The Home of Midwood Science Research

2014 Major Trends in Modern Cancer Research

Posted on Monday, October 27, 2014 by for Extra Credit, Juniors, Lectures, Seniors, Sophomores.

On Thursday, November 6, 2014, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will host its ninth annual Major Trends in Modern Cancer Research lecture for high school and college students. (Members of the public are also welcome to attend.) The event will take place from 5:30–7:30 PM on the first floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering's Rockefeller Research Laboratories building (430 East 67th Street, between York and First Avenues).

Registration is easy, but finding a seat with a good view isn't. This event has gotten so popular that the folks at MSKCC needed to set up satellite viewing stations in adjacent conference rooms. Get there a bit early if possible. Light refreshments have traditionally been served before the lectures begin (pizza, chips, fruit, soda, coffee). Single use MetroCards will be made available for any student who needs one to attend.

One point of extra credit will be awarded to all students who attend and complete this assignment for any one of the speakers. (Consult the Extra Credit webpage for more info.) Official attendance is taken by group photo at the end of the event. Place your completed (typed) assignment in my mailbox in the Research Room at any time during the school day on Friday, November 7.

Craig B. Thompson   Moderator

Memorial Sloan Kettering President Craig B. Thompson studies molecular signaling pathways that regulate nutrient uptake and the role these pathways play in the regulation of cell growth and survival.
Daniel A. Heller, PhD   Tiny Solutions to Big Problems: The Impact of Nanotechnologies on Cancer Research

Chemist Daniel Heller focuses on biomaterials and nanoscale engineering for molecular sensors and targeted therapeutics.
Danwei Huangfu, PhD   Human Pluripotent Stem Cells: A New Model for Studying Disease — Including Cancer

Developmental biologist Danwei Huangfu investigates the fundamental mechanisms that govern cell identity and how they could be exploited therapeutically to manipulate cell fates in regenerative medicine.
David B. Solit, MD   A Study of Extraordinary Responders: Lessons Learned

Physician-scientist David Solit studies human oncology and pathogenesis, genomics, oncogenes and tumor suppressors, cancer therapeutics, and clinical trials.

Maker Faire needs volunteers

Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by for Extra Credit, Juniors, Seniors, Sophomores.

Maker Faire has been described as carnival sideshow meets science fair, with robots, engineers, rockets, computer geekery and body paint. Imagine, you can get all that for FREE by volunteering. Just four hours gets you a day pass, eight hours gets you in for the weekend. Learn to solder, pick locks, and screen print on fabric. See the Life-Sized Mousetrap, Coke Zero and Mentos show, and 3D printer village. Dodge Cupcake Cars. Buy a Utility Kilt.

Started in San Mateo, California in 2006, Maker Faire is the premier event for grassroots American innovation. As the World’s Largest DIY festival, this two-day family friendly Faire has something for everyone — a showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness and a celebration of the Maker mindset. This year’s Maker Faire will be held at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing, Queens Saturday and Sunday, September 20 and 21, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

You can learn about all your volunteering options here. (Volunteers are called "Travelers" at Maker Faire.) Midwood Science students who volunteer will, of course, receive extra credit. Contact Mr. Elert if you have any questions about Maker Faire in the Research class.


Electrochemical Devices Workshop

Posted on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 by for Juniors, Seniors, Sophomores.

Dr. Sophia Suarez in the Physics Department at Brooklyn College will be conducting a two-day workshop for high school students on Electrochemical Devices: Research, Applications, and Energy on Tuesday, July 1 and Wednesday, July 2, 2014. At the workshop, you will learn how to build supercapacitors, fuel cells, and batteries. This workshop is open to current sophomores and juniors and graduating seniors. Contact any one of the research teachers if you would like to join Dr. Suarez and her team. Lunch will be provided both days. Extra credit cannot be awarded since this event takes place outside of the regular school year.

World Science Festival needs volunteers

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by for Extra Credit, Juniors, Seniors, Sophomores.

World Science Festival

The World Science Festival will be held from Wednesday, May 29th to Sunday, June 2nd at various times and locations across New York City. The festival organizers are looking for high school students who have a passion for science and are willing to contribute time, talent, and enthusiasm.

