The Home of Midwood Science Research

Team NYC at 2017 Intel ISEF Public Viewing

Posted on Friday, May 19, 2017 by for ISEF.

Team NYC relaxes at Universal Studios Hollywood, Intel pays the bill

Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2017 by for ISEF.

Students and teachers attending the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) were granted free access to the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park after the main part of the competition. Rides and restaurants were made available free of charge from 7 PM until midnight. This included The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Simpsons Ride, Revenge of the Mummy, and Jurassic Park — The Ride. Unlimited Butter Beer was enjoyed by all.

Group photo in front of the Unversal Studios globe

Team NYC on its way to the 2017 Intel ISEF

Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by for ISEF.

Judging is now underway at the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Team NYC's 14 students are competing against nearly 1,800 students from over 70 countries. This is the biggest science event for high school students on the planet. Our man from Midwood Science is Mahmoud Abouelkheir (2nd from left in the back row). Public viewing is tomorrow, Thursday, May 18 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Come visit us if you're in the downtown LA area.

Group photo in front of the LA Convention Center
Back row: Benjamin Firester, Mahmoud Abouelkheir, Gregory Gueorguiev,
Neeraj Sakhrani, Ajmain Yamin, Thomas Lee, Stephanie Li, Vera Zarubin
Front row: Dylan Li, Ryan Foo, Karen Jiang, Jessica Frank, Sharon Lin, Georja Fotiou

7 Midwood students receive NYCSEF awards; Mahmoud Abouelkheir receives ISEF award; Lilin Liu awarded Brooklyn Navy Yard internship

Posted on Sunday, April 2, 2017 by for Awards, ISEF, NYCSEF.

NYCSEF is the annual New York City Science and Engineering Fair with hundreds of participants from across the five boroughs. Roughly 400 participants are selected from 700–800 entries to participate in the Preliminary Round held at City College. The top 25% of these go on to the Finals Round at the American Museum of Natural History. These students compete against one another for various awards, internships, scholarships, and cash prizes. The top 16 projects go on to represent NYC at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles, California May 14–19.

NYCSEF logo

Midwood Science is proud to congratulate Mahmoud Abouelkheir for receiving the highest award of the competition — the Intel ISEF Award. Lilin Liu received an award from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, which includes a paid internship. Allan Nosov and Nomon Mohammad also received special awards. Vivian Luu, Minna Zeldin, and Amna Aslam rounded out the list of award winners.

This year's Finalists worked in the Departments of Biology, Physics, and Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College; the offices of NOAA-CREST at City College; and the Flow Cytometry Core Facility at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Special thanks to all the mentors for their dedication and hard work.

NYCSEF First Award and Intel ISEF Award

ISEF logo
  • Mahmoud Abouelkheir (Microbiology)
    "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.

NYCSEF Second Award

  • Allan Nosov (Earth & Environmental Sciences)
    "Lapse rate analysis — model versus observations."
    Allan worked under the supervision of Dr. Brian Vant-Hull in the office of NOAA-CREST at City College. Allan also won a NASA Earth System Science Award for a project that offers the greatest insight into the Earth's interconnected systems.
  • Nomon Mohammad (Engineering)
    "Anthraquinone as an effective electrolyte for redox flow batteries."
    Nomon worked under the supervision of Mr. Domenec Paterno and Dr. Sophia Suarez in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College. Nomon also received the ASM Materials Education Foundation Award for outstanding research related to materials science.

NYCSEF Third Award

Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation logo
  • Lilin Liu (Earth & Environmental Sciences)
    "The effectiveness of x‑ray fluorescence on lead contaminated vegetables."
    Lilin worked under the supervision of Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College. Lilin also won a Brooklyn Navy Yard Award for an exceptional project that promotes the Navy Yard's commitment to academic excellence and scientific inquiry.
  • Vivian Luu (Chemistry)
    "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 Mr. Domenec Paterno and Dr. Sophia Suarez in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.
  • Minna Zeldin (Medicine & Health Sciences)
    "Circuit amplification with DNA strand displacement cascade for the evolution of cell surfaces."
    Minna worked under the supervision of Dr. Sergei Rudchenko in the Flow Cytometry Core Facility at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
  • Amna Aslam (Microbiology)
    "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.

