The Home of Midwood Science Research

More Science. Less Fear.

Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2018 by for Everyone.

We here at Midwood Science have always appreciated the work of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Their annual lecture series for high school students, Major Trends in Modern Cancer Research, was especially inspiring this year. They have mentored several of our students throughout the years, one of whom was a finalist in the Intel (now Regeneron) Science Talent Search. We thought the theme of their latest ad campaign agreed with our general sentiments.

Digital Badge results for the 2018 Regeneron Science Talent Search

Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 by for Awards, STS.

Since 2013, the Society for Science and the Public has been awarding digital badges as part of the Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS). The 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. The Student Initiative Badge is awarded to an entrant who has exhibited extraordinary effort and dedication in her or her pursuit of scientific research and has made great accomplishments relative to the resources available to him or her. 9 Midwood Science students collected 8 Research Report Badges and 6 Student Initiative Badges.

Research Report and Student Initiative

Regeneron Science Talent Search 2018 Student Initiative Badge
  • Jennifer Duong
    "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.
  • Sarah Elmosbah
    "A novel type of immunoglobulin that arose in early vertebrates." Sarah worked under the supervision of Dr. Ellen Hsu in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Hafsa Fatima
    "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.
  • Aushna Saleem
    "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.
  • Jessie Zheng
    "Photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue using electrospun nanofibers." Jessie worked under the supervision of Dr. Ping Lu and Ms. Simone Murray in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University.

Research Report

Regeneron Science Talent Search 2018 Research Report Badge
  • Emily Orman
    "Immunoglobulin gene diversity found in an early vertebrate (Callorhinchus milii) and its impact on the understanding of vertebrate evolution and immunity." Emily worked under the supervision of Dr. Ellen Hsu in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Katie Nikishina
    "Capillary action on 20% polystyrene in dimethylformamide nanofibers partially immersed in paraffin wax." Katie worked under the supervision of Dr. Ping Lu and Ms. Simone Murray in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University.
  • Naila Mirza
    "Effect of season on the group size of the Myiopsitta monachus." Naila worked under the supervision of Dr. Frank Grasso in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College.

Student Initiative

  • Noran Abo-Donia
    "A comparison of chlorophyll levels in native and invasive plant species." Noran worked under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen Nolan in the Department of Biology and Health Promotions at St. Francis College.

The liquid nitrogen has arrived!

Posted on Monday, January 8, 2018 by for Seniors.

Liquid nitrogen tank
160 liters of liquid nitrogen at 77 kelvin (−196 °C, −321 °F). Gross weight of nitrogen plus container: 228 kilograms (503 pounds). All for Midwood.

Merry Newtonmas everyone!

Posted on Monday, December 25, 2017 by for Everyone.

Sheldon holding a bust of Sir Isaac Newton

Public Lecture: A-to-I RNA Editing – Common, Hidden Mutations

Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2017 by for Extra Credit, Lectures.

Dr. Erez Levanon from the Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel will be presenting a public lecture on A-to-I RNA editing at the New York Genome Center in Tribeca this Monday, December 18 from 4:00–5:30.

Dr. Erez Levanon in his lab

"The role of RNA modifications in gene regulation is becoming increasingly appreciated. RNA editing, specifically A-to-I editing by ADAR enzymes, is unique in altering not only the fate of the RNA molecule, but also the genetic information it contains (recoding)."

Ms. Ross is awarding extra credit to all Advanced Placement Biology students that attend. Science Research students will also receive extra credit if they attend and complete the usual assignment. Due to the technical nature of the lecture, only students who have completed or are currently enrolled in AP Bio may attend. Register online through the Eventbrite website. In addition, please email a screen shot of your ticket along with a photo of yourself at the event to Mr. Elert.

NYCSEF paperwork delivered

Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by for NYCSEF.

Mr. Elert holding a tall stack of large white envelopes A tall stack of large white envelopes sitting on a table in the NYCSEF offices
NYCSEF paperwork picked up at 2839 Bedford Avenue and delivered to 16 Court Street by reliable courier in black hoodie.

