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.

Midwood collects top awards at St. Joseph’s College

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

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

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

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

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

Midwood Science dominates again at St. Joseph’s College

Posted on Monday, February 8, 2016 by for Awards, St. Joseph's.

Saturday, February 6, 2016 marked the 21st High School Poster Session for scientific research at St. Joseph’s College New York. Midwood Science students excelled once again, collecting half of all the awards — one first place, one second place, and five honorable mentions.

Group Photo

  1. Mie Abouelkheir
    was awarded First Prize and a $75 Amazon gift card for her project "How does the type of substrate affect the size of monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) nests?" Mie worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College.
  2. Bilal Azhar
    was awarded Second Prize and a $50 Amazon gift card for his project "Comparison of heat to work conversion in first order and second order magnets." Bilal worked under the supervision of Dr. Karl Sandeman in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.
Mie Abouelkheir Bilal Azhar
  1. Urooj Ansari
    was awarded Honorable Mention for her project "The physical and chemical warfare between Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sanguinis." Urooj worked under the supervision of Dr. Nicolas Biais in the Department of Biology at Brooklyn College.
  2. Leutrim Cahani
    was awarded Honorable Mention for his project "The role of vitamin D in Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection in human epithelial cells." Leutrim worked under the supervision of Dr. Nicolas Biais in the Department of Biology at Brooklyn College.
  3. Nga Ying Lo
    was awarded Honorable Mention for her project "Development of an efficient synthesis of aryl trifluoromethylated compounds and the purification of products produced from reactions with vinylketenes." Nga Ying worked under the supervision of Dr. Wayne F.K. Schnatter in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University.
  4. Joshua Pilipovsky
    was awarded Honorable Mention for his project "Accuracy of the Ising approximation in quantum computation." Josh worked under the supervision of Dr. Vladimir Tsifrinovich in the Department of Applied Physics at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
  5. Kai Saunders
    was awarded Honorable Mention for her project "Urban soils: Metal content in artifacts." Kai worked under the supervision of Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College.
Urooj Ansari Leutrim Cahani Nga Ying Lo
Joshua Pilipovsky St. Joseph's College logo Kai Saunders

Senior Research brings home six awards

Posted on Sunday, February 22, 2015 by for Media, St. Joseph's.

Holding six awards, senior researchers left the 20th Annual High School Poster Session at St. Joseph’s College on January 7 in high spirits. Awards were obtained from all three possible categories: first place, second place, and honorable mentions.

Research students prepared posters detailing their projects over the Winter Regents Week with the guidance of their research teachers Mr. Glenn Elert, Ms. Jennifer Sullivan and Ms. Shaniece Mosley. Common sections of the poster (introduction, methods, data and analysis, discussion, and references) were drafted and completed on a PowerPoint presentation slide. Afterwards, the PowerPoints were printed on a 36 by 48 inch poster paper.

"I put in all this hard work and all the hours," said Monique Powell ’15. "When I f nally got the results of all the hard work, I was genuinely proud that I contributed something to society."


Wen Li Wang with her mentor Ms. Jan Mun

Taulant Kastrati speaking to a judge

Carmine See speaking to a judge

Students began to receive their printed posters several days before the competition due to the long process required to print the large posters. Some posters, such as Monique’s, were printed in color and cost as much as $100; however, her mentor, Dr. Frank Grasso at Brooklyn College paid for the poster. Posters that were printed in black and white were much cheaper, averaging around $15.

Prior to the competition Mr. Elert told the students, "You have to go in with a winner’s mindset; just because some of you haven’t placed at Intel, it doesn’t mean you can’t win at St. Joseph’s."

Seniors presented their completed projects to the sophomore research classes prior to the competition as practice for the event.


Mohammed Hasan speaking to a judge

Zainab Iqbal speaking to a judge

Hillary Syeda speaking to judges

The competitors arrived at St. Joseph’s at 9 AM on Saturday, February, 7 to set up their posters and prepare for the judging process that would begin half an hour later. Every competitor was required to bring a trifold board to support their posters during their presentation.

"I felt very nervous, I didn’t know what they were going to ask me," said Charlynn Trish Ben ’15. "I just had that college professors, doctors, alumni, and attending students at St. Joseph’s College.

"The judging experience was very relaxing, it was very comfortable," said Meghan Ng ’15. "I thought it feels like talking to a friend, a friend that is very interested to learn about parrots."


