The Home of Midwood Science Research

Hornets take home prizes in Brooklyn College science fair

Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 by for Brooklyn College, Media.

After a lot of research, high school and college students presented their findings at Brooklyn College Science day held on May 4 at the Brooklyn College Student Center.

Every spring, students from different communities gather to celebrate Science Day. From high school students to graduate students in universities. The Brooklyn College website states that students competed and showcased 125 projects in 14 different fields of science with over 50 faculty members as judges. Some of the fields included Psychology, Biology, Robotics, and Chemistry. In each field first, second, and third place is awarded to students with the best project.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "This gives us an opportunity to contemplate the importance of scholarship in the science. All of our students deserve a robust and inspiring STEM education. Not only to prepare for jobs of the future, but develop skills to make them better students, employees, and citizens." 

Seven Midwood students from the Biomimetic and Cognitive Robotics Laboratory (BCR Lab) who worked with professor and Psychology teacher Dr. Frank Grasso, presented their projects. These students are Kevin Chen '19, Larissa Brijmohan '19, Fizza Nayab '19, Annabel Xie '19, Aushna Saleem '18, Hafsa Fatima '18, Nila Mirza '18 and Soanne Saint Victor '18. The students were supervised by Mr. Glenn Elert and Ms. Susan Katzoff.

"It was an amazing opportunity to present in front of college professors and being able to experience public speaking as a junior," said Nayab. She presented a team project with Brijmohan on how Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) influence conspecific behaviors.

Each of these students was judged by two judges and were asked many questions, such as how the results from their project can benefit society.

Group photo under a flowering tree
Susan Katzoff (teacher), Fizza Nayab, Glenn Elert (teacher), Hafsa Fatima, Soanne Saint Victor, Joyce Chow, Aushna Saleem, Naila Mirza, Ivy Li, Kevin Chen, Beien Lin, Kathy Mania, Larissa Brijmohan, Annable Xie, Nursat Jahan

"I was very nervous while presenting to the judges and the people that came to view my project, but I was very surprised when the judges didn't really ask me many questions," said Xie. She presented a project that determined whether Monk Parakeets had a preference for the residential area or the urban area.

After all the presentations were judged, the scores were tallied up while the presenters and faculty enjoyed an amazing lunch. Midwood took 2 out of 3 wins for the high school division breaking a clean sweep streak (2014-2017). The first place winner was Chen who presented his project called "Aggression on the beach: Crowding increases aggression levels on fiddler crabs (Uca pugilator) colonies."

"I was shocked and was really thrilled when my name was announced," said Chen. "My hard work and patience paid off and I thank Dr. Frank Grasso and the BCR lab members for helping me gather my data."

Fatima earned second place with a project called "The effect of temperature on the frequency of vocalization of Myiopsitta Monachus." The third place winner was Kemal Aziz '18, from Staten Island Tech, with the project called "Cooling through quantum mechanics: Magnon-based description of magnetocaloric effects in La-Fe-Si, CoMnSi, and gadolinium."

Mr. Glenn Elert stated, "Brooklyn College Day is always good. Midwood constantly performs and it's nice to meet with other professors from different high schools and colleges. My advice for students who want to participate next year is to just do it. Give it a shot." 

As for the future, these research students are continuing their projects and building on to them with help of their lab professors and research teacher Mr. Elert, so that they can be ready to present at the NYCSEF in 2019.

"A student is not going to perform well in competitions if he/she just does a presentation, they will get better by gaining experience with real judges, where they ask you questions and other procedures like in the real event," said Mr. Elert.

Written by Nursat Jahan and Daniel Gaft (Class of 2019).
This article originally appeared in the June 2018 edition of Argus.

No clean sweep at BC Sci Day, but 2 out of 3 ain’t bad

Posted on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 by for Awards, Brooklyn College.

Midwood Science won two of the three awards in the high school division at Brooklyn College's annual Science Research Day on Friday, May 4, 2018 ending a four year long streak of clean sweeps (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Kevin Chen and Hafsa Fatima placed first and second, respectively. Both students worked under the supervision of long-time friend of Midwood Science, Dr. Frank Grasso in the Biomimetic and Cognitive Robotics (BCR) lab at Brooklyn College. Third place went to Staten Island Tech student Kemal Aziz, who worked under the supervision of Dr. Karl Sandeman in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College. Both Dr. Grasso and Dr. Sandeman have mentored projects good enough to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Festival (ISEF) — Dr. Grasso in 2018 and Dr. Sandeman in 2016.

