The Home of Midwood Science Research

News update from Midwood Science

Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2017 by for Awards, ISEF, JSHS, Media, Ocean Science, Robotics, St. Joseph's, STS.

Here’s what we’ve been up to in 2017 so far (plus one story from 2016 I finally got around to writing). More good news is sure to follow.

Midwood collects top awards at St. Joseph’s College

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

Nomon Mohammad and Hufsa Tasnim are JSHS Semifinalists

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

Robotics Team Rolls into Victory at FTC

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

Ocean Science Team prepares for competiton

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

Nomon Mohammed receives 2 badges in the 2017 Regeneron STS

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 by for Awards, STS.

Urooj Ansari and Bilal Azhar appear on News 12 Brooklyn

Posted on Friday, May 6, 2016 by for ISEF, Media.

Robotics Team Rolls into Victory at FTC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Larger group portrait

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smaller group portrait

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robotics moves on to World Championship

Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 by for Media, Robotics.

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."

Overview of the competition arena.

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.

First Res-Q logo

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."

Written by Jessica Wen and Rabia Arshad (Class of 2017).
This article originally appeared in the March 2016 edition of Argus.

Hornet demonstrates outstanding qualities

Posted on Thursday, February 25, 2016 by for Media, Robotics.

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."

Portrait of Quetourah seated

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."

Written by Kaelah Blanchette (Class of 2017).
This article originally appeared in the February 2016 edition of Argus.

Rolling Drones and Bötley Crüe move on to Regionals

Posted on Monday, February 22, 2016 by for Media, Robotics.

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.

Overview of the cometition space

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."

First Res-Q logo

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.

Written by Mohammad Khalid (Class of 2017).
This article originally appeared in the February 2016 edition of Argus.

AutoCAD moves on to regional championship

Posted on Monday, January 25, 2016 by for Media, Robotics.

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."

Robot with 2 trophies

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."

First Res-Q logo

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.

Written by Jessica Wen (Class of 2017) and Quetourah Dalencourt (Class of 2016).
This article originally appeared in the January 2016 edition of Argus.

Midwood Robotics Featured in Scientific American

Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 by for Media, Robotics.

2010 NYC Metro FIRST Tech Challenge: Midwood Robotics Wins for NYC — Again!

Posted on Saturday, March 13, 2010 by for Awards, Robotics.

The Midwood Robotics Team (a.k.a. The Botley Crue) were a part of the championship alliance for the second year in a row at the New York City FIRST Tech Challenge. They were also nominated for the PTC Design Award and the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award.

Students awaiting results Students with awards

2009 New York City FIRST Tech Championship

Posted on Sunday, March 15, 2009 by for Awards, Robotics.

2009 Midwood Robotics Team

FIRST is a nonprofit organization created by Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway personal transporter. The FIRST Tech Challenge is a mid-level robotics competition for high-school students. The inaugural New York City FIRST Tech Championship was held Sunday, March 8 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Approximately 40 teams from New York City, Westchester County, Long Island, and Connecticut competed in this event. The Midwood robotics team was part of a winning alliance and went on to compete at the FTC World Championship in Atlanta, Georgia (April 15-17, 2009).

  • Adis Malevic, Alex Afanasyev, Lawrence Tse, Jonathan Lee, Umair Karim, and Dmitriy Pinchuk received the New York City Championship Tournament Winning Alliance Award. They teamed up with the Staples High School "Wreckers" and the "Raiders of the Lost Parts".
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