Raymond Yu greeting a judge

Yukie Wong speaking to judges

Samar Syeda and Samantha Chee presenting their project

The judging process took about two hours to complete. The seniors were each judged by two to four judges. They were judged on their ability to present the objective of their projects, the methodology and the results of their experiment. Their objective was to effectively relay the big ideas and the important and interesting portions of their study.

While the judges deliberated, competitors enjoyed a lecture and presentation by Dr. Carlo Yuvienco, a researcher at New York University. During the lecture, experiments were performed displaying the unique properties of various solvents and solutes. Additionally, topics such as innovations in drug cancer treatment and the development of biological weapons were discussed, raising questions for the future of researchers. "I think this is wonderful," said Daniel Mace, alumni of St. Joseph’s College. "This gives kids at a young age not only the inspiration to join the sciences, but

also to learn the ability to communicate their thoughts." Hillary Syeda was awarded one of the two first place prizes in the competition; additionally Michael Divgun was awarded one of two second place prizes. Honorable mentions were awarded to Charlynn Trish Ben, Aarin Chase, Dina Deng, and Zainab Iqbal. In total, Midwood won six out of 14 possible awards at the competition. Students left St. Joseph’s with high hopes for future competitions. "St. Joseph’s is a chance to practice what you’re going to say, and familiarize yourself with what you’re going to be asked in the future," said Colleen Chasteau ’15.


Dr. Carlo Yuvienco prepares demonstrations for his keynote presentation

A nearly complete Midwood Science group photo

Zainab Iqbal with her mentor Dr. Sara Chiara Haden

Although some students did not win awards at the St. Joseph’s High School Poster Session, they were all awarded the experience of being judged by others in a formal event on their projects. As Mace said, it is a chance for the students to formally present their works to others and improve on their weaknesses.

Rolens Ambroise ’15 said, "St. Joseph’s isn’t very big, so it prepares you for the bigger competitions like NYCSEF by practicing your presentations."

This March, two events will be held to select the winners of the New York City Science and Engineering Fair. On March 1, a preliminary round will be held at The City College of New York; afterwards, on March 24, a final round will be held at The American Museum of Natural History to select the winners of the competition. Winners of NYCSEF will represent New York City as Team NYC at the 2015 Intel ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

For the 2016 High School Poster Session, Marco Diaz Cordova, an undergraduate student at St. Joseph’s, encourages students to, "Have good posters with a lot of pictures; something that will attract the judge’s eyes. Most importantly, would be to know what your project is on, and all the background information on the topic."

Written by Victor Lee and Joselyne Pimentel.
Photos by Andrey Moiseyenko.
This article originally appeared in the February 2015 edition of Argus.

Midwood’s 20th outstanding year with St. Joseph’s College

Posted on Saturday, February 7, 2015 by for Awards, St. Joseph's.

Saturday, February 7, 2015 marked the 20th year St. Joseph’s College New York held a High School Poster Session for scientific research in all fields. Midwood Science students excelled once again, collecting 6 of 14 possible awards — one first place, one second place, and four honorable mentions.

  1. Hillary Syeda
    Project: Characterization of Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) Production, Secretion, and Target Cells for LIF within the Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) Niche.
    Mentor: Dr. Christopher Lange, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  2. Michael Divgun
    Project: The Effect of Polyoxometalate Ion Replacement on Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries.
    Mentor: Dr. Sophia Suarez and Mr. Domenec Paterno, Department of Physics, Brooklyn College

Hillary Syeda

Michael Divgun
  1. Charlynn Trish Ben
    Project: A shark homolog of REV3, a DNA translesion polymerase.
    Mentor: Dr. Ellen Hsu, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  2. Aarin Chase
    Project: Study of invasion of human epithelial cells by bacteria from the Neisseria genus: Focus on pathogenic Neisseria gonorrhoeae and commensal Neisseria elongata.
    Mentor: Dr. Emilia Laura Munteanu and Dr. Nicholas Biais, Department of Biology, Brooklyn College
  3. Dina Deng
    Project: Determining the Effectiveness of the Biomarker SSEA5 in the Enrichment of Endometrial Cancer Stem Cell Populations Using the Hybrid Spheroid Assay.
    Mentor: Dr. Christopher Lange, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  4. Zainab Iqbal
    Project: PTSD Symptoms, Aggression, and Crime Exposure in a Sample of Young Adults.
    Mentor: Dr. Sara Chiara Haden, Department of Psychology, Long Island University

Charlynn Trish Ben

Aarin Chase

Dina Deng

Zainab Iqbal

Register for St. Joe’s

Posted on Sunday, December 21, 2014 by for Seniors, St. Joseph's.