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.

Researchers Compete at ISEF

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016 by for ISEF, Media.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) winners were announced on May 12 and 13. Urooj Ansari ’16 and Bilal Azhar ’16, along with 14 other high school seniors, represented New York in this international competition.

The competition is split into several categories of science. Some categories include Biochemistry, Microbiology, Physics, Materials science and many more.

Ansari competed in Microbiology, while Azhar competed in Physics. Ansari and Azhar both got into the competition by winning the ISEF award in NYCSEF on April 1.

“The competition was a lot of fun. It required a lot of work, but the experience was worth it,” said Azhar.

Within each category, awards are given to first, second third and fourth place. In addition, “special awards” are given to competitors for specific criteria.

Ultimately, the Grand Prize is a special award given to the best presenter. Awards are given through judging.

Group photo in front of desert plants

Students are encouraged to prepare/design their posters with creativity and depth, and present with emphasis and clarity.

The specific rubric can be found on the Intel ISEF website. Mr. Glenn Elert, one of the Midwood Research teachers, said, “A lot of the science competitions have awards that are basically invites to other competitions.”

Students get individual awards; however, each competitor is part of a team representing a state/country. Virginia, New York, Canada, and even Japan competed in ISEF on May 12-17 in Phoenix, Arizona.

New York won several awards in a variety of categories. Ultimately, Canada has won the Grand Prize, The Gordon E. Moore Award of $75,000.

“ISEF is a lot of work, a lot of fun, and a lot of eating. We spent most of the time figuring out where we will eat,” said Elert.

The first place award was given to the project that developed a better microbial fuel cell that creates electricity effectively.

Ansari’s project focused on a “chemical warfare” between two oral bacteria. Azhar focused on the energy conversion in two different types of magnets used in solid state refrigeration.

Written by Michael Grandel (Class of 2017).
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of Argus.

Team NYC on its way to the 2016 Intel ISEF

Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 by for ISEF.

Team NYC paused for a photo opportunity on their way to the 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) at the Phoenix Convention Center this morning. New York City’s top young scientists are ready to compete against more than 1,700 students from around the world. Midwood Science is represented by Bilal Azhar (Material Sciences) and Urooj Ansari (Microbiology) seen in the front row on the far right.

Group photo in front of desert plants

Urooj Ansari and Bilal Azhar appear on News 12 Brooklyn

Posted on Friday, May 6, 2016 by for ISEF, Media.

News 12 Brooklyn, Cablevision’s local all-news channel, interviewed Bilal Azhar and Urooj Ansari on Wednesday, May 4th as they prepared for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) the following week. Reporter Dana Arschin introduces us to the two young scientists. Watch the full video (1:38) on the News 12 Brooklyn website.

Screenshot of Bilal Azhar Screenshot of Urooj Ansari
Screenshot of Bilal on the left, Urooj on the right, and reporter Dana Arschin in the middle Screenshot of the News 12 Brooklyn logo

Researchers shine at NYCSEF

Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 by for ISEF, Media.

Scholarships, awards, Bitcoins, and dollar prizes were awarded to 15 Midwood High School research competitors at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) Awards Ceremony on April 1. Two students received the most prestigious award, an invitation to represent New York at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

The ISEF award is the main goal for research competitors Bilal Azhar ’16 and Urooj Ansari ’16 both received the invitation and will represent New York at ISEF in Phoenix, Arizona May 8–13 along with 14 other representatives In addition, Azhar, Ansari, and Gloria Cao ’16 received the First Award, which is considered as a first place award. Second and Third place awards were also given out to several research students.

"I feel great and excited for ISEF," said Azhar "It was definitely worth the stress since I got to participate in a very strong STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] community and won."

Students seated with computer screen displaying the Intel ISEF logo
Midwood 2016 ISEF Award Winners: Urooj Ansari and Bilal Azhar.

The Midwood Research class enables students to participate in NYCSEF and other competitions. Students are required to go through extensive work in their junior and senior years. By mid-junior year students are required to work in a lab with researchers, professors, and scientists and use their newfound research as the basis for competitions. Detailed understanding and skills are required for those aiming to win at NYCSEF and other fairs.