A list of qualifications and assignments is available at this web page. Register at this web page. Tell them when you are available and how you think you can help. A brief interview and/or training session will be required of all potential volunteers. Extra credit will be awarded, of course, and transit will be covered.

DNA Day Essay Contest

Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 by for Extra Credit, Juniors, Seniors, Sophomores.

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) invites you to participate in the 8th Annual DNA Day Essay Contest. This year there is one question, which deals with discoveries in genetics that have occurred in the 60 years since Watson and Crick published their model of the DNA double helix.

2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the double helix of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick and the 10th anniversary of the first sequencing of the human genome. Choose either of these breakthroughs and explain its broader impact on biotechnology, human health and disease, or our understanding of basic genetics, such as genetic variation or gene expression.

Justify your answer in detail and be sure to include one or more specific examples of broader impact. Use reliable references and citations to support your argument, for example, research published by experts in scientific journal articles and books.

Interested students should contact Ms. Ross. (Obviously, current and former AP Biology students are strongly encouraged to apply.) Deadline for submission is Friday, March 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM EST. Extra credit will be awarded to any Science Research student (senior, junior, or sophomore) who writes an acceptable essay as judged by Ms. Ross and submits it through the ASHG website before the deadline.

Summer research opportunity with NIDA

Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 by for Juniors, Seniors, Sophomores.

Summer Research with NIDA for Underrepresented Students

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is offering research opportunities over the summer to students interested in a career in biomedical or behavioral research. Participating researchers are located across the US. There is one scientist who is willing to work with high school students in New York City (Perry N. Halkitis at NYU). There are 11 locations outside NYC that are willing to work with high school students that will also provide temporary housing. Applicants must be at least 15 year old.

This is an excellent opportunity for sophomores looking to enter science research, juniors who are still looking for internships, and seniors who might like to try working in a new lab while they wait to go to college.

Applicants must submit a transcript, a statement of research career interest (an essay), two letters of recommendation, and complete the application form. Applications must be received by Friday, February 15, 2013. I realize the turnaround time on this is rather short, but this is the way NIDA does it. Everyone applying across the US will be working equally furiously to make the deadline.

Summer School MetroCards

Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 by for Juniors, Sophomores.

MetroCards will be available for juniors and sophomores who will be working in a lab over the summer. Have your mentor email me with the approximate days/hours you will be working. No email means no MetroCard. Mr. McDonnell will be distributing these cards to properly identified students at Edward R. Murrow High School (which is where Midwood’s summer school is being held) sometime after July 9th (date and time t.b.d.). They will expire whenever summer school ends (Friday, August 17, I believe) and are not valid on weekends.

Ms. Sullivan’s Sophomore Research Rube Goldberg Competition

Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 by for Sophomores.

Place Score Group Grade
1 821 1 100
2 736 2 97
3 358 8 94
4 354 7 91
5 260 4 88
6 228 3 85
7 157 5 82
8 136 6 80

Research Opportunities at City College

Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 by for Juniors, Sophomores.

The City College of New York (CCNY) has two summer research programs that are relevant to Midwood students. Sophomores and juniors looking for a lab should check these out.

  • IUSL Photonics Training Program
    Provides high school students the opportunity to conduct applied research in the frontiers of photonic science and technology. A special focus of the program is to support members of underrepresented minority groups and women to enter these fields. It runs from July 9 to August 24. Visit or call (212) 650-5531 for more information.
  • NOAA-CREST Summer High School Internship Program (SHIP)
    Six-week program that provides research opportunities in remote sensing to students in grades 9-12. Up to ten students are selected every summer to work with graduate students and CCNY engineering and science faculty members as mentors. For more details and to apply online visit: or call (212) 650-8099.

They also offer two summer enrichment programs for freshman, sophomores, and juniors looking to expand their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

  • NOAA-CREST Weather Camp
    Two-week program for high school students from the New York City metropolitan area July 23 – August 3. Up to 12 students will participate in classes at CCNY and fieldwork at the National Weather Service office on the Brookhaven National Laboratories campus on Long Island where they will study weather phenomena and conduct field observations. Visit for more information and to apply.
  • STEM Institute at CCNY
    A challenging academic enrichment program to prepare and encourage minority students in grades 9 through 11 to pursue careers in engineering, computer science, science, business management, entrepreneurship and mathematics. It runs June 28 to August 4. Call (212) 650-6190 or visit for more information and to apply.