All seniors need to register for the High School Poster Session at St. Joseph’s College. You can do this before Winter Break (December 22 or 23, 2014) or on the first day after Winter break (January 5, 2015). I need to witness your registration for grading purposes. I am available periods 6–9 in the Research Room. Registration is easy. The hardest part is probably entering your project title (or maybe remembering your mentor’s email address). We will make posters during Regents week. The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 7, 2015.

The annual poster session provides an opportunity for talented high school students from the metropolitan area to compete and be recognized for their research accomplishments. This event is sponsored by The New York Section of the American Chemical Society and St. Joseph’s College. The program includes:

  • Judging of posters by scientists working in industry and academia
  • Guest speaker Carlo Yuvienco, Ph.D., Department of Physical Sciences, St. Joseph’s College
  • Certificates to all participants
  • Prizes to the four winning presenters

For more information on this event and its guest speakers, or to register, visit www.sjcny.edu/postersession or contact Rhomesia Ramkellowan at rramkellowan@sjcny.edu or sjchighschoolpostersession@gmail.com.

Schedule 02/07/2015
09:00 09:30 AM   Arrival and setup
09:30 11:30 AM   Judging
11:30 12:30 PM   Guest speaker
12:30 01:00 PM   Awards

Dr. Carlo Yuvienco holds Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from New York University and a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. His research focus is currently the application of engineered protein constructs for drug delivery applications.

  • Title: Protein-based Drug Delivery Agents
  • Abstract: With the advancement of technologies to probe and manipulate biophysical matter, the scientific community continues to ever better engineer biological systems with the complexity and elegance in design that is necessary to address biomedical challenges. The growing maturity of the field of protein engineering is a testament to this proclamation.

Seniors win big at science poster contest

Posted on Saturday, March 1, 2014 by for Media, St. Joseph's.

Victory reigned supreme at the High School Poster Session at St. Joseph’s College on Saturday, February 1, from 9 am to 1 pm. With first place awarded to Raquel Hosein ’14 for her "Application of a Wireless Electrical Device for the Detection of Epilepsy," second place to Allen Barbarovich ’14 and Christopher Ayala ’14. Honorable mentions were awarded to M. Tasnin Kabir ’14, Chukwunonso Nwasike ’14, Sammi Chung ’14 and Jasmin Kim ’14. Competition was fierce with 112 high school contestants from all over the New York City metropolitan area, but Midwood still managed to come out on top. This year marked the greatest number of contestants.

"It’s great to get recognition for the work that you did," said Raquel Hosein ’14. "I loved my project and that’s why I did well. When you don’t love what you’re doing there’s something lacking in your work."


Judging and waiting to be judged.

Allen Barbarovich discussing his project with the judges.

Chris Ayala discussing his project with a judge.

At the event there were two first place winners, two second place winners and 10 honorable mentions. All the participants received certificates. The winners and honorable mentions received a small gift bag. The winners also received gift cards from Barnes and Noble. The session is held every year and next year will make its 20th anniversary.

"I started working in my project junior year and my professor helped a lot on my presentation," said Tasnim Halim ’14. Juniors and seniors who are in the Science Research Program entered the competition. Not many juniors entered because they aren’t as far along with their projects. It was mandatory for the seniors to enter.


Raquel Hosein, M. Tasnin Kabir, Mr. Glenn Elert, Tasnim Halim

Ms. Jennifer Sullivan, Ying Tong Guo, Amy Cao

Ms. Shaniece Mosley, Alisha Bunting, Varavara Budetti

According to Glenn Elert, Science Research Coordinator, there were 37 contestants from Midwood at the competition.

Starting junior year, students get internships at colleges in labs and start attending weekly, depending on their schedule. There, students work on projects with their mentor. Next, the work done in the lab is submitted to various competitions including the Research Poster Session.


Dr. Jill Rehman hosting the awards presentation.

Varvara Budetti relaxes between judgings.

Leonidas Eracleous, Samuel Genchikmakher, Jeffey Tsui

Frank W. Grasso, professor of Psychology at Brooklyn College, said he guided his students in his lab by meeting with them and giving them resources, along with constant course corrections.

"Your mentor assigns projects along with what your mentor finds," said M. Tasnin Kabir ’14.

There were a total of 31 judges at the event. Posters were displayed on tables on stage and in two separate rooms. The judges walked around with their folders to each poster board making it to as many students as they could. Students presented to three or more judges. One main question asked while presenting was "Why did you chose this project?"


Full House

Dr. Cindie Kehlet discusses her research at the intersection of science and fine art.

