The Home of Midwood Science Research

Science research update

Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2019 by for ACT-SO, Awards, Brooklyn College, Media, NYCSEF, Science Fair.

Fizza Nayab and Emily Movsumova win at 2019 Brooklyn College Science Day

Posted on Friday, May 3, 2019 by for Awards, Brooklyn College.

3 Midwood students awarded gold medals at 2019 NYC ACT-SO

Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 by for ACT-SO, Awards.

2019 Science Fair Abstract Book (and more from the past)

Posted on Monday, May 27, 2019 by for Science Fair.

2019 Science Fair in action

Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 by for Science Fair.

Alyssa Kattan represents Midwood High School and Brooklyn College at the 47th annual MARM

Posted on Friday, May 31, 2019 by for Publications.

Midwood Science students volunteer at the 2019 World Science Festival

Posted on Monday, June 3, 2019 by for Everyone.

2019 Midwood Science Fair Awards

Posted on Friday, June 7, 2019 by for Awards, Science Fair.

NYCSEF competitors strive for success

Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2019 by for Media, NYCSEF.

Research students debut findings at Science Fair

Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2019 by for Media, Science Fair.

NYCSEF competitors strive for success

Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2019 by for Media, NYCSEF.

Surely, robotic body parts only exist in "The Terminator." There is no such thing as a real cyborg, right?

Wrong! As Midwood's very own Rana Mohamed '19 can tell you, robotic body parts are real. Mohamed won first place at the New York City Engineering Science Fair (NYCSEF) for her robotic passive walker.

NYSCEF is a competition where students from all over New York City come together and present scientific projects they've worked on all year. Students send in a research paper, and about 450 projects are selected to be presented at the science fair. Among the 450 projects, only 120 are selected to move on to the final round.

Midwood had 32 students selected to compete in the competition, and five moved on to the finals. Along with Mohamed's first place win, Annabel Xie '19 and Larissa Brijmohan '19 came in second place, and Fizza Nayab '19 and Maryam Khan '19 came in third place.

Mohamed's invention was a step towards the future of biomedical engineering.

"I built an actuated passive walker that mimics the movement of exoskeletons used by paraplegics, people who are paralyzed from waist down," said Mohamed. "I made this walker to conduct energy expenditure experiments to extend the battery life of my walker. Essentially, if I am able to figure out which variables can decrease energy consumption, I can project my findings onto an actual exoskeleton."

Traditional photo of a student standing in front of her poster.
Rana Mohamed '19 hopes to project her findings onto an actual exoskeleton.

The passive walker has a promising future. It can be used to help people paralyzed from the waist down or veterans with lost legs. They could use the passive walker to walk normally.

Mohamed is currently studying how to extend the battery life and lower the weight of the walker to make it possible to attach it to the skeleton of a human. She will be attending New York University (NYU) Tandon this coming fall to continue her research in biomedical engineering.

The science research class helped various students branch out into different fields they were interested in and get hands-on experience.

"You start research as a sophomore, and you do foundational work like how to write papers and how to write an argument," said Mr. Glenn Elert said. "Sophomores do the sophomore science fair, and juniors try to find internships in labs across the city to work there for about a year. Then they enter competitions in the fall of senior year."

Xie described her second place win as "an honor."

"I studied [and] did field work on monk parakeets, Myiopsitta monachus," said Xie. "I'm in a psychology lab. I worked with the ArcGIS, which is a system that allows us to map things, put data layers onto a map, and perform spatial analysis."

Xie did research and mapped out monk parakeet nests. Monk parakeets are small bright green parrots that can be relatively noisy creatures.

"Since monk parakeets are often viewed as a noise nuisance, my research can help inform people about where monk parakeets tend to nest so people who are not fond of noises would know to move away from these areas," said Xie. "If people like the noises, they can move closer to the birds."

This research gives the real estate market a new perspective on property value. Depending on the buyer, knowledge on where the monk parakeets are nesting can change the buyer's view of the property.