Brooklyn College Science Research Day is an annual event that showcases the work done by students with research mentors at Brooklyn College and other CUNY schools. This year, around 125 students presented their research across 14 categories in STEM, with over 50 faculty members and students from the college serving as judges. First, second, and third place prizes were awarded in each of the three divisions: high school, undergraduate and graduate.

Four people in a rowGlenn Elert (teacher), Kevin Chen, Hafsa Fatima, Susan Katzoff (teacher) Two people, poster, two peopleGlenn Elert (teacher), Dr. Frank Grasso (professor), Fizza Nayab, Larissa Brijmohan
  1. Kevin Chen, a junior from Midwood, won first place in the high school division for his project "Aggression on the beach: Crowding increases aggression levels in fiddler crab (Uca pugilator) colonies." Kevin worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Biomimetic and Cognitive Robotics (BCR) lab at Brooklyn College.
  2. Hafsa Fatima, a senior from Midwood, won second place in the high school division for her project "The effect of temperature on the frequency of vocalization of Myiopsitta monachus". Hafsa also worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Biomimetic and Cognitive Robotics (BCR) lab at Brooklyn College.
  3. Kemal Aziz, a senior from Staten Island Tech, won third place in the high school division for his project "Cooling through quantum mechanics: Magnon-based description of magneto caloric effects in La-Fe-Si, CoMnSi, and gadolinium". Kemal worked under the supervision of Dr. Karl Sandeman in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.

Group photo under a flowering tree
Susan Katzoff (teacher), Fizza Nayab, Glenn Elert (teacher), Hafsa Fatima, Soanne Saint Victor, Joyce Chow, Aushna Saleem, Naila Mirza, Ivy Li, Kevin Chen, Beien Lin, Kathy Mania, Larissa Brijmohan, Annable Xie, Nursat Jahan

Three more things

Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 by for ACT-SO, Awards, Brooklyn College, Miscellaneous.

Steve Jobs of Apple used to end his keynote speeches with the phrase "One more thing". Well I can do better than Steve Jobs. I have three more things I want to tell you. Steve Jobs pretended like he almost forgot to tell you Apple's one impressive thing, but I actually forgot to tell you about Midwood Science's three impressive things. (And probably another three, but we'll save them for another day.)

Amna Aslam wins Gold, Jasleen Kaur wins Bronze at NYC ACT-SO

Posted on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 by for ACT-SO, Awards.

Midwood Science students sweep again at Brooklyn College Science Research Day

Posted on Friday, May 5, 2017 by for Awards, Brooklyn College.

Midwood Science projects strength again at the 2nd Teptu STEM and Entrepreneurship Conference

Posted on Friday, April 21, 2017 by for Awards, Miscellaneous.

Midwood Science students sweep again at Brooklyn College Science Research Day

Posted on Friday, May 5, 2017 by for Awards, Brooklyn College.

Every spring, the Brooklyn College community gathers for the annual Science Research Day. This event showcases the research of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students at Brooklyn College and other CUNY schools. On Friday, May 5, 2017 around 150 students presented their research across 14 categories in STEM, with over 50 faculty members and students from the college serving as judges. Midwood won all three awards in the high school division. For the second year in a row, a junior from Dr. Frank Grasso's Biomimetic and Cognitive Robotics lab won the top prize. Congratulations to Aushna Saleem, Nomon Mohammad, and Jasleen Kaur.

  1. Aushna Saleem
    "Listen to me! Older monk parakeets vocalize significantly more than young in social stiuations." Aushna worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso and Dr. Andrew Fulmer in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College.
  2. Nomon Mohammad
    "Anthraquinone as an effective electrolyte for redox flow batteries." Nomon 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.

Researchers Dominate Brooklyn College Science Day

Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2016 by for Brooklyn College, Media.

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."

Award winner group photo
Kai Saunders, Noor Asif, Urooj Ansari, Roshan Chudry

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.

Large group photo
Brooklyn College Science Day — Friday, May 6, 2016

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.

Written by Daniel Guobadia (Class of 2016).
This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of Argus.

Midwood sweeps Brooklyn College Science Day for the third year in a row

Posted on Friday, May 6, 2016 by for Awards, Brooklyn College.

Every year in May, the science students at Brooklyn College get together for a friendly poster competition amongst themselves. Every year they also ask high school students from Brooklyn to join them. Projects are separated by grade level (Graduate, Undergraduate, High School). For the third year in a row, Midwood Science has taken every one of the awards at the high school level. We even had two First Place winners this year — Kai Saunders (a senior) and Noor Asif (a junior). Award winning students were given prizes including Barnes and Noble gift cards, USB flash drives, portable phone chargers, and stainless steel water bottles. Everyone received a free pen, a free lunch, and a nice break from from classes during a stressful week of Advanced Placement Exams.