Are you ready for NYCSEF Paperwork Day?

Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by for NYCSEF, Seniors.

Seniors. We will be assembling paperwork for NYCSEF on Monday, December 11, 2017 starting period 5. All copies will be made at this time using the heavy duty photocopiers in Mr. Rosenfeld’s office (A200) or Ms. Kornaker's office (A300). I will bring large envelopes, staples, binder clips, and labels. You will bring your completed paperwork including…

Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory tossing papers into the air Konan from Naruto showing her paper magic skills Kittens playing in a pile of papers

World Science Festival: City of Science needs volunteers

Posted on Sunday, December 3, 2017 by for Extra Credit, Juniors, Seniors.

The World Science Festival City of Science returns to Brooklyn on Sunday, December 10, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Park Slope Armory (361 15th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215). Join the World Science Festival and Con Edison for this larger-than-life, touring event where the wondrous properties of science, technology, engineering, and math collide. Filled with interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities, and enormous exhibitions, this free program unleashes everyone’s inner scientist.

Volunteers are needed to help with assisting science explainers, line management and greeting guests. You’ll be asked to join one short conference call with your zone leader prior to the event date. Midwood Science Research students who volunteer will receive +2 points of credit toward their final grade for the fall semester. (Forward a copy of your itinerary and provide a photo of yourself at the event for attendance and publicity purposes.) All volunteers also receive a T-shirt, food, beverages, and discounts to select 2018 World Science Festival programs.

To sign up, CLICK HERE and fill out a short form. For questions, please contact

WSF: COS banner

Research students look for lab professors

Posted on Friday, December 1, 2017 by for Media.

Let the hunt for professors begin! Starting October, students in the research program are emailing and going to colleges to ask professors if they can join their labs. If students don't find a professor by the second term, they will be transferred to another elective like robotics or medical issues. After the students join the lab, they study with the professor and perform experiments in professional environment doing scientific breakthroughs. After a year of joining, students will have to enter competitions using what they have learned in their lab.

Susana Tzunun '19 is a research student with a 4.0 GPA, is on the soccer team, and has many AP classes under her belt. You would think a perfect student like this would get into any lab he/she wanted. On the contrary, Tzunun said, "The whole process was nerve-racking."

Tzunun had a hard time finding professors. She sent 15 emails to different professors in different fields with no success. Some responded with apologies that their lab was full and others didn't even give an answer. After a month of scouting and hard work, Tzunun went to a lab interview with her friend and fellow classmate Amy Chen '19, and they both were accepted to the lab. She felt as if a heavy burden was lifted from her chest and thankful for the opportunity. She now researches environmental science at Brooklyn College.

Photo of the Chemistry Lab in the Midwood Science Annex

Rubhiyah Chaudhry '19 is another research student who had trouble finding a professor. Although the process was lengthy and dense, it showed promise.

"I knew it was going to be difficult from the start because many professor don't accept high school students, but it was an all worthwhile despite being tedious." Chaudhry said.

The class has a large payoff, intrinsically and extrinsically. The students are not only going to learn how to properly research and grow as professionals, but they look good on college resumes than any other.

Mr. Glenn Elert, Physics teacher and research coordinator talks about his experience with the research program.

"Research is very interesting. It is the best kind of class. All students get attention because it a one on one class. It is never the same thing," he said.

Junior research makes students more professional. When they leave Midwood, they are experts on their projects.

"Students learn to be scientists, which makes it the only real science class in the building." Mr. Elert said.

Written by Daniel Gaft (Class of 2019).
This article originally appeared in the November 2017 edition of Argus.

Application for change to Honors Research course (a.k.a. 1.05)

Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2017 by for Juniors, Seniors.

PDF icon

All juniors and seniors with a currently active research placement who would like to apply for a 1.05 weighted research course (Honors Science Research) must fill out, print, sign, and present this form to their supervising teacher during the first week of December. Bring your lab log at this time as well.