The 2012 Midwood High School Science Fair is less than a month away

Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 by for Juniors, Science Fair, Seniors, Sophomores.

Mark your calendarsThursday, May 24, 2012, 3:00–6:00 PM

calendar event file
  • Sophomores
    • Bring something to eat or drink.
    • Participate as contestants.
    • Feast.
  • Juniors and Seniors
    • Bring something to eat or drink.
    • Help set up.
    • Participate as judges.
    • Feast.
    • Help clean up.
  • Alumni and Teachers
    • Participate as judges.
    • Feast.

Summer MetroCards

Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2011 by for Juniors, Sophomores.

As per Mr. McDonnel’s instructions…

“Please inform the research students that summer metrocards will be distributed on Thursday, July 7th. They need to bring a picture ID to room A300 between 10:30 and 12:30. They can enter the annex and tell the guards on duty that they are here to see Mr. McDonnell in room A300. They should then take the elevator to the third floor. If they cannot come at this time then they can see me sometime next week, but give them my email because they will have to set up an appointment.”

Note: Only students who have had their mentor contact me will get a MetroCard. Check your email for the latest edition of this list.

Summer Research Internship Program

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 by for Juniors, Sophomores.

This is a good opportunity for sophomores intending to continue in the research program (or juniors who are still looking for a lab placement). Completed applications are due April 1, 2011

The New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) and College Now (CN) Summer Research Program is an eight-week summer research internship program for high school students (July 4 – August 10, 2011). The goal of the program is to give students an introduction to scientific research under the guidance of CUNY research faculty and enhance in scientific reading, writing and communication. This summer program is sponsored by CUNY College Now, the Office of the Chancellor, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Students are required to attend weekly seminars every Monday; report to the laboratory Tuesdays through Friday, and present their summer work at a mini-conference in August. Attendance is mandatory in order to complete the program and be eligible to receive a stipend.

The following items must be submitted with your application:

  1. Application essay
  2. High school transcript
  3. Two recommendations from a science or math teacher. (Note: teacher recommendations can be mailed in separately.)

Selected students will be invited to meet with the NYCSEF and College Now Program Staff to discuss their research interests and program expectations. Accepted students will be matched with a mentor best suited for their research interests. Prior to final placement, participating CUNY faculty will be provided with information on their prospective intern and will be able to meet with them one on one to discuss details about the specifics of their research.

NASA’s New York City Research Initiative (Part II)

Posted on Thursday, January 6, 2011 by for Juniors, NASA, Sophomores.


Dr. Scalzo’s PowerPoint presentation on the New York City Research Initiative.

NASA’s New York City Research Initiative

Posted on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 by for Juniors, NASA, Sophomores.


Dr. Frank Scalzo from the Goddard Institute for Space Science will be here on Thursday, January 6th, 2011 to speak about NASA’s New York City Research Initiative during period 11 in room A314. NASA’s mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research. Anyone who is interested in working with scientists on a NASA funded project over the summer or who would like to know more about NASA research taking place in the New York City area should attend.

To be eligible for the NYCRI you must …

  • be a US citizen
  • be 16 years of age by June 29, 2011
  • demonstrate an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math
  • have maintained a GPA equivalent of a B or higher in science and math
  • be available to participate Monday through Friday for the duration of the program

Brooklyn Botanic Garden – Garden Apprentice Program

Posted on Friday, October 15, 2010 by for Sophomores.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Logo

Work with other teens and build valuable job skills as you learn about urban agriculture and the environment at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Sophomores who are accepted into the Garden Apprentice Program (GAP) get to work behind the scenes with scientists, educators, and horticulturists. Apprentices make a ten-month commitment from March to December, which includes spring training, summer programming, and a weekly commitment throughout the academic year. A $200 stipend will be awarded at the end of the apprenticeship.

