After 9 years of many hopeful attempts from past students, Charlynn Trish Ben ’15, emerged as the only semifinalist in all of Brooklyn for the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search (STS). Six other students including Monique Powell ’15, Taulant Kastrati ’15, Meghan Ng ’15, Zainab Iqbal ’15, Hillary Syeda ’15, and Dina Deng ’15 were awarded the 2015 Intel STS Research Report Award for presenting "a well-written, college-level, journal-style research report." Moreover, another student, Valeriya Falkovich ’15 received a Student Initiative Award for "exhibiting extraordinary effort and dedication in her pursuit of scientific research.”
"It’s about time," said Mr. Glenn Elert, one of the advisors for the Intel classes. "Charlynn definitely deserves this award. We were beginning to get discouraged because of the lack of feedback from Intel which prevented us from doing well."
Charlynn’s project, "A Shark Homolog of REV3, a DNA Translesion Polymerase" tested the polymerase zeta in the primary enzyme that is responsible for mutation in the shark gene. Along with her mentor, Dr. Ellen Hsu, they analyzed and studied the shark gene in order to create a unique sequence.
"I was able to clone the beginning and end of the sequence which is purely my own sequence," said Ben.
All students in Intel had to go through arduous preparation in order to ensure that they had prepared an excellent report. The Intel classes of Ms. Jennifer Sullivan, Mrs. Shaniece Mosley, and Mr. Elert spent the majority of their time working in various labs throughout NYC. Each student was guided by a knowledgeable and supportive mentor from colleges such as Brooklyn College, Long Island University (LIU), and SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
"My mentor, Dr. Frank W. Grasso helped me develop my project over the summer, along with my fellow senior researchers to create a unique experiment that would bring out the most important aspects," said Ng. "If I didn’t understand something, I would go to him and ask since he has years of experience."
These mentors helped them develop and carry out their scientific experiments. Instead of attending a ninth period class, students were expected to work in their labs for at least four hours every week. The time spent at these labs was crucial in further developing and improving their own experiments.
"My mentor is an intelligent and amazing woman," said Ben. "She certainly helped me in understanding the project because it was a topic that I had minimal knowledge of. She was hard on me sometimes but it made me want to work even harder for her and myself."
As a result, receiving such prestigious awards was an incredible moment for the mentors, advisors and students. To have been recognized for all the long days filled with hard work and the multiple
drafts that only ended up being edited really made it meaningful.
"The fact that I won the Research Report award makes all the time I spent on my paper and in the lab that much more memorable," said Powell. "I am extremely proud of all the other winners too, especially Char- lynn!"
Throughout the whole process, each student had an advisor who was there to check up on their work and
to offer suggestions and feedback. The advisors, Mrs. Sullivan, Mrs. Mosley and Mr. Elert understood that this was going to not only be frustrating, but would also require a lot of patience from the students.
"The process of the project was quite a long one," said Ben. "At times, I felt like quitting because the work would get very overwhelming and I barely had time for my studies. However, I felt that I had done so much work that it would be a waste to give up."
Mrs. Sullivan said, "I was Charlynn’s advisor and met with her 2 to 4 times a month to read over the various things she would be entering into competitions. She handed in her work to me, and I tried to edit it to the best of my ability."
Although this was an exhausting and long journey for the Intel students, those numerous hours and days were all worth it in the end.
"I feel accomplished," said Deng. "With the amount of effort I put into my project, it’s great to know it all paid off."
The Midwood Science Research Program is proud to announce that Charlynn Trish Ben is a Semifinalist in the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search (STS). Charlynn is the only semifinalist from a Brooklyn high school this year and the first Midwood student to win this award in 9 years. Intel STS Semifinalists represent the top 300 science research projects selected from more than 1,800 nationwide. Each semifinalist receives a $1,000 award from Intel with an additional $1,000 going to his or her school.
Six students also received the 2015 Intel STS Research Report Award for "a well-written, college-level, journal-style research report".
One student received a Student Initiative Award for "exhibiting extraordinary effort and dedication in her pursuit of scientific research".
Congratulations to Charlynn and the other seven winners.