Azhar’s project won in the category of Physics & Space Sciences. He conducts his research with Dr. Karl Sandeman in Brooklyn College. Urooj Ansari won in the Microbiology category, and her research was conducted with Dr. Nicolas Biais in Brooklyn College. For further details, view the Midwood Science website

Azhar said "I understood my project very well It takes a lot of researching to understand the concepts. In addition, I had to practice my presentation several times before the judging."

The First Award and ISEF invitation aren’t the only prizes. Scholarships and sponsorships also glorified a few of Midwood’s research students. Seniors Kieran Bissessar, Nga Ying Lo, and William Xie were each awarded four-year scholarships to Hunter College.

"The scholarship is an amazing opportunity for students to attend college with significantly less debt. It is definitely worth taking," said Xie.

Group photo with students arranged around large metal moon model.
Midwood 2016 NYCSEF Finalists, clockwise from bottom: Urooj Ansar, Kieran Bissessar, Bilal Azhar, Kai Saunders, Victor Lee, William Xie, Joshua Pilipovsky, Colleen Simon, Emily Hui, Xia Jun (Gloria) Cao, Yusra AbdurRob, Xiu Ling Weng, Nga Ying Lo.

Another award is a Bitcoin from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. A Bitcoin is virtual currency that can be traded and is worth approximately $417. Joseph Parziale ‘16 and Kai Saunders ’16 each received one Bitcoin.

NYCSEF is a big part of Midwood Science research, but it isn’t the only one. The competitors now continue to prepare for other tasks and fairs.

Xie said that he plans on focusing on college. He added that he would enjoy pursuing research during his freshman year of college, but the likelihood is dependent on several factors. Also, the students are preparing for Brooklyn College Science Day.

Research teacher Mr. Glenn Elert is happy for the students, but the load of work to come is substantial.

"It will be a lot of fun, but it will also be a lot of work,” said Mr. Elert "Our schedule is so bad that the only time you’re not doing anything official is when you’re eating or sleeping.”

Written by Michael Grandel (Class of 2017).
This article originally appeared in the April 2016 edition of Argus.

15 Midwood students receive NYCSEF awards, scholarships, dollars, and bitcoins; Urooj Ansari and Bilal Azhar receive ISEF awards

Posted on Friday, April 1, 2016 by for Awards, ISEF, NYCSEF.

NYCSEF is the annual New York City Science and Engineering Fair with hundreds of participants from across the five boroughs. Roughly 400 participants are selected from 700–800 entries to participate in the Preliminary Round held at City College. The top 25% of these go on to the Finals Round at the American Museum of Natural History. These students compete against one another for various awards, scholarships, and cash prizes paid out in dollars and, for the first time ever, bitcoins. The top 16 projects go on to represent NYC at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona May 8–13.

Midwood Science is proud to congratulate Urooj Ansari and Bilal Azhar for receiving the highest awards of the competition — the Intel ISEF Award — as well as a NYCSEF First Award (Urooj in Microbiology and Bilal in Physics & Space Sciences). Gloria Cao also received a First Award in Microbiology. Midwood has gone many years without winning one First Award. This year we had three! With four Second Awards and six Third Awards this has been our best year since 2004. (That year we had a very rare six students go to ISEF.)

NYCSEF logo

Kieran Bissessar, Nga Ying Lo, and William Xie were each awarded four year scholarships to Hunter College. Max Miloslavsky received two $100 awards from the nonprofit organization Environmental Quest. Joseph Parziale and Kai Saunders received one bitcoin each from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. (A bitcoin is a virtual, peer-to-peer currency that started in 2009. On the day of the awards ceremony, bitcoins were trading at $417 apiece.)

This year’s Finalists worked at Brooklyn College, SUNY Downstate, NYU (Tandon and Langone campuses), LIU, Cooper Union, and St. Joseph’s College. Special thanks to all the mentors for their dedication and hard work.

NYCSEF First Award and Intel ISEF Award

ISEF logo
  • Urooj Ansari (Microbiology)
    Project: Physical and chemical warfare between Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sanguinis
    Mentor: Dr. Nicolas Biais, Brooklyn College, Department of Biology
  • Bilal Azhar (Physics & Space Sciences)
    Project: Comparison of work output from first order and second order magnets during magnetic heat transitions
    Mentor: Dr. Karl Sandeman, Brooklyn College, Department of Physics
    Bilal also received an ASM Materials Education Foundation Award for outstanding research related to materials science.