Whether its building passive walkers or mapping the nesting of monk parakeets, the future is bright for Midwood's NYCSEF competitors.

Written by Armin Pasukanovic (Class of 2020)
This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of Argus.

Science research update

Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2019 by for JSHS, NYCSEF, St. Joseph's.

Dear friends of Midwood Science. Sorry I haven't posted much lately. Here's several news items to satisfy your thirst for knowledge. (Number 6 will amaze you.) Follow the links to see more words and images.

Group photo 5 Midwood students compete at the 2019 JSHS semifinals, Ahmad Choudry takes 3rd place in chemistry

Posted on Friday, February 8, 2019 by for Awards, JSHS.

Group photo Midwood seniors capture half the awards at 2019 St. Joseph's College Poster Session, Rana Mohamed takes first place

Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2019 by for Awards, St. Joseph's.

Students standing in front of their poster 4 Midwood students present for the 2019 Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2019 by for Publications.

Group photo at Shepard Hall, City College, CUNY Midwood Science at the 2019 NYCSEF preliminaries

Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2019 by for NYCSEF.

5 Midwood students take awards at NYCSEF finals. Robots, parrots, and mice lead the way.

Posted on Monday, March 25, 2019 by for Awards, NYCSEF.

Two months to the Midwood Science Fair

Posted on Saturday, March 30, 2019 by for Science Fair.

5 Midwood students take awards at NYCSEF finals. Robots, parrots, and mice lead the way.

Posted on Monday, March 25, 2019 by for Awards, NYCSEF.

Group photo of the finalists next to a large moon globe
Maryam Khan, Rana Mohamed, Annabel Xie,Larissa Brijmohan, Fizza Nayab

NYCSEF First Award

  • Rana Mohamed (Engineering)
    Project: Energy efficient design for a partially actuated passive walker.
    Mentor: Mr. William Zhiren Peng and Dr. Joo H. Kim, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, NYU Tandon School of Engineering
    Rana also received the Naval Science Award from the Office of Naval Research.

NYCSEF Second Award

  • Larissa Brijmohan (Animal Sciences)
    Project: The effect of an audience on monk parakeet nest construction effort.
    Mentor: Dr. Frank Grasso, Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College
  • Annabel Xie (Animal Sciences)
    Project: Monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) prefer to nest in greenspace in New York City compared to other types of land.
    Mentor: Dr. Frank Grasso, Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College

NYCSEF Third Award

  • Fizza Nayab (Animal Sciences)
    Project: Monk to monk communication: Do monk parakeet calls influence conspecific behaviors?
    Mentor: Dr. Frank Grasso, Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College
  • Maryam Khan (Behavioral Neuroscience)
    Project: Defining the mechanisms of memory associated neural ensembles in the hippocampus.
    Mentor: Dr. Juan Marcos Alarcon, Department of Pathology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Group photo of the finalists next to a statue of Theodore Roosevelt Blue whale model, Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, American Museum of Natural History

NYCSEF 'periodic table' logo

Midwood Science at the 2019 NYCSEF preliminaries

Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2019 by for NYCSEF.

Group photo by Justin Chow. Individual photos by Eva Lai.
Group photo at Shepard Hall, City College, CUNY
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NYCSEF 'periodic table' logo

NYCSEF paperwork delivered

Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 by for NYCSEF.

Assembled paperwork for NYCSEF 2019. 27 projects. 34 students. Weight in the Earth's gravitational field: 66 newtons. Delivered today at 2:25 PM.

Are you ready for NYCSEF paperwork day?

Posted on Sunday, December 9, 2018 by for NYCSEF, Seniors.

Seniors. We will be assembling paperwork for NYCSEF on Monday, December 10, 2018 starting period 6. All copies will be made at this time using the heavy duty photocopiers in Mr. Rosenfeld’s office (A200) or Ms. Kornaker's office (A300). I will bring large envelopes, staples, binder clips, and labels. You will bring your completed paperwork including…

Print everything single sided and do not staple anything yet.

Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory tossing papers into the air Konan from Naruto showing her paper magic skills Kittens playing in a pile of papers

The psychology of parakeets and people predominate at NYCSEF — Aushna Saleem advances to ISEF

Posted on Monday, March 26, 2018 by for Awards, ISEF, NYCSEF.

This was the year of psychology at Midwood Science. All of our NYCSEF First and Second Awards went to students with psychology projects (both human and parakeet). Out of the 9 award winning projects, 5 were connected to the study of human or animal behavior. Engineering, medicine, and environmental science completed the team.

Aushna Saleem won the highest awards of the competition — a NYCSEF First Award and an Intel ISEF Award — for her study of the behavior of Brooklyn's beloved monk parakeets. Hafsa Fatima collected another First Award for her study of monk parakeet vocalization. Aushna and Hafsa worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso from Brooklyn College — a supporter of Midwood Science for 15 years. Aushna will be traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to compete in the Intel ISEF in the third week of May.

First time mentors from St. Francis College supported the remaining psychology projects. First Award winners Mei Mei Weng & Judy Huang studied stress and birth order and were supervized by Dr. Steven Anolik. Second Award winners Albina Kukic & Wendy Lliguichuzhca studied factors affecting altruism and were supervised by Dr. Uwe Gielen and Dr. Sung Hun Kim. Albina and Wendy also received the American Psychological Association Award for their exceptional project.

Linda Chen, Yiming Dai, Jennifer Duong, Elizabeth Joseph, Sabina Kubayeva, Beien Lin, Kathy Mania, and Rana Mohammed all received Third Awards. Beien and Kathy were also Semifinalists in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize for their water-related project. Rana received the Yale Science and Engineering Association Award for best engineering project by a junior.

NYCSEF is the annual New York City Science and Engineering Fair sponsored by the New York City Department of Educatation, the City University of New York, and ConEdison. Roughly 570 participants from all five boroughs participated in the Preliminary Round this year at City College on March 4. The top 25% of those advanced to the Finals Round at the American Museum of Natural History on March 20. The top 16 projects go on to represent New York City in the 2,000 student mega-event, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania May 13–18.

NYCSEF 'periodic table' logo

NYCSEF First Award

  • Aushna Saleem (Animal Sciences)
    "The effects of age on monk parakeet aggressive and social behavior." Aushna worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College. Aushna was one of the top 16 students at NYCSEF to win the Intel ISEF Award. She will be traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to compete in ISEF in the third week of May.
  • Hafsa Fatima (Psychology)
    "The effect of temperature on the frequency of vocalization of Myiopsitta monachus." Hafsa worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College.
  • Mei Mei Weng & Judy Huang (Psychology)
    "Effects of birth order on the stress levels of immigrant teenagers." Mei Mei and Judy worked under the supervision of Dr. Steven Anolik in the Department of Psychology at St. Francis College.

NYCSEF Second Award

  • Albina Kukic & Wendy Lliguichuzhca (Psychology)
    "Altruism in adolescence measured by empathy, parental influence, peer influence, and societal influence." Albina and Wendy worked under the supervision of Professor Emeritus Dr. Uwe Gielen and Dr. Sung Hun Kim in the Department of Psychology at St. Francis College. Albina and Wendy were also the only winners of the American Psychological Association Award for exceptional projects in psychology entered in the behavioral sciences category.