Special note just for the juniors. A placement is not official until your mentor has contacted me saying you have been accepted to work in their lab. It should also state the date you began working there. Some of you have done this and some of you haven't. The official record of this is kept in the Google Docs spreadsheet called "mentors (shared)". You were all provided with a link to this spreadsheet in September. View it and check your status. If you see a date next to your mentor's name, you're OK. If not, contact them immediately and ask them to contact me at their earliest convenience.

NYCSEF Signature Pages

Posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by for NYCSEF, Seniors.

Seniors, I need your NYCSEF signature pages on or before Monday, November 27, 2017 so the Principal and I can sign them. Please print the Principal’s name (Michael McDonnell) for him, but do not sign or date the form (obviously). Please do the same for my name (Glenn Elert). I will sign part b as the Science/Research Teacher for all seniors. All seniors will meet with their supervising teacher during the first week of December to give an update on the progress of their application. The rest of the paperwork along with a complete research paper must be ready by Monday, December 11, 2017.

2017 Major Trends in Modern Cancer Research

Posted on Monday, October 30, 2017 by for Extra Credit, Lectures.

Add to Calendar

On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will host its twelfth annual Major Trends in Modern Cancer Research lecture for high school and college students. (Members of the public are also welcome to attend.) The event will take place from 5:30–7:30 PM on the first floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering's Rockefeller Research Laboratories building (430 East 67th Street, between York and First Avenues).

Registration is preferred for this free event. Get there a bit early if possible to get a good seat. Pizza and refreshments will be served before the lecture beginz. Single use MetroCards will be made available for any student who needs one to attend.

One point of extra credit will be awarded to all students who attend and complete this assignment for any one of the speakers. (Consult the Extra Credit webpage for more info.) Official attendance is taken by group photo at the end of the event. Submit your completed (typed) assignment to Mr. Elert's Research Room mailbox by Friday, November 10.

Portrait Moderator

Memorial Sloan Kettering President Craig B. Thompson studies molecular signaling pathways that regulate nutrient uptake and the role these pathways play in the regulation of cell growth and survival.

Portrait Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Cancer: Rewiring the Molecular Circuitry of T cells for Cancer Immunotherapy

Cancer immunologist Andrea Schietinger investigates immune responses to cancer, molecular mechanisms underlying tumor-induced T cell dysfunction, and new approaches for cancer immunotherapy.

Portrait Develop the Organism, Kill the Cancer: Understanding the Evolutionary Origins of New Forms of Cell Death and Their Effects on Cancer

Cell biologisy Michael H. Overholtzer studies the mechanisms of tumor initiation and progression, cell adhesion, and cell death.

Portrait Shedding Light on Inflammation: Imaging White Blood Cell Recruitment in Live Zebrafish

Cell biologist Philipp M. Niethammer investigates wound responses using advanced imaging approaches in zebrafish.

Resumania 2017

Posted on Sunday, September 24, 2017 by for Extra Credit, Juniors, Seniors.

Monday, September 25 and Tuesday, September 26, 2017 are resume review days (a.k.a. Resumania). Juniors registered to Ms. Katzoff’s section of the class show up on Monday. Juniors in Mr. Elert’s section show up on Tuesday. We will meet in room A220 during period 9 on both days.

Seniors show up on both days for full extra credit or one out of two days for half extra credit. It is entirely possible that the meeting will run into period 10. If you have some need to leave quickly during this event, you should not volunteer to participate. Resumes will be divided as evenly as possible between the seniors that arrive on either day. More seniors means less work and a quicker departure.

Juniors will revise their resumes and then resubmit them. Place the second draft of your resume in your supervising teacher’s mailbox in the Research Room (A214) one business day before your next scheduled small group meeting. Groups assignments and meeting dates will be announced soon.

About the Siemens Competition

Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2017 by for Extra Credit, Seniors, Siemens.