NYCSEF First Award

  • Xiao (Gloria) Jun Cao (Microbiology)
    Project: The effect of tenofovir on bone homeostasis
    Mentors: Dr. Aránzazu Mediero Muñoz and Dr. Bruce Cronstein, NYU Langone Medical Center, Department of Pharmacology

NYCSEF Second Award

  • Yusra AbdurRob (Medicine & Health Sciences)
    Project: Photoreceptor layer thickness in Parkinson’s disease during circadian rhythm
    Mentor: Dr. Ivan Bodis-Wollner, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Department of Neurology
  • Nga Ying Lo (Chemistry)
    Project: Development of an efficient synthesis of aryl trifluoromethylated compounds and the purification of products produced from reactions with vinylketene complexes
    Mentor: Dr. Wayne F.K. Schnatter, Long Island University, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
    Nga Ying also received a Jenny Hunter Scholarship, a merit scholarship of $1,000 per year renewable for up to four years.
  • Joshua Pilipovsky (Physics & Space Sciences)
    Project: Accuracy of the Ising approximation in quantum computation
    Mentor: Dr. Vladimir Tsifrinovich, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Department of Applied Physics
  • Kai Saunders (Earth & Environmental Sciences)
    Project: Urban soils: Metal content in artifacts
    Mentor: Ms. Hermine Huot and Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng, Brooklyn College, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    Kai also won a Brooklyn Navy Yard Award and an Association of Women Geoscientists Award. The first of these is for exceptional projects that promote the Navy Yard’s commitment to academic excellence and scientific inquiry and came with a prize of one bitcoin. The second is for exceptional projects submitted by young female geoscientists.

NYCSEF Third Award

  • Kieran Bissessar (Biochemistry)
    Project: A new perspective on the lupus malady
    Mentor: Dr. Donald Gerber, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Department of Medicine
    Kieran also received a Hunter College Sage Scholarship, a merit scholarship of $4,000 per year renewable for up to four years.
  • Emily Hui (Animal Sciences)
    Project: Paternal investment in male-pregnant pipefish Syngnathus fuscus
    Mentor: Ms. Frieda Benun Sutton and Dr. Tony Wilson, Brooklyn College, Department of Biology
  • Victor Lee (Animal Sciences)
    Project: Variations and similarities of nest construction behaviors amongst monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) of identical and different nest sites
    Mentor: Dr. Frank Grasso, Brooklyn College, Department of Psychology
  • Colleen Simon (Earth & Environmental Sciences)
    Project: How does the presence of Stropharia rugoso-annulata in different types of soil affect the growth of ryegrass?
    Mentor: Ms. Jan Mun and Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng, Brooklyn College, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Xiu Ling Weng (Chemistry)
    Project: Cycloaddition of tricarbonyl iron(0) vinylketene complex with methyl 3-iodopropiolate
    Mentor: Dr. Wayne F.K. Schnatter, Long Island University, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • William Xie (Physics & Space Sciences)
    Project: Resiliency of proton transport in Nafion 117 after exposure to select solvents
    Mentors: Dr. Sophia Suarez and Mr. Domenec Paterno, Brooklyn College, Department of Physics
    William also received a Hunter College Sage Scholarship, a merit scholarship of $4,000 per year renewable for up to four years.

Additional Award Winners

  • Max Miloslavsky (Engineering)
    Project: MYEXOHAND
    Mentor: Dr. Victoria Bill, Cooper Union, Department of Student Programs
    Max won an Environmental Quest Award and a Sarah and Morris Wiesenthal Award for an outstanding project that brings awareness to the man made and natural environment. Each award came with a prize of $100.
  • Joseph Parziale (Animal Sciences)
    Project: Measurement of fitness traits of two common marine species in an urbanized environment: How variable are fitness traits?
    Mentor: Dr. Kestrel Perez, St. Joseph’s College, Department of Biology
    Joseph won a Brooklyn Navy Yard Award and one bitcoin for an exceptional project that promoted the Navy Yard’s commitment to academic excellence and scientific inquiry.
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