Award winner group photo
Kai Saunders, Noor Asif, Urooj Ansari, Roshan Chudry

  1. Noor Asif
    "Monk parakeets increase nest construction behavior during the mating season." Noor worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College.
  2. Kai Saunders
    "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.
  3. Urooj Ansari
    "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.
  4. Roshan Chudry
    "The effects of blinking exercises on computer vision syndrome." Roshan worked under the supervision of Dr. Mark Rosenfield in the Department of Biological Sciences at the SUNY College of Optometry.

Large group photo
Brooklyn College Science Day — Friday, May 6, 2016

Brooklyn College Science Day 2015 — 2nd sweep in a row

Posted on Sunday, May 10, 2015 by for Brooklyn College.

Brooklyn College Science Research Day has been an annual tradition for the past 25 years. It’s a one day event that showcases the research of undergraduate and graduate students at Brooklyn College and from local high schools. Nearly 170 students presented their research across 14 categories in STEM, with over 50 faculty members from the college serving as judges. First, second and third place prizes are awarded in the high school, undergraduate and the graduate divisions. The 2015 Science Research Day was held on Friday, May 8. For the second year in a row, Midwood Science students received every award in the high school division.

1st Prize: High School Division

  • Lucy Lin
    Project: Degradation of Diesel in Soil through Mycoremediation.
    Mentor: Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn College

2nd Prize: High School Division

  • Melissa Lee
    Project: Food Waste to Natural Organic Fertilizers: The Leachates from Composting Processes.
    Mentor: Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn College
  • Yukie Wong
    Project: Seasonal Variation in Group Size of Monk Parakeets.
    Mentor: Dr. Frank Grasso, Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College

3rd Prize: High School Division

  • Muhammad Abdulla
    Project: Monk Parakeet Chambers.
    Mentor: Dr. Frank Grasso, Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College
  • Xiao Yan Hu
    Project: Soil Carbon Dioxide Respiration in Urban Environments.
    Mentor: Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn College
  • Carmine See
    Project: The Effect of Hydralazine on the Development of Lupus.
    Mentor: Dr. Donald Gerber, SUNY Downstate, Department of Medicine

Midwood Science sweeps Brooklyn College on Science Research Day

Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2014 by for Awards, Brooklyn College.

No, we didn’t clean the campus. Brooklyn College has enough paid professionals to do that without our help.

Brooklyn College Science Research Day is the annual, campus-wide science fair held at the end of the spring semester. Posters are presented by Brooklyn College undergraduate and graduate students — and also by students from partner high schools in the borough. More than one hundred posters were exhibited in the Brooklyn College Student Center on Friday, May 9, 2014. The other meaning of "sweep" is to win every award in a contest. Every award in the High School Division at Brooklyn College Research Day was won by a Midwood Science student in 2014 — an unprecedented accomplishment.

First Place: High School Division

  • Xin Yi Chen
    Project: Fermented Food Waste and Plant Growth: A Greenhouse Study
    Mentor: Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Brooklyn College
  • Allen Barbarovic
    Project: Link Between Systemic Cobalamin Deficiency and CNS Demyelination in a CD320/TCblR KO Mouse Model
    Mentor: Dr. Edward V. Quadros, Department of Biochemistry, SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Second Place: High School Division

  • Raquel Hosein
    Project: Application of a Wireless Electrical Device for the Detection of Epilepsy
    Mentor:Dr. Jonathan Viventi, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering

Third Place: High School Division

  • Chris Ayala
    Project: Encoding Information with Light’s Angular Momentum
    Mentor: Dr. Giovanni Milione, Department of Physics (Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers), City College

2013 Brooklyn College Science Day: Syeda Rasool wins Second Place

Posted on Friday, May 10, 2013 by for Awards, Brooklyn College.

More than one hundred posters created by college and high school students were exhibited in the Brooklyn College Student Center on Friday, May 10th, 2013 for Science Research Day. Midwood entered 10 projects in biology, chemistry, environmental science, physics, and psychology.

Syeda Rasool won Second Place for her project "The effect of low dose lead exposure on cortical bone mineral properties of young C57/BL6 female mice". She worked with Mr. Chase Budell in the Biology Department and Dr. Terry Dowd in the Chemistry Department at Brooklyn College.