Group Photo

"It’s really interesting to see what people are doing," said Michael Megafu, a judge. "It’s on a 1 to 5 scale and contestants are judged mainly on the quality of work and their presentation."

The judging took two hours, followed by a keynote where the guest speaker, Dr. Cindie Kehlet, spoke about her research on "Portable Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for the Investigation of Artist Materials." At the end they announced the winners and gave out the awards. The purpose of the event is to help showcase the scientific achievement of the students.

Saba Sakhi & Jacquelyne Gilman
This article originally appeared in the February 2014 edition of Argus.
Images reproduced under Creative Commons License from St. Joseph’s College.
View more images of this event on their Flickr Stream.

Midwood wins big at St. Joseph’s College

Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 by for Awards, St. Joseph's.

On Saturday, February 1, 2014 St. Joseph’s College held their 19th annual High School Poster Session sponsored by the New York Section of the American Chemical Society. This was the largest poster session ever at St. Joe’s with over 120 projects presented. Usually this event is held in the third floor chem and physics labs, but this year they used much bigger spaces on the first floor. Despite the increased competition, Midwood outperformed every other school hauling in half the first prizes, all of the second prizes, and about one third of the honorable mentions. Congratulations to all the seniors who placed and a big thank you to all the mentors who donated their time and expertise.

  1. Raquel Hosein received First Prize for her project "Application of a Wireless Electrical Device for the Detection of Epilepsy." Raquel worked under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Viventi in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering.
  2. Allen Barbarovich received Second Prize for his project "Link Between Systemic Cobalamin Deficiency and CNS Demyelination in a CD320/TCblR KO Mouse Model.” Allen worked under the supervision of Dr. Edward V. Quadros in the Department of Biochemistry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Thanks also to Mr. Jeffrey Sequeira for his support.
  3. Christopher Ayala received Second Prize for his project "Photonic Angular Momentum Communication System (PAM-CS).” Chris worked under the supervision of Dr. Giovanni Milione in the Department of Physics at the City College of New York.
  1. M. Tasnin Kabir received Honorable Mention for her project "Anti-cancer peptide PNC-27 associates with Mitochondria in Cancer Cells.” Tasnin worked under the supervision of Dr. Josef Michl in the Department of Pathology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  2. Chukwunonso Nwasike received Honorable Mention for his project "Autophagy in Macrophages.” Nonso worked under the supervision of Dr. Christopher Roman in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  3. Sammi Chung & Jasmin Kim received Honorable Mention for their project "Electrode Size Effect on Microbial Fuel Cell.” Sammi and Jasmin worked under the supervision of Dr. Sophia Suarez in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College. Thanks also to Ms. Yara Adam for her continuing assistance.

Message to seniors

Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 by for Seniors, St. Joseph's.

I sent all the seniors a message today. I’m placing a copy on the website as a backup. I suggest you read it.

seniors.2014.01.29.txt

2013 High School Poster Session at St. Joseph’s College

Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 by for Awards, St. Joseph's.

On Saturday February 2, 2013, St. Joseph’s College held a High School Poster Session sponsored by the New York Section of the American Chemical Society. Midwood sent 38 students to the competition and brought home 2 second place and 3 honorable mention awards.

  • Ron Baazov
    received a second prize award for his project "Interaction of Lupus-Inducing Drugs with Hydrogen Peroxide and Development of a Lupus Test". He worked under the supervision of Dr. Donald Gerber in the Department of Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • Prianka Zaman
    received a second prize award for her project "The function of γδ T Cells". She worked under the supervision of Dr. Ellen Hsu in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
Ron Baazov
Ron Baazov
Prianka Zaman
Prianka Zaman
  • Christopher Ayala (Midwood) and Jing Lin (Stuyvesant)
    received honorable mention for their project "Encoding Information with Light’s Angular Momentum". They worked under the supervision of Dr. Giovanni Milione in the Department of Physics at City College.
  • Ryan Fraser
    received honorable mention for his project "Immobilization of Photosystem II Core Complexes onto Titanium Dioxide Surfaces". He worked under the supervision of Dr. Michele Vittadello in the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science at Medgar Evers College.
  • Syeda Rasool
    received honorable mention for her project "The Effect of Low Dose Lead Exposure on Cortical Bone Mineral Properties of Young C57/BL6 Female Mice". She worked under the supervision of Mr. W. Chase Budell in the Department of Chemistry at Brooklyn College.
Chris Ayala
Chris Ayala
Ryan Fraser
Ryan Fraser
Syeda Rasool
Syeda Rasool
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