amount of knowledge in their field of study and can provide students with insight that will lead them to success.
The process of choosing eleven students out of the entire senior research class was long and demanding. Students were chosen to represent Midwood by having intricate and well-designed projects.
"The best projects balance background research with laboratory skills." stated Mr. Elert.
Saunders ’16 project regarding the study of heavy metal content of artifacts found in urban soil helped her not only advance to the National JSHS but also expand her knowledge about the environment itself.
Students could not have completed these intricate projects without the help of their laboratory mentors.
Kieran Bissessar ’16 said that his project would have gotten nowhere without his mentor, Dr. Donald Gerber from the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, as he is very knowledgeable. Research students are allowed to intern at any location most suitable for them and favorable for their field of study. Colleges that many of the seniors participate at include but are not limited to Brooklyn College, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and NYU.
Individuals had access to immense amount of information provided by both their mentors and the research teachers. Even when Ms. Mosley is not familiar with the topic that a student is researching, she still manages to aid them in the process of perfecting their research.
From being a member of Robotics’ Bötley Crüe to editor of Argus, to participating in the Red Cross and Glee clubs, Midwood’s Quetourah Dalencourt ’16 is a prime example of Midwood’s finest.
Dalencourt started her Midwood experience in the Liberal Arts program and worked her way up to the Medical Science program, participating in many extra-curriculars and advanced classes. Dalencourt was originally set to attend Aviation High School in Queens, but her love for the Medical Science program made her apply here, but the only spots available were in the Liberal Arts program.
"I was supposed to go to this Aviation High School in Queens, but I really didn’t want to go," said Dalencourt "It’s a good school, but Midwood was my first choice school because I really loved Med-Sci, but there was no space. So I just joined as LASI and switched."
Dalencourt participates in the Red Cross Club, Glee Club, Robotics’ Bötley Crüe and is an editor for Argus, along with starting her own Computer Coding Club.
"I joined these clubs because they are just things that I really enjoy doing," said Dalencourt "Like when I first started journalism, I was wondering why I was in the class, but once we learned about layouts and everything, I thought it was cool and definitely something that I could do."
Dalencourt also does undergraduate research at NYU as a part of the Midwood Science Research program.
Dalencourt has always had a passion for volunteer work and helping people, which is why she was thrilled at the Red Cross Club starting in Midwood.
"I was so excited when the Red Cross Club started because the work that they do is really amazing, and I try my best to attend the events," said Dalencourt.
Dalencourt joined the robotics team as a programmer because of her love for computer programming. She was asked to join the team as a programmer despite not taking the required robotics and mechatronics courses.
"I started the coding club because when I began coding I wanted to meet other programmers. Since Midwood didn’t have one, I decided to make my own," said Dalencourt "I met a lot of kids that I didn’t even know were interested in computer science."
Dalencourt plans to double major in computer science and business administration, but also wants to do volunteer work.
"I think it’s really great and important to help people, so it’s something that I really want to do," said Dalencourt "I also want to travel the world, especially to Tokyo because they are really tech savvy and the technology they have there is really great."
She is also a part of the team that works on the yearbook.
"It’s really great because I get a sneak peek at everything that’s going to be in it," said Dalencourt. "We all work together as a team to create the best yearbook possible."
Dalencourt has been a member of Glee club since freshman year.
"Glee club is a lot of fun and I made a ton of great friends," said Dalencourt.
Dalencourt encourages students to participate in extracurricular activities.
"I think anyone can join any club If there is something that you like to do, join the club for it If there is no club for it, then make the club," said Dalencourt. "You get to meet new people who enjoy doing the same thing, and you get to learn from them which is pretty awesome."
Bötley Crüe and Rolling Drones won first place at the FTC East Flatbush Qualifier that took place at Tilden High School on February 6, 2016.
Rolling Drones and Bötley Crüe received the Winning Alliance Award. Bötley Crüe won the Rockwell Collins Award for bringing great ideas from concept to reality and for the most innovative and creative robot design solution to any or all specific field elements or components in the First Tech Challenge. Pink Droyd came in third and did not qualify.
"They performed very well at the Qualifier despite having multiple difficulties," said Mr. Cameron Jahn "With the help of Bötley Crüe, they pulled off a decisive victory."
All three teams meet during their AutoCAD class led by Mr. Cameron Jahn and Ms. Lisa Ali.
Team captains include Ihor Bakhnak ’16 of Rolling Drones, Victoria Gnip ’16 of Bötley Crüe and Adam Abdelhadi ’16 of Pink Droyd. Each team consists of 12 players Each member — builder, driver, field manager — plays an important role.
