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Kai Saunders earns recognition for Science Research

Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 by for JSHS, Media.

Moving onto nationals, Kai Saunders ‘16 has gained recognition in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium for her project "Urban Soils: Metal Content in Artifacts".

On February 27, Saunders took part in the regional finals and won Now she is advancing to the National Symposium in Dayton, Ohio from April 27 to 30.

Saunder’s journey began in a research class at Midwood, where Ms. Shaniece Mosley introduced her to the JSHS competition. The inspiration for her project was gained at an internship at Brooklyn College. Saunders was under the guidance of Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng and Dr. Hermine Huot in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Saunders said, "Hermine was like a mother to everyone."  She continued to explain that Huot guided everyone with their projects, as it was more than just Saunders in the internship.

Portrait of Kai Saunders outdoors
Kai Saunders will represent NYC at the National JSHS in April

The project began as Saunders and other researchers studied the papers of Richard V. Pouyat and El Khalil. These papers were on topics similar to what she went on to research for her project. It inspired her and informed her a lot on urban soil and the metal contents.

Saunders met up with her professors on a weekly basis, around twice a week depending on her lacrosse schedule. She managed her time wisely and had a weekly plan. Ms. Mosley, Saunders’ supervising teacher, monitored her project by checking on her research logbook when Midwood research students meet up once a week.

Ms. Mosley would ask her research students to explain their projects to her. If they are able to, then it is implied that the students understood their topic fully and can present their projects elsewhere.

JSHS logo

"When the research is out of my field, one of the easiest things I can do is have the students explain to me what they are doing because they can relate their research to anyone in any discipline when they share their findings. I also think having students explain their research to me ensures that they really understand the concepts and the experimental procedures associated with their projects," said Ms. Mosley.

As Ms. Mosley sees how her students have changed, she is proud to see them establish better communication skills and become successful in their research. This includes Saunders, as she proceeds on to the National JSHS.

"I am glad to see my students grow as individuals and see their hard work pay off They far exceeded my expectations, by just being able to stand in front of their peers and other scientists and a talk at length about their research is astonishing feat," she continued.

Through the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, her public speaking improved and she gained confidence. She was able to meet other researchers and learn about their experiences from their projects.

Written by Michelle Li and Jenna Palme (Class of 2017).
This article originally appeared in the March 2016 edition of Argus.

Research students thrive at JSHS competition

Posted on Saturday, March 5, 2016 by for JSHS, Media.

Seniors have once again taken the annual Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) competition by storm.

Both Kai Saunders ’16 and Josh Pilipovsky ’16 were recognized for their outstanding work and represented our school with prestige. With 11Midwood students entered into this competition, seven of them made it to the finals round. Pilipovsky ’16 went ahead and won third place in the Physics category while Saunders ’16 was a finalist and won first in the Chemistry category.

JSHS is a competition which focuses around STEM in grades 9–12 but Midwood has decided to only enter seniors. Entrants must comprise a project with the help of their mentor and supervising research teacher. Individuals then compete in JSHS for scholarships and recognition by presenting to a panel of judges and an audience of peers.

Group Photo
Midwood’s 7 JSHS Semifinalists: Kieran Bissessar, Joshua Pilipovsky, Nga Ying Lo, Victor Lee, Kai Saunders, Quetourah Dalencourt, Christine Ly

These top students had the help of their science research teachers who include Mr. Glenn Elert, the Research Coordinator and physics teacher, Ms. Shaniece Mosley, chemistry teacher, and Ms. Jennifer Sullivan, biology teacher. All three teachers have an immense amount of knowledge in their field of study and can provide students with insight that will lead them to success.

The process of choosing eleven students out of the entire senior research class was long and demanding. Students were chosen to represent Midwood by having intricate and well-designed projects.

"The best projects balance background research with laboratory skills." stated Mr. Elert.

Portrait of Kai Saunders outdoors
Kai Saunders will represent NYC at the National JSHS in April

Saunders ’16 project regarding the study of heavy metal content of artifacts found in urban soil helped her not only advance to the National JSHS but also expand her knowledge about the environment itself.

Students could not have completed these intricate projects without the help of their laboratory mentors.

Kieran Bissessar ’16 said that his project would have gotten nowhere without his mentor, Dr. Donald Gerber from the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, as he is very knowledgeable. Research students are allowed to intern at any location most suitable for them and favorable for their field of study. Colleges that many of the seniors participate at include but are not limited to Brooklyn College, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and NYU.

Individuals had access to immense amount of information provided by both their mentors and the research teachers. Even when Ms. Mosley is not familiar with the topic that a student is researching, she still manages to aid them in the process of perfecting their research.

Written by Abeer Naeem and Clifford Young (Class of 2017).
This article originally appeared in the March 2016 edition of Argus.

Kai Saunders advances to Finals at 2016 JSHS

Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 by for Awards, JSHS.