  • Eligible students are encouraged to enter this competition for extra credit. Research Reports may be submitted on projects in the fields of mathematics, engineering, biological, and physical sciences. Social and behavioral science research projects are not eligible.
  • Register using the Discovery Education website as soon as possible. The competition application is done entirely online. None of the “paperwork” uses actual paper.
  • Read and follow the guidelines set by the Siemens Foundation.
  • Paperwork is required of all students participating as well as the students’ parents, the principal, and a qualified scientist or other mentor. Thankfully, these requirements are easy to complete. Projects involving vertebrate animals require additional paperwork from the student and mentor.
  • This competition is centered around a research paper of 18 pages or fewer (not including abstract and references) and an executive summary (a.k.a. layperson’s summary). Absolutely no student names or references to gender (“he” or “she”), high schools, school officials, advisors, mentors, affiliated research organizations, acknowledgments, or any other identifying information of the entrants are to appear anywhere in the research paper.
  • Have your final application submission witnessed by your supervising teacher on or before Monday, September 18, 2017. Tuesday, September 19, 2017 is also allowed, but not preferred.
  • Up to 300 projects are selected as semifinalists. Up to 30 individual students and 30 teams (of 2 or 3 students) are chosen to compete at one of 6 regional competitions in November (MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, UT Austin, Cal Tech). Students’ names will be posted on the Siemens Foundation website Tuesday, October 17, 2017 for semifinalists and Wednesday, October 18, 2017 for regional finalists.
  • Winners of the regional competitions go on to the national competition in December at George Washington University.

Regeneron STS application now open

Posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 by for Extra Credit, Seniors, STS.

Seniors, the application for the 2018 Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) is now open. In order to apply, you'll need to submit a research report, request recommendations from a mentor and an educator, request a high school report from a counselor, complete a series of essays about your research, and answer several questions about yourself. Instructions are available for review on multiple PDFs, but the entire application is electronic — no paper documents are needed. The application website closes on Wednesday, November 15 at 8:00 PM EST. Team projects are not allowed.

All eligible seniors should give serious consideration to this competition. Start the process as soon as possible. Summer is a good time to deal with things like this. Review the FAQs, the rules, and the application questions. Work on the research report that you will be using throughout the year. Write a first draft of the essays. Contact a person in your lab who knows you and your project and would be willing to recommend you. (This is not necessarily the head of the lab.) Regeneron STS logo Let your supervising teacher at Midwood know that you are applying so they can give you advice on the application process and begin working on their educator recommendation. Wait until October to deal with the high school report.

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.

Sophomores display projects at Science Fair

Posted on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 by for Media, Science Fair.

The stage was set for the sophomore researchers as they present their projects for all of the research students to see.

Sophomore researchers were brought to the present on May 24 for the annual science fair. Coordinated by Mr. Glenn Elert, the presenters each had a project that research teachers Ms. Shaniece Mosley and Ms. Stacy Goldstein.

They have been conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and practicing their speaking skills in preparation for the fair.

"The science fair is always exciting for both the presenters and the judges," said Mr. Elert. "Each year, we always have our special judges which consist of alumni who come back to judge again and be a part of the science fair."

Before the event, Mr. Elert held a short speech guiding all the judges. With 110 judges in all, they consisted of junior, senior, and alumni researchers.

"For me last year, getting judged by upperclassmen was a bit nerve-wracking," said Saba Iqbal '18. "This year, I want to be sure I make the students as comfortable as possible when presenting to me."

To score the presenters, the judges each watch three sophomores present their project. Then, on a paper with categories including the poster board, methods, introduction of the project, and total analysis, the judges give the presenters scores on a scale of 1–10. Then, they add up the individual category scores. The winners of the projects include first place, second place, third place, and honorary mentions.

Vladimir Svidruk '19 presented his project on cockroaches and their tolerance to certain environments.

"I bought my cockroaches from a petshop and then tested them with certain materials." said Svidruk. "Ms. Goldstein heavily prepared us for the event, she provided us with the necessary materials that were needed for some projects, including mine."

After doing many presentations during research classes, Kenny Pierre Louis '19 shared Svidruk's thoughts.

"After doing many presentations with [Mr. K and Ms. Mosley] it really positively affected how I presented in front of the judges."