Transcripts for the Intel Science Talent Search were received by the Society for Science and the Public in Washington, DC on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 9:46 AM. The receipt status of transcripts should be posted to individual student accounts within 3 business days. Check your application. If the receipt of your transcript is not acknowledged by Friday morning, please tell me.
Sammi Chung was awarded a Student Initiative Badge "in recognition of her exceptional effort and accomplishment relative to available resources" for her entry in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search. The Society for Science & the Public in partnership with the Intel Foundation awards digital badges to inspire learning, confirm accomplishment and validate the acquisition of knowledge or skills. Sammi’s winning project was entitled "Electrode Size Effect on Microbial Fuel Cell". She worked under the supervision of Dr. Sophia Suarez and Ms. Yara Adam in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.
Under the new judging guidelines, most seniors in the Science Research program have only earned entrant badges in the Intel Science Talent Search (STS). This digital award, which is one of many, is given to every participant; however, last year’s eleven seniors won more badges than this year’s senior research class.
"I was surprised that the science research students, as a group, received a fewer other badges than the entrant badge considering the quality and depth of the papers submitted," said Stefanie Henry ’14.
In the beginning of January, seniors were notified by the Society for Science and the Public (SSP) that they would receive their badges shortly, but they weren’t emailed back.
"I thought that there was a mistake," said Mr. Glenn Elert, Coordinator for Science Research. "These students have worked very hard on their projects. Some of the research papers were good, and some of them were excellent, but the seniors have nothing to show for it."
Mr. Elert personally sent an e-mail to the SSP about what had happened. The e-mail mentioned that several schools have experienced a decline in the number of badges being presented because the Intel STS "refined their criteria on what they were looking for" in science projects.
"As a student who has worked three long years on his project," said Chris Ayala ’14, "to be presented with the explanation that the judges refined their criteria on what they were looking for was no excuse for the lack of badges this year."
Sounding eager to help out future applicants, the SSP considered making improvements to the badging system by asking evaluators how they’re evaluating. That way, applicants could know what they can do to improve their applications.
"I’ll believe it when I see it," Ms. Sullivan, a research teacher, said. "There’s a sense of blindness one feels when applying to Intel. If I were a student, I would feel very discouraged not knowing what I can do for my paper."
According to Intel, the Intel STS is a national science competition in which high school students compete for $1,250,000 in scholarships. The badging system was introduced to Midwood last year, though it was used two years earlier by the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). These badges award students on scientific-based merits, such as writing a research paper especially well or showing student initiative.
"As a still growing competition," said Ayala ’14, "I understand that they had to make new policies but there was no reason to make it so that barely anyone won, especially without stating requirements of the badges."
|To earn an Intel STS Entrant Badge, all portions of the application must be completed at the high level expected, provide complete and thoughtful responses, and accurately cite sources and not claim the work of others.||An Intel STS Research Report Badge is awarded to an entrant who has submitted a well-written, college-level, journal-style research report based upon his or her own independent science research.||An Intel STS Student Initiative Badge is awarded to an entrant who has exhibited extraordinary effort and dedication in his or her pursuit of scientific research and has made great accomplishments relative to the resources available to him or her.|
|Intel STS Semifinalist Badges are awarded to an entrant selected as one of 300 semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search.||Intel STS Finalist Badges are awarded to an entrant selected as one of 40 finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search.||The the teacher of each successful applicant listed in their application will also receive an Intel STS Research Teacher Badge|
Together with Intel, the Society for Science & the Public has launched a digital badging system to recognize achievement in the Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS). The concept of digital badging focuses on badges as a means to inspire learning, confirm accomplishment and validate the acquisition of knowledge or skills.
The following students won the Student Initiative Badge in recognition of their exceptional effort and accomplishment relative to available resources.
The following students won the Research Report Badge in recognition of their exceptionally well-written college-level report covering the research they submitted to the Intel Science Talent Search
Midwood Science Research Program
Glenn Elert — Coordinator
|Midwood High School at Brooklyn College|
Michael McDonnell — Principal
2839 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11210
|Mr. Elert (Coordinator)||A214||elert@||midwoodscience.org||2141|
|Mr. McDonnell (Principal)||127||mmcdonn2@||schools.nyc.gov||1270|
|Mr. Rosenfeld (Assistant Principal)||A200||trosenf@||schools.nyc.gov||2003|