Congratulations to Kai Saunders for her First Place win in the category of Earth and Space Science at the 2016 New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). Kai moves on to the finals round Saturday, February 27. Joshua Pilipovsky received Third Place in the category of Physics.

The JSHS Semifinals were held at York College in Jamaica, Queens on Sunday, February 7, 2017. Individual students compete at JSHS for scholarships and recognition by presenting original research projects before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers. Midwood entered 11 students and had 7 semifinalists this year.

  1. Kai Saunders
    was a finalist and received First Place 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.
  2. Joshua Pilipovsky
    was a semifinalist and received Third Place 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.

Group Photo
Midwood’s 7 JSHS Semifinalists: Kieran Bissessar, Joshua Pilipovsky, Nga Ying Lo, Victor Lee, Kai Saunders, Quetourah Dalencourt, Christine Ly

  1. Kieran Bissessar
    was a semifinalist for his project "A new perspective on the lupus malady." Kieran worked under the supervision of Dr. Donald Gerber in the Department of Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  2. Quetourah Dalencourt
    was a semifinalist for her project "How does peer pressure affect one’s perception of beauty?" Quetourah worked under the supervision of Dr. Denis Pelli in the Department of Psychology at New York University.
  3. Victor Lee
    was a semifinalist for his project "Variations and similarities of nest construction behaviors amongst monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) of identical and different nest sites." Victor worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College.
  4. Nga Ying Lo
    was a semifinalist 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.
  5. Christine Ly
    was a semifinalist for her project "Capturing cancer cells with the use of microfluidic chips." Christine worked under the supervision of Dr. Weiqiang Chen in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

2015 New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS)

Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2015 by for Awards, JSHS.

The New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) was held at York College in Jamaica, Queens on Sunday, February 8, 2015. Individual students compete at JSHS for scholarships and recognition by presenting original research projects before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers. Midwood entered 7 students and had 4 semifinalists this year.

  • Lucy Lin
    was a semifinalist and received a third place award in earth and environmental sciences for her project "Degradation of TPH-Diesel in Soil through Mycoremediation". Lucy worked under the supervision of Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College.
  • Sandra Lin
    was a semifinalist in chemistry for her project "Isolation of isomeric catechols 4-chloro-2-ethoxy-5-(triethlysilyl)-[1,1′-biphenyl]-3-ol and 5-chloro-2-ethoxy-4-(triethlysilyl)-[1,1′-biphenyl]-3-ol". Sandra worked under the supervision of Dr. Wayne F.K. Schnatter in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University.
  • Monique Powell
    was a semifinalist in behavioral and social sciences for her project "Kinematics of the Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) During Courtship Rituals. Monique worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso and Mr. Alfie Supan in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College.
  • Raymond Yu
    was a semifinalist in physics for his project "The Effects of Sodium Pyrophosphate Tetrabasic on the Conductivity of V4+ Electrolyte for the Vanadium Redox Flow Battery". Raymond worked under the supervision of Dr. Sophia Suarez in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.


Sandra Lin, Monique Powell, Lucy Lin, Raymond Yu

2014 New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS)

Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 by for Awards, JSHS.

This year’s New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Symposium was held at York College in Jamaica, Queens on Sunday, February 9. JSHS connects talented students, their teachers, and research professionals at affiliated symposia and rewards research excellence. Midwood had 3 semifinalists this year.

  • Amy Cao
    was a semifinalist and received a third place award in the chemistry division for her project "Synthesis of iron triisopropylsilylated vinylketene complexes." Amy and her partner Ying Tong Guo worked under the supervision of Dr. Wayne F. K. Schnatter in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University.
  • Raquel Hosein
    was a semifinalist and received a third place award in the engineering division 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 the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.
  • Akeem Pinnock
    was a semifinalist in the biology division for his project "Iron’s Involvement in the Diagnosis of Lupus." Akeem worked under the supervision of Dr. Donald Gerber in the Department of Medicine at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center.


Raquel Hosein, Ying Tong Guo, Amy Cao, Akeem Pinnock

2013 New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS)

Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 by for Awards, JSHS.

This year’s New York City Metro JSHS was held at York College in Jamaica, Queens on Sunday, February 10. JSHS connects talented students, their teachers, and research professionals at affiliated symposia and rewards research excellence. Midwood had 4 semifinalists.