NYCSEF Third Award

  • Yiming Dai & Linda Chen (Psychology)
    "Difference among stress levels between adolescents with immigrant status and adolescents w/o immigrant status." Yiming and Linda worked under the supervision of Dr. Steven Anolik in the Department of Psychology at St. Francis College.
  • Jennifer Duong (Engineering)
    "Loading lauric acid into electrospun polystyrene nanofibers." Jennifer worked under the supervision of Dr. Ping Lu and Ms. Rawan Ghaban in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University.
  • Elizabeth Joseph & Sabina Kubayeva (Medicine)
    "Layer-specific decreases in hippocampal PKMζ protein in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease." Elizabeth and Sabina worked under the supervision of Dr. Todd Sacktor and Dr. Panayiotis Tsokas in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Kathy Mania & Beien Lin (Environmental Sciences)
    "Soil structure and heavy metals in engineered soils for stormwater management." Kathy and Beien worked under the supervision of Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng and Dr. Maha Deeb Collet in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College. Kathy and Beien are also New York State Semifinalists in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize for exceptional water related projects.
  • Rana Mohamed (Engineering)
    "Energy monitoring systems for mobile robotic systems." Rana worked under the supervision of Dr. Joo H. Kim in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Rana was also the only winner of the Yale Science and Engineering Association Award for excellent projects by an 11th grader in computer science, engineering, physics, or chemistry.

14 seniors move on to next phase of NYCSEF competition

Posted on Friday, March 23, 2018 by for ISEF, Media, NYCSEF.

Enthusiastic seniors from all over New York displayed their scientific experiments as juniors eagerly speculate at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) on March 4, held at City College in Hamilton Heights, Manhattan.

Students from different high schools entered this competition, including Brooklyn Technical High School, Edward R. Murrow High School, and Stuyvesant High School.

The whole process of NYCSEF is complex. First, the students have to fill out paperwork ranging from each of their grades, followed by paperwork being assembled by faculty members of the Science Research program. The process may be lengthy and complicated, but in the end it is all worth it. Students who win the final round have a chance to win prizes totaling four million dollars in scholarships and awards, as well as an all expense paid trip to Pittsburgh.

Mr. Glenn Elert, the main supervising teacher, explains that this is a very difficult competition and that the seniors, currently competing in the finals, have to go up against students from all over the city. Mr. Elert credits the success of his seniors going to the finals to the supervision of the research coordinators and staff that made these events run smoothly.

The NYCSEF competition is a collaboration of scientific works. The number of participants this year allowed for more diverse competition.

Overall, Mr. Elert and the faculty members felt satisfied with the students hard work and their advancement to the finals. They believed that the competition is an effective way of promoting brilliant minds to present their work through these projects and allows them to be a part of the NYCSEF community.

Calvin Hunyh and Michelle Zinger ’18 said, You get your own idea of where the gaps in the field are and our research ultimately strives for a cure for cancer.

Competing this year could potentially open up many doors for these two, especially when applying to colleges.

Group photo at City College in front of the mural depicting the passing of wisdom from The Alma Mater onto a young scholar

Science research gave me a sense of accomplishment and prestige because we did work so hard on our projects so NYCSEF gave us a chance to show our work and dedication, said Hunyh.

Competing in NYCSEF allows students to delve into new fields of scientific research. Hafsa Fatima ’18, one of the finalists of NYCSEF, explains that while competing in NYCSEF was very difficult, it permits for a new understanding of science.

For Fatima, this was an opportunity for learning, because of which she was able to conduct her research, and reach her dreams, such as, collecting, analyzing, and presenting my data to the scientific community.

At NYCSEF, the preliminary round is where all students get the moment to showcase their projects in Shepard Hall at City College.

As the preliminary round continues, the top 25 percent of student researchers from each subject category were invited to participate in the Finals on March 20, at the American Museum of Natural History.

The Awards Ceremony follows six days later, on March 26, at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Approximately fifteen students will be selected to represent New York City at the International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania May 13–18.

This year Midwood has been extremely committed to NYCSEF and had sent out its 14 students, who are presenting nine projects to this year’s competition. Hopefully the finalists will show the scientific community that they all deserve to be future scientists, and continue showcasing their research in ISEF.

Written by Atif Gujar, Muhammad Hamza, Rubhiyah Chaudhry, and Nicole Demetrashvili (Class of 2019).
This article originally appeared in the March 2018 edition of Argus.