Important GAP dates:

  • Open House – November 13, 2010
    (RSVP required to attend. Contact GAP coordinator at 718-623-7252 or
  • Application Deadline – December 8, 2010
  • Interviews – Second week of January 2011
  • Acceptances – First week of February 2011
  • Orientation – February 10, 2011
  • Spring Training – Saturdays in March
  • Placement – April through November

NASA Invites Students to a Weightless Challenge

Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 by for Extra Credit, Juniors, NASA, Seniors, Sophomores.

a dime

Dropping In a Microgravity Environment (DIME) is a weightless science competition open to high school students across the United States and Puerto Rico. Teams may be formed from any type of organization or club, such as a science class, or a group of friends. Each team must have an adult advisor, such as a teacher, parent or technical consultant. Experiment proposals are due November 1.

A panel of NASA scientists and engineers will evaluate and select the top-ranked proposals by December 1. The winning teams then will design and build the experiments that will be conducted in the 2.2 Second Drop Tower at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. When an experiment is dropped into the 79-foot tower, it experiences weightlessness, or microgravity, for 2.2 seconds. Researchers from around the world use this tower to study the effects of microgravity on physical phenomena such as combustion and fluid dynamics, and to develop new technology for future space missions.

The top four DIME teams will receive an all-expenses-paid trip in March to conduct their experiments, review the results with NASA personnel and tour Glenn’s facilities. All DIME participants visiting NASA must be U.S. citizens.

Four additional DIME teams will be selected to build their experiments and ship them to Glenn to be drop-tested by NASA. These experiments and the resulting data will be returned to the teams so they can prepare reports about their findings.

Research Opportunities at the American Museum of Natural History

Posted on Monday, May 17, 2010 by for Freshmen, Sophomores.

Freshman and Sophomores who are committed to science research should check out these opportunites. The American Museum of Natural History offers high school students a chance to participate in one of two Science Research Mentoring Programs. The two SRMPs are funded by different government agencies, focus on different branches of science and have different target ages and application deadlines.

  • NSF Science Research Mentoring Program
    • Subjects: Biology, anthropology
    • Program length: 2 years
    • Most appropriate grade level: Current freshmen
    • Application deadline: 1 June 2010
    • Additional benefits: Training in science content and lab skills, research experience, college prep, field trips, scholarships, stipend, …
  • NASA Science Research Mentoring program
    • Subjects: Astrophysics, earth and planetary sciences
    • Program length: 1 year
    • Most appropriate grade level: Current sophomores
    • Application deadlines: 26 February 2010 & 14 May 2010
    • Additional benefits: Training in science content and lab skills, research experience, paper writing and presentation advice, college prep, stipend, …

Since the deadline for the NASA program has passed, interested students should only apply to the NSF SRMP this year — but, if you are interested in earth and space sciences and will be a sophomore in science research, remember the NASA SRMP for next year.

The AMNH has a lot of other great opportunities for high school students. One of the best ways to learn about their programs is the High School Summer Science Institute. Participants in this week-long orientation session will have the opportunity to meet scientists, attend exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of our collections, and take part in interactive hands-on activities.

  • High School Summer Science Institute
    • Subjects: anthropology, astronomy, biodiversity, earth science, genetics
    • Program length: 1 week
    • Most appropriate grade levels: Not seniors
    • Application deadline: 25 June 2010
    • Additional benefits: Students who attend receive priority when they apply to subsequent AMNH programs.
    • There is a $300 fee for this program. Fee-waivers and half-price discounts are available.

CUNY Summer Research Internship Program

Posted on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 by for Juniors, Sophomores.

Sophomores and juniors looking to do scientific research in a CUNY laboratory over the summer should apply to this program. The New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) & College Now Summer Research Internship Program is a 6-week summer program for rising juniors or seniors currently enrolled in a NYC public high school. All applications must be received no later than 5PM on March 26, 2010. Teacher recommendations can be sent separately. Be sure that the applicant’s name and OSIS number appears on all submitted materials.

NYCSEF Preliminary Round

Posted on Friday, February 26, 2010 by for Juniors, NYCSEF, Seniors, Sophomores.

The Preliminary Round of the New York City Science and Engineering Fair (a.k.a. NYCSEF) will be held Sunday, March 7, 2010 at City College in Manhattan. All juniors and seniors will attend. (Sophomore attendance is optional.) Seniors show up at 8:00 AM, juniors and sophomores at 2:00 PM. The Fair ends at 4:00 PM. For more information consult this webpage or this website.

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