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The psychology of parakeets and people predominate at NYCSEF — Aushna Saleem advances to ISEF

Posted on Monday, March 26, 2018 by for ISEF, NYCSEF.

This was the year of psychology at Midwood Science. All of our NYCSEF First and Second Awards went to students with psychology projects (both human and parakeet). Out of the 9 award winning projects, 5 were connected to the study of human or animal behavior. Engineering, medicine, and environmental science completed the team.

Aushna Saleem won the highest awards of the competition — a NYCSEF First Award and an Intel ISEF Award — for her study of the behavior of Brooklyn's beloved monk parakeets. Hafsa Fatima collected another First Award for her study of monk parakeet vocalization. Aushna and Hafsa worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso from Brooklyn College — a supporter of Midwood Science for 15 years. Aushna will be traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to compete in the Intel ISEF in the third week of May.

First time mentors from St. Francis College supported the remaining psychology projects. First Award winners Mei Mei Weng & Judy Huang studied stress and birth order and were supervized by Dr. Steven Anolik. Second Award winners Albina Kukic & Wendy Lliguichuzhca studied factors affecting altruism and were supervised by Dr. Uwe Gielen and Dr. Sung Hun Kim. Albina and Wendy also received the American Psychological Association Award for their exceptional project.

Linda Chen, Yiming Dai, Jennifer Duong, Elizabeth Joseph, Sabina Kubayeva, Beien Lin, Kathy Mania, and Rana Mohammed all received Third Awards. Beien and Kathy were also Semifinalists in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize for their water-related project. Rana received the Yale Science and Engineering Association Award for best engineering project by a junior.

NYCSEF is the annual New York City Science and Engineering Fair sponsored by the New York City Department of Educatation, the City University of New York, and ConEdison. Roughly 570 participants from all five boroughs participated in the Preliminary Round this year at City College on March 4. The top 25% of those advanced to the Finals Round at the American Museum of Natural History on March 20. The top 16 projects go on to represent New York City in the 2,000 student mega-event, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania May 13–18.

NYCSEF 'periodic table' logo

NYCSEF First Award

  • Aushna Saleem (Animal Sciences)
    "The effects of age on monk parakeet aggressive and social behavior." Aushna worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College. Aushna was one of the top 16 students at NYCSEF to win the Intel ISEF Award. She will be traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to compete in ISEF in the third week of May.
  • Hafsa Fatima (Psychology)
    "The effect of temperature on the frequency of vocalization of Myiopsitta monachus." Hafsa worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College.
  • Mei Mei Weng & Judy Huang (Psychology)
    "Effects of birth order on the stress levels of immigrant teenagers." Mei Mei and Judy worked under the supervision of Dr. Steven Anolik in the Department of Psychology at St. Francis College.

NYCSEF Second Award

  • Albina Kukic & Wendy Lliguichuzhca (Psychology)
    "Altruism in adolescence measured by empathy, parental influence, peer influence, and societal influence." Albina and Wendy worked under the supervision of Professor Emeritus Dr. Uwe Gielen and Dr. Sung Hun Kim in the Department of Psychology at St. Francis College. Albina and Wendy were also the only winners of the American Psychological Association Award for exceptional projects in psychology entered in the behavioral sciences category.

NYCSEF Third Award

  • Yiming Dai & Linda Chen (Psychology)
    "Difference among stress levels between adolescents with immigrant status and adolescents w/o immigrant status." Yiming and Linda worked under the supervision of Dr. Steven Anolik in the Department of Psychology at St. Francis College.
  • Jennifer Duong (Engineering)
    "Loading lauric acid into electrospun polystyrene nanofibers." Jennifer worked under the supervision of Dr. Ping Lu and Ms. Rawan Ghaban in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University.
  • Elizabeth Joseph & Sabina Kubayeva (Medicine)
    "Layer-specific decreases in hippocampal PKMζ protein in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease." Elizabeth and Sabina worked under the supervision of Dr. Todd Sacktor and Dr. Panayiotis Tsokas in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Kathy Mania & Beien Lin (Environmental Sciences)
    "Soil structure and heavy metals in engineered soils for stormwater management." Kathy and Beien worked under the supervision of Dr. Zhongqi (Joshua) Cheng and Dr. Maha Deeb Collet in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Brooklyn College. Kathy and Beien are also New York State Semifinalists in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize for exceptional water related projects.
  • Rana Mohamed (Engineering)
    "Energy monitoring systems for mobile robotic systems." Rana worked under the supervision of Dr. Joo H. Kim in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Rana was also the only winner of the Yale Science and Engineering Association Award for excellent projects by an 11th grader in computer science, engineering, physics, or chemistry.