Research students meet with Teddy Roosevelt at NYCSEF finals

Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 by for NYCSEF.

Group gathered around a statue of a seated Theodore Roosevelt

14 Midwood students advance to finals at NYCSEF

Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2018 by for Awards, NYCSEF.

The New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) is the city’s largest high school research competition. More than 700 students from around the city submitted applications in 2018. The top 130 projects were selected to advance to the Finals Round on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at the American Museum of Natural History. Midwood High School will send 14 students presenting 9 projects to this year’s competition under the big blue whale. Awards will be presented on Monday, March 26, 2018 in the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College 4:00–6:00 PM.

NYCSEF 'periodic table' logo

  • Yiming Dai & Linda Chen (Psychology)
    "Difference among stress levels between adolescents with immigrant status and adolescents w/o immigrant status." Yiming and Linda worked under the supervision of Dr. Steven Anolik in the Department of Psychology at St. Francis College.
  • Jennifer Duong (Engineering)
    "Loading lauric acid into electrospun polystyrene nanofibers." Jennifer worked under the supervision of Dr. Ping Lu and Ms. Rawan Ghaban in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University.
  • Hafsa Fatima (Animal Sciences)
    "The effect of temperature on the frequency of vocalization of Myiopsitta monachus." Hafsa worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College.
  • Elizabeth Joseph & Sabina Kubayeva (Medicine)
    "Layer-specific decreases in hippocampal PKMζ protein in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease." Elizabeth and Sabina worked under the supervision of Dr. Todd Sacktor and Dr. Panayiotis Tsokas in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Albina Kukic & Wendy Lliguichuzhca (Psychology)
    "Altruism in adolescence measured by empathy, parental influence, peer influence, and societal influence." Albina and Wendy worked under the supervision of Professor Emeritus Dr. Uwe Gielen and Dr. SungHun Kim in the Department of Psychology at St. Francis College.
  • Kathy Mania & Beien Lin (Environmental Sciences)
    "Soil structure and heavy metals in engineered soils for stormwater management." Kathy and Beien worked under the supervision of Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng and Dr. Maha Deeb Collet in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College.
  • Rana Mohamed (Engineering)
    "Energy monitoring systems for mobile robotic systems." Rana worked under the supervision of Dr. Joo H. Kim in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
  • Aushna Saleem (Animal Sciences)
    "The effects of age on monk parakeet aggressive and social behavior." Aushna worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College.
  • Mei Mei Weng & Judy Huang (Psychology)
    "Effects of birth order on the stress levels of immigrant teenagers." Mei Mei and Judy worked under the supervision of Dr. Steven Anolik in the Department of Psychology at St. Francis College.

37 students, 4 teachers, 1 young scholar

Posted on Sunday, March 4, 2018 by for NYCSEF.

Group photo at City College in front of the mural depicting the passing of wisdom from The Alma Mater onto a young scholar

How to get to NYCSEF at City College by subway

Posted on Saturday, March 3, 2018 by for Juniors, NYCSEF, Seniors.

Map with 1 line
Take the 1 train to 137th Street and walk up the hill.
Map with A/D line
Take the A or D train to 145th Street and walk up the hill.

NYCSEF paperwork delivered

Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by for NYCSEF.

Mr. Elert holding a tall stack of large white envelopes A tall stack of large white envelopes sitting on a table in the NYCSEF offices
NYCSEF paperwork picked up at 2839 Bedford Avenue and delivered to 16 Court Street by reliable courier in black hoodie.

Are you ready for NYCSEF Paperwork Day?

Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by for NYCSEF, Seniors.

Seniors. We will be assembling paperwork for NYCSEF on Monday, December 11, 2017 starting period 5. All copies will be made at this time using the heavy duty photocopiers in Mr. Rosenfeld’s office (A200) or Ms. Kornaker's office (A300). I will bring large envelopes, staples, binder clips, and labels. You will bring your completed paperwork including…

Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory tossing papers into the air Konan from Naruto showing her paper magic skills Kittens playing in a pile of papers

NYCSEF Signature Pages

Posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by for NYCSEF, Seniors.