The challenge, called Res-Q, is based off of rescue situations faced by mountain explorer. The teams’ robots must fit in an 18-inch cube, and must meet all the requirements stated in the FTC Game Manual.
"We’ve been preparing for the competition since September," said Bakhnak. "We transformed the classroom to mimic the same exact playing field as in the competitions, and worked very hard on the things that would allow us to score points at the competition."
In the game, the field is divided into two sides with two mountains on each side and debris on the field (50 blocks 2-inch squares and 30 balls 2.8-inches in diameter). There are four teams on the field, two from each alliance. Teams can earn 20 points per side by resetting Rescue Beacons, 10 points per climber by delivering Climbers to a Shelter, 5 points for parking in the Rescue Beacon Repair Zone, Floor Goal or being parked on the Mountain and Touching the Floor, and 10, 20, or 40 points for parking on the Mountain in the low, mid, or high zone, respectively.
"We start by brainstorming ideas and designs," said Rolling Drones builder Abdul Ali ’16 "Then we start building prototypes and test them eventually we find a design we think will work. We start building and writing the program and once we’re done, we practice and edit the robot’s features."
Pink Droyd Constructor Mohammad Khalid ’16 said, "My team and I began slowly and as the competition gradually came closer, we started expanding our ideas and making them come to life."
Every team has the desire to win the competition. Each group was motivated and confident that they were going to win.
Khalid said, "My team motivates me because of the fact that they’re always by my side. We all faced the obstacles together and that’s what lead me to continue throughout this competition."
"For this competition, we really put our minds together because we wanted to win," said Khalid ’17. "My team wanted to see our robot become better than the last time. We put extra time into the robot and also overcame difficulties of the robot such as the wiring or the connections to make the robot move."
Team Captain Bakhnak said, "This month’s competition was different than last month’s. We had time to make final adjustments to our robot because we saw what worked and didn’t work at the previous competition."
This FTC competition helps the teams work together. Bakhnak said that teams work together by providing different teams wires and other necessities to make their robot better.
"This month we were better prepared because we knew what to expect and we had improved our robot from last time," said Ali ‘16.
Rolling Drones and Bötley Crüe will compete at the NYC Long Island FIRST Tech Challenge Championship on February 28.
Bötley Crüe, one of the AutoCAD teams, won first place in First Tech Challenge (FTC) on December 20, 2015. They’re now moving onto the Regional Championship.
"They truly deserve the praise and glory for all the hard work they’re put in all semester," said Ms. Lisa Ali, Robotics, Mechatronics, and AutoCAD teacher. "I’m so proud of all my butterflies and all they’ve managed to accomplish for this qualifier."
The team received the Winning Alliance Award and the Motivate Award for exemplifying the essence of FTC through team spirit and enthusiasm, and for making a collective effort to make FIRST known throughout their school and community.
"I’m proud of them. They’ve been working overtime, putting in a lot of lunch hours," said Mr. Cameron Jahn, AutoCAD teacher. "They’ve been dedicated, and it paid off."
AutoCAD is a pre-engineering class in the Medical Science Institute. There are three teams with 12 members each.
The challenge, called Res-Q, is based off of rescue situations faced by mountain explorers. Beginning September 12, each team — Bötley Crüe, Rolling Drones, and Pink Droyd — started to build a robot that must fit in an 18-inch cube and must meet all the requirements stated in the manual that the groups received. They must also write efficient programs to run their robots for the challenge.
"Building the robot is an extreme challenge, an arduous trial to build it to the specifications required," said Mohammad Naqvi ’16, "but once you get it right, watching your robot successfully carry out its designated task is an extremely satisfying sight to behold."
There are two mountains on the field. Each one is split in half, one side red and one side blue. Each side of the mountains have a low-zone, mid-zone, high-zone, and the cliff-zone.
There are two drivers and a coach during the matches. There are five matches in total, two minutes and thirty seconds each. Two alliances, blue and red, created from four randomly selected teams go head to head in hopes of moving up the leader board. Right before the match, debris that consists of blocks and balls is poured onto the field. Each one pushed into the alliance’s taped off zone is worth one point.
Matches begin with a 30 seconds autonomous period. During those 30 seconds, the drivers must put their controllers down, and robots are operated through pre-programmed instructions only. As soon as the timer starts, the coach will put the robot in autonomous mode. Teams can earn 20 points per side by resetting rescue beacons, 10 points per climber by delivering climbers to a shelter, 5 points for parking in the rescue beacon repair zone, floor goal or being parked on the mountain and touching the floor, and 10, 20, or 40 points for parking on the mountain in the low, mid, or high zone, respectively.