  • Ron Baazov
    was a semifinalist and presented his project "Interaction of Lupus-Inducing Drugs With Hydrogen Peroxide and Development of a Lupus Test". Ron worked under the supervision of Dr. Donald Gerber in the Department of Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Ryan Fraser
    was a semifinalist and presented his project "Immobilization of Photosystem II Core Complexes onto Titanium Dioxide Surfaces". Ryan worked under the supervision of Dr. Michele Vittadello in the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science at Medgar Evers College.
  • Jasmine Lam
    was a semifinalist and presented her project "Substrate Specificities of the Vertebrate Members of the NIpC/P60 Protein Family". Jasmine and her partner Anna Guo worked under the supervision of Dr. William Blaner in the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center.
  • Roxana Bravo
    was a semifinalist for her project "The Restoration of Myelin Content". Roxanna worked with Dr. Peter Bergold in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Ron, Ryan, Anna, Jasmine
Ron Baazov, Ryan Fraser, Anna Guo, Jasmine Lam

2012 New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS)

Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2012 by for Awards, JSHS.

JSHS connects talented students, their teachers, and research professionals at affiliated symposia and rewards research excellence. This year’s New York City Metro JSHS was held at York College in Jamaica, Queens on Sunday, February 12. Midwood had 2 semifinalists.

  • Jia Wen (Joanne) Tan
    was a semifinalist and presented her project "Intracellular association of Mycoplasma hominis with Trichomonas vaginalis". Joanne and her partner Mert Kemal Keçeli worked with Nigel Yarlett in the Department of Chemistry and Physical Sciences at Pace University.
  • Mohamed Adnan
    was a semifinalist for his project "Cycloaddition reaction with vinylketene iron (0) complex towards synthesis of catechol derivatives". He worked with Wayne F.K. Schnatter in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University.


Jia Wen (Joanne) Tan and Mert Kemal Keçeli at the 2012 NYC Metro JSHS

JSHS Registration Deadline Coming Very Soon

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 by for JSHS, Seniors.

This contest is a perfect example of how chance favors the prepared mind.

JSHS logo

The registration deadline for the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) is Friday, January 14! Any seniors interested in applying should do so right now. Contact me stating your interest. Extra credit will be awarded, of course. You must be free on Sunday, March 13 and be able to travel to York College in Queens. Visit the New York JSHS website for more info.

I contacted the people in charge to see if we can recycle the paperwork from NYCSEF or the Intel STS. I seem to recall they let us do this last year. If so, the entry process is really quite simple. You will not need to bother your mentors for yet another signature. You will need to scan your documentation, however. (Mr. McDonnell has a really nice document scanner in his office we can use.)

Please note that no one can enter until Form C is filled out (Call for Papers Registration Form). I can’t fill out Form C until you tell me you want to enter. I think you can see the problem here. Please reply quickly. Include the title of your project in the email.

2010 New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS)

Posted on Saturday, March 20, 2010 by for Awards, JSHS.

JSHS connects talented students, their teachers, and research professionals at affiliated symposia and rewards research excellence. This year’s New York City Metro JSHS was held at York College in Jamaica, Queens. Midwood had 2 award winners and 3 semifinalists.

  • Ying Yao Louie
    was awarded Second Place in Chemistry for her project "Provitamin A carotenoid conversion to vitamin A in the liver involves different hepatic cell types and their interactions." She worked with Dr. William S. Blaner in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.
  • Laura Cheng
    was awarded Third Place in Biological Sciences for her project "Regulation of Bone Marrow Cell Differentiation in Germfree Rats By Certain Bacteria and Bacterial Cell Wall Components." She worked with Dr. Helen Durkin and Dr. Seto Chice in the Department of Pathology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Grace Chan
    was a Semifinalist and presented her project "Pattern and Boundaries of Mutations in Nurse Shark Immunoglobulin Genes." She worked with Dr. Ellen Hsu in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Rabia Iqbal
    was a Semifinalist and presented her project "Study of the Catalytic Mechanisms of KatG: An Enzyme involved in the virulence and antibiotic resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis."She worked with Dr. Richard S. Magliozzo in the Chemistry Department at Brooklyn College.
  • Stacey Shulman
    was a Semifinalist for her project "Immunoglobulin E Response to Chlamydia pneumoniae in Children with Asthma." She worked with Dr. Stephen Kohlhoff in the Department of Pediatrics at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

JSHS competitors at York College
Laura Cheng, Ying Yao Louie, Grace Chan, Rabia Iqbal

2009 New York City Metro Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS)

Posted on Friday, March 20, 2009 by for Awards, JSHS.

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) Program promotes original research and experimentation in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics at the high school level and publicly recognizes students for outstanding achievement. This year’s New York City Metro JSHS was held at York College in Jamaica, Queens. Midwood had one winner this year.

  • Sadrach Pierre
    won First Place in the chemistry division and Fourth Place overall and went on to represent New York City in the National JSHS at the US Air Force Academy in Boulder, Colorado April 29 – May 3.
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Michael McDonnell — Principal
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Mr. Elert (Coordinator) A214 elert@ midwoodscience.org 2141
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Ms. Mosley A200 mosley.chem@ gmail.com 2001
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Mr. McDonnell (Principal) 127 mmcdonn2@ schools.nyc.gov 1270
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