Brooklyn College was buzzing with scientists from all over the city on Friday, May 6 for the annual Brooklyn College Science Day. However, researchers from Midwood claimed all the awards in the high school division.
The competition kicked off at 9am, when students arrived to check-in and set up their posters. This was followed by a two hour judging period from 10am to noon. After a short lunch, awards were given out to the best presenters and their projects at 1pm.
"I’m very proud of the students that won," said Mr. Glenn Elert, Senior Research Coordinator. "Everyone earned their awards through hard work and brains."
Kai Saunders ’16 and Noor Asif ’17 took home the first place honors. Urooj Ansari ’16 was awarded second place, and Roshan Chudry ’16 came in third place.
"I feel grateful to win again," said Saunders. "I feel more confident about my work and how much I can make an impact."
Saunders has been on something of a hot streak lately claiming victories in all 5 of the research competitions this year. She was awarded with the equivalent of about $900 in awards and prizes from previous competitions, and she has earned a spot at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia Program nationals.
"Honestly, I pray before every single competition I have," continued Saunders. "I repeat Matthew 19:26 in my head constantly throughout each competition, and it really boosts my confidence."
Asif’s first place finish is also impressive especially considering this is the first time she presented her project at an official competition. She is also the first and only junior to enter a research competition this year.
"When they were announcing the names for the high school winners, I definitely did not expect to win. Even when they said that the first place award went to someone from my professor’s, Dr. Grasso, psychology lab, I assumed it was my friend," said Asif. " It felt so unreal when they called my name because as I said, I honestly didn’t expect any position, much less first place."
Like Saunders, Ansari has also strung together a series of victories.
"It felt great to win. My lab mates were in the audience and an undergrad from my lab also won. Sharing the moment with them made it much more special," she said. "We all spent countless hours in lab together and we were able to see our efforts pay off together."
Ansari also earned herself a coveted spot in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. This came after her first place finish at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair.
I was able to meet individuals my age who were just as passionate about STEM. Many of them were already CEOs of their own companies and were headed to prestigious colleges in the near future," said Ansari. "Being among such individuals was an honor. To this day, I find it hard to believe that I was selected to be one of the 15 students selected out of the 700 projects entered. It was an inspiring experience overall and has motivated me to work harder."
Last but not least, Roshan Chudry claimed her first award of the year on Friday.
"This is the first time I’ve won in research," said Chudry. "I was extra shocked at first, but then I was elated. I’m grateful and more motivated in my future endeavors in research."
This is the third straight year that the Midwood Science Research program was able to win every award at the high school level at Brooklyn College Science Day.
"We had the stronger projects and it showed," said Elert.