Participants with posterboards and judges with clipboards

In preparing for the science fair, some of the presenters gained more than just a new science idea.

"In doing this project, I learned a lot about presentation and being able to speak to an audience effectively." said Pierre Louis It took a lot of time making, ordering, and setting up, time management was something I really got from doing the science fair."

Svidruk also admitted that it not only allowed him to gain experience in presenting, but it showed him more into the science field.

"I wouldn't consider myself as a very science type of person, but after doing this it was kind of interesting finding out about spikes and neurons and how they all relate to us humans as well," said Svidruk.

The judges and presenters were all given food afterwards, coordinated by Mr. Tovia Rosenfeld, which consisted of sandwiches, salads, desserts, and drinks. During this time, the judges and presenters gathered with their friends and some seniors spoke about how they may not be able to see all this next year.

"The science fair has always been something that was so much fun to do," said Hufsa Tasnim '17. "It gets me really upset that I may not be able to see all this next year, I will try my best to become a guest judge."

Midwood has been holding the event since the school opened in the 1940s.

Vincent Wang '18 said, "It feels weird being on the other end now, judging these sophomores makes myself proud on how far I've achieved within the research program and that I haven't gave up that drive I had as a sophomore last year."

Juniors had been assigned three to four projects to judge and graded them on a system of 60 points for idividual projects and 70 points for team projects.

Nimrah Naseer '19 said, "This [project] was really stressful for me, I like the writing aspect of science research but the actual hands on activities aren't my favorite part."

The science fair started after tenth period, judging started as the sophomores finalized their boards. After most juniors were done judging the projects and grading them on a rubric, the fair ended off with food being served for all.

Written by Sumaya Ahmed & Ashley Masih (Class of 2018).
This article originally appeared in the June 2017 edition of Argus.

2017 Midwood Science Fair Results

Posted on Friday, June 2, 2017 by for Awards, Science Fair.

And the winners are…

1st Place

Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Zoe Robertson
Buffers for Acid Rain
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Ahmad Choudhry & Daniel Gaft
Squirm of the Worm

2nd Place

Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Ifra Khan
Birth Order and Personality
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Humayara Karim & Zuha Ahmed
The Search for Bacteria
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Zara Nadeem
The Vitamin C Concentration In Homemade Orange Juice vs. Brand Name

3rd Place

Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Maqadus Sakhi & Fizza Nayab
What the fizz?
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Emily Movsumova
Testing the Efficiency of Acids on the Rate of Milk Curdling by Using Spectrophotometry Analysis

Honorable Mention

Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Tiffany Huynh & Fiona Lin
Do Seeds Need H2O2?
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Sonel Rubinstein
A Taste of Bacteria
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Allen Borshch & Andrew Kobrin
Electrolyte Concentration of Liquids
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Nimrah Naseer
Rust Busters
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Ashley Chen & Amy Chen
The effect of different colored solutions on the absorption of light
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Jie Tang
Kill the Plastic Bottles!
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Yvette Somersel & Michelle Koshelyuk
Calculating Vitamin C Using Titration

Junior Exit Meetings and Summer School MetroCards

Posted on Friday, June 2, 2017 by for Juniors.

Airplane emergency card exit cartoon   ☜ All of my juniors should meet with me period 3, 5, 7, 8, or 9 on Monday, June 5 for an exit meeting. Bring your lab log. Topics for discussion include spring semester grades and summer research plans.   MetroCard Man at 2011 Maker Faire with 2 Midwood students
☞ Summer school MetroCards will be arranged for students that need them. Have your mentor contact me stating that you will be working in their lab over the summer. MetroCards will be available in the first or second week of July and will expire in the middle of August.

Senior Exit Meetings

Posted on Friday, June 2, 2017 by for Seniors.

  Email proof of service at the World Science Festival by Midnight Sunday, June 4. Email photos of yourself working each day and your volunteer itinerary.
  Return your drawer key on Tuesday, June 6 or Wednesday, June 7.
  Bring your 3rd marking period service log. Bring it even if it is blank.
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