Seniors, I need your NYCSEF signature pages on or before Monday, November 27, 2017 so the Principal and I can sign them. Please print the Principal’s name (Michael McDonnell) for him, but do not sign or date the form (obviously). Please do the same for my name (Glenn Elert). I will sign part b as the Science/Research Teacher for all seniors. All seniors will meet with their supervising teacher during the first week of December to give an update on the progress of their application. The rest of the paperwork along with a complete research paper must be ready by Monday, December 11, 2017.

Hornets Come Out on Top at NYCSEF

Posted on Monday, May 1, 2017 by for Media, NYCSEF.

Out of 130 finalists, seven students from Midwood made the NYCSEF finals and showcased their projects at the Museum of Natural History. The finalists are Mahmoud Abouelkheir '17, Allan Nosov '17, Nomon Mohammad '17, Lilin Liu '17, Vivian Luu '17, Minna Zeldin '17, and Amna Aslam '17.

According to midwoodscience.org, NYCSEF, also called the New York City Science and Engineering Fair, is a yearly competition in which hundreds of students participate in a preliminary round at City College and a final round at the Museum of Natural History. Sponsored by the Department of Education and CUNY, NYCSEF allows students to learn about a field they're interested in and get a chance to become a recognized and accomplished person, which also stands out on a college application.

Mentors at Brooklyn College, City College and the Hospital for Special Surgery supervised the finalists. They did projects in different fields, such as biology, physics, and earth and environmental science and presented them to expert judges. The winners can get various awards, internships, scholarships, and cash prizes.

One of the top projects included "Intra-microcolony spatial positioning affects antibiotic susceptibility in Neisseria gonorrhoeae," by Mahmoud Abouelkheir. He was awarded the NYCSEF First Award and the Intel ISEF award, which are the highest awards of the competition. Abouelkheir expressed his excitement, as winning an award and competing with others is something he would never forget.

"NYCSEF was a different experience that other science fairs I've been to. I also participated in the first and second round," he said. "I did not think I was going to become a finalist. It was really cool that I had one of the top projects."

Nomon Mohammad received the NYCSEF Second Award and the ASM Materials Education Foundation Award for his engineering project on studying different ways to use electrolytes to optimize energy storage in batteries. Mohammad described his experience at NYCSEF and believed that winning the award was a symbol of the hard work and he and his lab put into the project.

7 students arranged around a large lunar globe
Vivian Luu, Amna Aslam, Nomon Mohammad, Allan Nosov,
Mahmoud Abouelkeir, Minna Zeldin, Lilin Liu

"It was interesting to see other people's projects at the competition because it really represented their scientific exploration and their effort," he said. "I hope that the research program grows in the coming years because it's something that can change one's perspective on science."

Lilin Liu was one of the students to win the NYCSEF Third Award, but also won the Brooklyn Navy Yard Award for her project testing the effectiveness of x-ray fluorescence on lead contaminated vegetables.

"Winning an award is always beneficial. Not only does it make you feel good, but it's good for college too. I also received a paid internship because of this project – it's a good opportunity and can help me achieve more in the future," she said.

Allan Nosov, another student to receive the NYCSEF Second Award, did an earth and environmental science project called "Lapse rate analysis — model versus observations." Nosov felt honored to have competed with the other students and found the event to be enjoyable.

"Competing with the other students was fun because their projects were really exceptional. It was fun because I met new people from other schools and I think it was a good educational opportunity," he said.

The top 16 projects will continue on and represent New York City at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles, California during May 14–19. For more information on the finalists, visit nycsef.cuny.edu.

Written by Yumna Ahmed Qazi (Class of 2017).
Sara Omran (Class of 2019) and Shakila Islam (Class of 2018) also contributed to this article.
This article originally appeared in the April 2017 edition of Argus.