Once the autonomous period is over, drivers pick up their controllers and wait for the signal. Once the clock starts ticking, drivers do their best to score as high as possible. During the driver-controlled period, teams can earn points 5, 10, or 15 points for debris added to the containers in the low, mid, or high zone, respectively. Each alliance zone contains a trigger. Once the trigger is pulled, a climber attached to a zip line will slide down into a box which is worth 20 points. The climbers that are already there from the autonomous period are recounted for an additional ten points each. Each alliance can earn the same number of points for parking in the different zones and bringing climbers to shelter as they would during the autonomous period.
"Driving the robot is a lot of stress," said Shazem Khalid ’16, Bötley Crüe driver and builder. "All the hopes of your teammates rest on your shoulders so you have to make sure you can deal with that weight."
Michael Nurilov ’16, Bötley Crüe driver, said, "When I’m driving, I feel like I’m in complete control. I’m confident."
Only in the last 30 seconds of the match can the drivers drive their robots up the cliff zone to hang from the pull up bar at the top and score 80 points. A robot that claims an "all clear" signal made up of two perpendicular bars, red and blue, located on top of the pull up bar of each mountain earns 20 points per signal if it pushes the bar with its team color down.
"We worked hard to make sure we could hang from the pull-up bar," said Victoria Gnip ’16, Bötley Crüe captain and programmer. "Thankfully, our hard work payed off, because we were the only team that hung successfully."
Bötley Crüe won with a total of 148 points.
According to Mr. Jahn, the members of the teams had robotics and mechatronics and had plenty of practice from the competitions that was in the class.
"This year, I made a goal to be hands-off and let the kids handle it. But that made me even more nervous because I have to watch them do everything on their own," said Mr. Jahn.
Dana Gan ’16, a builder for Bötley Crüe said, "We were pretty nervous and very skeptical about how we would do, even our teacher, Mr. Jahn, didn’t think we’d make it. He said he was so nervous he almost threw up."
The other two teams, were not as fortunate as Bötley Crüe. The teams’ scores suffered because of continuous loss of Wi-Fi connection. Rolling Drones placed eleventh out of 21, and Pink Droyd placed fourteenth place out of 21, respectively.
"Technology is supposed to help us, but when blasted connectivity issues comes to ruin it all we can do is watch in despair as the robot stops like a lifeless rock and almost as if it sits in the fetal position helpless and lost," said Ihor Bakhnak ’16, Rolling Drones captain and designated driver.
Despite the difficulty of the challenge, all three teams are optimistic, and are working hard on improving their robots to compete at future events. They will compete at the FTC East Flatbush Qualifier on February 6.
"We had a lot of fun as it was our first time," said Bakhnak, "and Mr. Jahn was proud of us as we [Midwood Robotics] had overall a successful competition bringing home two trophies."
Matthew Pero ’16, Bötley Crüe match coach and programmer, said, "We did well at the competition, but there are many things that need to be done and that can be improved upon for the next competition."
Bötley Crüe will compete the NYC Long Island FIRST Tech Challenge Championship on February 28.
AP Capstone, a rigorous program designed to prepare students for college level literature research and writing, is now being offered at Midwood, one of the six high schools in New York that currently participates in this program.
According to the College Board, AP Capstone, a two year program, is designed to provide students with core academic skills necessary for college. The program is broken into two classes: AP Seminar and AP Research. AP Seminar focuses on teaching students the skills necessary for literature research, presentation and writing research based essays. Those skills will be used later in AP Research to write an academic paper, present the paper, and defend it.
To implement AP Capstone, the English and Science departments have worked together to redesign the curriculum of the Research program to meet the standards..
"AP Capstone is a class which prepares students for college and allows them to explore their own interest," said Mr. Kamil Kraszewski, AP seminar teacher. "The class is focused on teaching students to conduct research, write college level papers and create argumentative presentations."
This course supports the New York State standards through the implementation of Common Core. For example, standard CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.1 requires students to be able to "write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence."
Mr. Kraszewski added, "It’s [the class] meant to foster independence, because just about everything we do I set the way for the students, but the way they get there is up to them. "
The class is designed as an independent research class in which students learn necessary skills, such as using online databases and understanding how to compile information, and use those skill sets to perform their own research at home.