Standing (left to right): Jessica Khaimova, Nicholas Lee, Zainab Saleem, Prianka Zaman, Tasnim Halim, Ziva Rubinstein, Tiffany Loi, Samuel Genchikmakher, Yao Jiang, Solomon Chan, Priscilla Deng, Samantha Cham; Seated: Syeda Rasool
Standing (left to right): Jessica Khaimova (alumnus), Nicholas Lee, Zainab Saleem,
Prianka Zaman, Tasnim Halim, Ziva Rubinstein, Tiffany Loi, Samuel Genchikmakher, Yao Jiang,
Solomon Chan, Priscilla Deng (Murrow), Samantha Cham; Seated: Syeda Rasool

2012 Brooklyn College Science Day: Amy Chen wins Second Place

Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 by for Brooklyn College.

More than one hundred posters created by college and high school students were exhibited in the Brooklyn College Student Center on Friday, May 11th, 2012 during Science Research Day. Midwood sent twelve students and eight projects. Amy Chen won second place in the high school division for her project "The roles of regulating adenosine receptors (A1R, A2BR) in preventing fatty liver through CLOCK Proteins". She worked with Dr. Hailing Liu at NYU Langone Medical Center.


Amy Chen and Mr. Elert

Left to right: Matthew Chin, Irene He, Emilee Yang, Tianna Chin, Mert Keçeli, Tammy Jiang, Joanne Tan, Amy Chen, Amanda Ye, Jacinda Zhou, Josh Wadler. (Not pictured: Mohamed Adnan.)

Brooklyn College Science Research Day

Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 by for Brooklyn College, Seniors.

Hello Seniors,

brooklyn college icon

Brooklyn College will be holding their Science Research Day on Friday, May 11 from 9:30 to 1:30. They are willing to take 5 projects (team or individual) from Midwood to compete in the high school division. (They also have a graduate and an undergraduate division.) This event is run basically the same as St. Joe’s and NYCSEF. Students who participate will be excused from class as if it was a field trip. If I remember correctly, they offer certificates and small gifts ranging in value from $5-20 as prizes. They also feed you a pretty nice lunch at the end.

Let me know if you are interested. Abstracts need to be submitted by Friday. And yes, extra credit will be awarded to those who participate.

2011 Brooklyn College Science Day: Four Midwood Students Receive Awards

Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2011 by for Awards, Brooklyn College.

Friday, May 13th, 2011 marked the 21st Annual Science Research Day at Brooklyn College. More than one hundred posters created by college and high school students were exhibited in the Brooklyn College Student Center. Four Midwood students shared two awards in the high school division.

  • Francisca Onyiuke & Mercy Palomeque – Third Place
    "Determination of Heart Rate Variability Using an Electronic Stethoscope." Francisca and Mercy worked with Dr. Jason M. Lazar of the Department of Cardiovascular Disease at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Samantha Hogue, Margaret Lee, and Avis Karpman – Third Place
    "The Effect of Gravel on Procambarus Clarkii Spatial Exploration and Learning." Samantha, Margaret, and Avis worked with Dr. Frank Grasso of the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College. (Samantha is a student at BASE — the Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment).

Midwood students at Brooklyn College Science Research Day

2010 Brooklyn College Science Day: Midwood Students Bring Home Three Awards

Posted on Sunday, May 16, 2010 by for Awards, Brooklyn College.

Friday, May 14th, 2010 marked the 20th Annual Science Research Day at Brooklyn College. More than one hundred posters created by college and high school students were exhibited in the Brooklyn College Student Center. Three Midwood students received awards in the high school division.

  • Laura Cheng – Second Place
    "Regulation of bone marrow cell differentiation in germfree rats by certain bacteria and bacterial cell wall components." Laura worked with Dr. Helen Durkin and Dr. Seto Chice in the Pathology Department of SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Rabia Iqbal – Second Place
    "Study of the catalytic mechanisms of KatG: an enzyme involved in the virulence and antibiotic resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis." Rabia worked with Dr. Richard Magliozzo in the Chemistry Department of Brooklyn College.
  • Farhana Pinki – Third Place
    "Structural basis for histone acetyllysine readout by DPF3 double PHD finger." Farhana worked with Dr. Dinshaw Patel and Dr. Haitao Li of the Sloan-Kettering Institute.

Brooklyn College Science Research Day

Posted on Friday, April 23, 2010 by for Brooklyn College, Extra Credit, Juniors, Seniors.

Brooklyn College will be hosting its annual Science Research Day on Friday, May 14, 2010. Science students at all levels — graduate, undergraduate, and high school — will compete. The competition consists of a poster presentation that is much like NYCSEF with around 100 total participants. All seniors — especially those who worked at Brooklyn College — should consider entering. Juniors may also enter if their project is far enough along. All that you need to prepare for the competition is a poster. Extra credit will of course be awarded. Registration must be completed by Friday, April 30, 2010. There is no website for this competition, so contact me if you have any questions.