7 Midwood students receive NYCSEF awards; Mahmoud Abouelkheir receives ISEF award; Lilin Liu awarded Brooklyn Navy Yard internship

Posted on Sunday, April 2, 2017 by for Awards, ISEF, NYCSEF.

NYCSEF is the annual New York City Science and Engineering Fair with hundreds of participants from across the five boroughs. Roughly 400 participants are selected from 700–800 entries to participate in the Preliminary Round held at City College. The top 25% of these go on to the Finals Round at the American Museum of Natural History. These students compete against one another for various awards, internships, scholarships, and cash prizes. The top 16 projects go on to represent NYC at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles, California May 14–19.

NYCSEF logo

Midwood Science is proud to congratulate Mahmoud Abouelkheir for receiving the highest award of the competition — the Intel ISEF Award. Lilin Liu received an award from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, which includes a paid internship. Allan Nosov and Nomon Mohammad also received special awards. Vivian Luu, Minna Zeldin, and Amna Aslam rounded out the list of award winners.

This year's Finalists worked in the Departments of Biology, Physics, and Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College; the offices of NOAA-CREST at City College; and the Flow Cytometry Core Facility at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Special thanks to all the mentors for their dedication and hard work.

NYCSEF First Award and Intel ISEF Award

ISEF logo
  • Mahmoud Abouelkheir (Microbiology)
    "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.

NYCSEF Second Award

  • Allan Nosov (Earth & Environmental Sciences)
    "Lapse rate analysis — model versus observations."
    Allan worked under the supervision of Dr. Brian Vant-Hull in the office of NOAA-CREST at City College. Allan also won a NASA Earth System Science Award for a project that offers the greatest insight into the Earth's interconnected systems.
  • Nomon Mohammad (Engineering)
    "Anthraquinone as an effective electrolyte for redox flow batteries."
    Nomon worked under the supervision of Mr. Domenec Paterno and Dr. Sophia Suarez in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College. Nomon also received the ASM Materials Education Foundation Award for outstanding research related to materials science.

NYCSEF Third Award

Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation logo
  • Lilin Liu (Earth & Environmental Sciences)
    "The effectiveness of x‑ray fluorescence on lead contaminated vegetables."
    Lilin worked under the supervision of Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College. Lilin also won a Brooklyn Navy Yard Award for an exceptional project that promotes the Navy Yard's commitment to academic excellence and scientific inquiry.
  • Vivian Luu (Chemistry)
    "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 Mr. Domenec Paterno and Dr. Sophia Suarez in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.
  • Minna Zeldin (Medicine & Health Sciences)
    "Circuit amplification with DNA strand displacement cascade for the evolution of cell surfaces."
    Minna worked under the supervision of Dr. Sergei Rudchenko in the Flow Cytometry Core Facility at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
  • Amna Aslam (Microbiology)
    "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.

NYCSEF Showcases Young Scientists

Posted on Thursday, March 30, 2017 by for Media, NYCSEF.

Students across New York City schools, private and public, were able to showcase their creativity and intelligence through their experiments in the yearly New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSWEF) preliminary round, which was under way on Sunday, March 5 in City College.

“This fair ultimately isn’t about winning. It’s that you know what your talking about and a project you worked hard on is heard,” said Angel Zou ’17.

Seven hornets were accepted to participate in the finals. Mahmoud Abouelkheir ’17 and Amna Aslam ’17 in the category microbiology, Lilin Liu ’17 and Allan Nosov ’17 in the category earth and environmental sciences, Vivian Luu ’17 in the category chemistry, Nomon Mohammad ’17 in the category engineering and Minna Zeldin ’17 in the category medicine and health science qualified. The finals will take place on Tuesday, March 28 at the museum of natural history. Then, those finalists will have the opportunity of competing in nationals located in Los Angeles.