"Its really about the revision process," said Mr. Kraszewski. "I feel that many high school students feel that once they do something it’s done, and this is again meant to prepare students a process where revising is so important."
To ensure student’s work is at a college level, the revision process is focused heavily. The student’s works are revised a multitude of times; feedback is given to the students by their peers, Mr. Kraszewski, and other teachers.
"Sophomore research is a complementary course for the AP Seminar Program," said Ms. Shaniece Mosley, sophomore research teacher. "The projects we do in sophomore research align themselves to topics that are covered in the AP Seminar class."
Students in the AP Capstone program are also part of the Research Program within the Science Department. The Research Program is a three year course that is designed to provide students with the opportunity to perform independent scientific research is various college laboratories throughout the city.
"Our curriculum has aligned itself the requirements of the AP Seminar curriculum in many ways, but the essence of what do have done in sophomore research in previous years is still there." Ms. Mosley added. "Students are doing hands on projects, learning about issues in science, doing meaningful research, evaluating sources of information, and presenting their findings to each other."
The sophomore research class is designed to provide students with basics of research methods: lab safety, basic lab procedures, finding and using sources, and presenting conclusions. These basics are aligned with the AP Seminar curriculum as AP Seminar is heavily focused on scientific literature research.
Ms. Mosley said , "We are trying to assist students in becoming scientists, we want our students to think like scientists, perform experiments, evaluate information, and eventually come to their own conclusion about the world around them."
Within the Research program, juniors perform independent research in citywide college laboratories, and during senior year, the conclusions the students arrived at are used to write scientific research papers to be submitted into various national and statewide competitions. It is being debated whether AP Research should be incorporated into the student’s schedules during junior or senior year.
"AP Capstone is a different program. We had AP Literature, and then we added AP Language and Composition, and now we added AP Capstone," said Mr. Kraszewski. "Up until three years ago, if you were a junior or a senior you had four options, you took the regular English class, Journalism, Creative Writing. or AP Literature. But now you have so many more options to pick from, and we want students to have these choices and options."
Three dimensional (3D) printers, a mechanical horse, a 28 foot robot, and life-size mouse traps were just some of the scientific makings that were displayed at the 6th Annual Maker Faire.
"It was an awe inspiring experience which triggered my creative genius," said Zainab Salahudin ’17.
Thousands of people joined the Maker Movement on September 26 and 27 at the New York Hall of Science in Queens to experience the tech-influenced Do It Yourself (DIY) community. According to eventbrite.com, there were two ticket options: single day passes and weekend passes. Tickets ranged from $30-$80 for adults (18 and up) and $20-$50 for youth and students (ages 3-17).
Junior and Senior Research students were given the opportunity to volunteer for extra credit and experience Maker Faire for free. According to Mr. Glenn Elert, research teacher, a total of 16 seniors, 10 juniors, and three alumni participated.
"I volunteered last year for extra credit and believed it was a valuable experience so there was nothing to lose volunteering again this year," said Michelle Do ’16.
Volunteers had jobs that included: helping out at the Maker Camp, giving out safety waivers, assisting makers, and providing information. Volunteer shifts ranged between four to five hours.
"I enjoyed volunteering at Maker Faire," said Wensi Wu ’17. "I got a free pass and many benefits such as a passport with my picture and a T-shirt.
People were welcomed by a 28 foot tall robot that was made from 95 percent airplane parts and had head and arms that emitted fire. It took its maker, Shane Evans, seven months to complete the masterpiece that weighed approximately 870 pounds.
"It’s very inspiring to see someone take something so ordinary and make a complex machine out of it," said Salahudin.
With a total of six zones, one more than last year, there were activities for all age groups. Children, youth, and adults were able to engage in craft and hands-on activities, drone races, and enjoy scientific musical performances played by a fire organ. Visitors were able to participate in these activities with an activity wristband, which were obtained from some of the volunteers and information tents.
Mie Abouelkheir ’16 presented a workshop on the forces of flights and catapults in Zone 4 and represented the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. She received the opportunity to present in Maker Faire because she was an Intrepid Teen.
"I really enjoyed teaching and seeing parents and their children interact with each other and learn from each other," said Abouelkheir. "It also helped me practice my public speaking skills."
Maker Faire has grown throughout the years and can be found throughout the world. The original maker faire began with approximately 50,000 people and the amount increases every year.
Maker Faire continues to expand and become known throughout the world. According to makerfaire.com, there are Maker Faires in Tokyo, Rome, Detroit, Oslo and Shenzhen.
"It’s a great event for showing off ideas for constructing," said Mr. Elert.