“This is an amazing chance to showcase all the hard work students put in and the broad range of topics that science covers,” said Mahmoud Abouelkheir ’17. “everyone can learn something new from this fair.”

Some projects were printed out on large posters, while others were on tri-boards. Each experiment had an introduction (background research), a hypothesis, a data, an analysis of that data, and a conclusion.

This fair had a specific judging system. Each experiment was assigned 3 judges and they asked questions based on the experiment’s methodology. Student scientists weren’t allowed to move away from their project until they were evaluated by the judges.

Mahmoud’s project was titled Intra Microcolony Spatial Positioning Affects Antibiotic Susceptibility In Neisseria Gonorrhoeae. This complex project tested the physical properties of bacteria.

Group photo at the front of Shepard Hall

“The purpose of this kind of fair is to get students involved in taking part in something big,” said Minna Zeldin ’17, “the fair allows students to present information and discoveries that might turn into something much bigger in the future.”

Minna created an experiment that tried to prove that DNA strands can move around from cell to cell in search of a specific marker that is found on cancer cells.

Angel Zou ’17 partnered with Whitney Wong ’17 created an experiment that uses microscopic water dwelling organisms called tardigrade to see how they affect E. coli.

“One can’t become a scientist without acting first. This fair gives students the opportunity to work in labs and become mini scientists,” said Angel Zou ’17.

Many people came to observe the science fair. Md Hoque ’18 and his friends were astonished by all the different, elaborate experiments. Md mainly focused on the biology section because he is currently working on a project where he uses a fungi, a yeast, to clean tap water and get rid of the pharmaceutical drugs found in it. He is trying to find a way to insert human liver enzymes into yeast and have them metabolize the drugs inside New York tap water. The goal of this project is to cleanse the water so marine species don’t die.

Hoque ’18 said, “every single project has their unique future implications, whether it’s creating a safer traveling regime for vaccines or making us age slower or even helping to find a cure cancer. Plus we are most likely going to continue our projects and aid in real world issues.”

This research competition was sponsored by the New York City Department of Education and the City University of New York (CUNY).

NYCSEF isn’t the only fair for the next generation to try to make a difference. Seniors are preparing for the next competition, Teptu STEM Research Conference, which will take place on Monday, April 3.

Written by Jonathan Krimgold and Klyve Morisseau (Class of 2018).
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 edition of Argus.

7 Midwood students advance to NYCSEF finals

Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 by for Awards, NYCSEF.

The New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) is the city’s largest high school research competition. More than 700 students from around the city submitted applications in 2017. The top 130 projects were selected to advance to the Finals Round on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the American Museum of Natural History. Midwood High School sent 7 students to this year’s competition under the big blue whale. Awards will be presented on Friday, March 31, 2017 in the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College 4:00–6:00 PM.

7 students arranged around a large lunar globe
Vivian Luu, Amna Aslam, Nomon Mohammad, Allan Nosov,
Mahmoud Abouelkeir, Minna Zeldin, Lilin Liu

  • 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 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.
  • 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 Mr. Domenec Paterno and Dr. Sophia Suarez in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.
  • Lilin Liu
    "The effectiveness of x‑ray fluorescence on lead contaminated vegetables." Lilin worked under the supervision of Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College.
  • Nomon Mohammad
    "Anthraquinone as an effective electrolyte for redox flow batteries." Nomon worked under the supervision of Mr. Domenec Paterno and Dr. Sophia Suarez in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.
  • Allan Nosov
    "Lapse rate analysis — model versus observations." Allan worked under the supervision of Dr. Brian Vant-Hull in the office of NOAA-CREST at City College.
  • Minna Zeldin
    "Circuit amplification with DNA strand displacement cascade for the evolution of cell surfaces." Minna worked under the supervision of Dr. Sergei Rudchenko in the Department of Flow Cytometry at Hospital for Special Surgery.

The big blue whale suspended over the Millstein Hall of Ocean Science
Under the big blue whale

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