Junior Science Research
- The first goal of this class is to help students find volunteer positions in academic, government, non-profit or commercial labs where they will participate in scientific, technological, engineering, or mathematical research with a mentor. Projects typically last 5 to 15 months and end over the summer or during the first two months of senior year.
- The second goal of this class is to help students acquire the skills needed to be successful in the scientific competitions that occur in senior year. Students will be given assignments that align with the requirements of the Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS), New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF), St. Joseph's College High School Poster Session, Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Academic Cultural Scientific Technological Olympiad (ACT-SO), Google Science Fair, Brooklyn College Science Day, and others.
- Grades are based partly on how much you do (the more things you try, the better your grade will be) and partly how well you do them (the better your work is, the better your grade will be) Every month spent working in a lab is worth one extra point toward your final grade. Important dates are in red. There are many extra credit opportunities. Students who fulfill the nominal class requirements will receive a grade of 85% (G) in the 1st marking period, 90% in the 2nd marking period, and 95% for the semester. See phi.sx/Grades_Juniors_Fall for more info.
Fall Meetings for Juniors
Check the calendar on midwoodscience.org often. Individual, team, or small group meetings are the way business gets done. Large group meetings are rare. Keep your supervising teacher up to date on your progress. Do not hesitate to tell us of problems. Above all, do not miss your appointments. They count significantly toward your grade.
- Large group meetings in September in room
- Entrance meeting on the first day of the semester. Everyone attends.
- Students meet in alternating groups
- section 1
- section 2
- Resume first draft, reviewed by the seniors
- Large group meetings in September in room A215/A220
- First meeting
- Contemporary Paper second draft
- November lab log
- Application for Change to Weighted Research Course (1.05)
- Second meeting
- Contemporary Paper third draft. Final draft due when we return from Winter Break.
- First meeting
- Senior PowerPoint presentations
- Attend 3 days
- Second meeting
Assignment 0: Official Documents
- You will give us …
- your email address (use this form) so that we can contact you and so that email from you does not wind up in anyone's spam mailbox. If you have multiple email accounts, please send your message using the one with the most professional sounding user name. Notify me in a timely fashion if you wish to change your preferred email address. Your email address will only be used by research teachers and school administrators. We will not share your email address with anyone else without your permission.
- a signed contract that covers the following legal matters …
- parent release: so that you can leave the building to work at your research site, attend lectures, and participate in competitions and other special events.
- electronic communication agreement: so that we can communicate effectively with a class that is scattered across the city. You give us your email address so we can contact you and you agree to check your email inbox and the class website at least once each school day for messages from us.
- science research room usage agreement: so that you can use the facilities in the research room (A214) during your free periods. This covers access to the computers, printers, microwave ovens, and (for the seniors) lab drawers.
- photo release: so that we can use your name, likeness (photos, videos, etc.), and excerpts from your work (titles, abstracts, graphs, diagrams, etc.) to publicize your accomplishments on school controlled webpages.
- proof of lab assignment when you find a place to work, so that you are eligible for 1.05 weighting on your class rank, and student MetroCards.
- We will give you …
- a letter of introduction (for any work site that asks for one)
- a Brooklyn College Library Card (for everybody)
- MetroCards (once you are accepted into a work site)
Getting Into a Lab
Assignment 1: Scientific Interests
Identify 3 possible work sites and provide the following information for each work site.
- Find a researcher in NYC and report their …
- What do they work on? (Do not copy any text from their webpage to answer this question.)
- Why might you want to work there?
Email your answers to your supervising teacher within 2 business days after the assignment is announced (plain text with no attachments). Put RESEARCH HW 1 in the subject line.
Assignment 2: Cover Letter
Answer the following questions in a "cover letter".
- Who are you?
- What do you want?
Email your cover letter to your supervising teacher within 2 business days after the assignment is announced (plain text with no attachments). Put RESEARCH HW 2 in the subject line.
Assignment 3: Resume
- Write your resume.
- Get it perfect.
Print your resume on paper and drop it in your supervising teacher's mailbox in the Research Room within 2 business days after the assignment is announced. You will write and rewrite this assignment several times. Senior research students will help you with the first draft. Final drafts are due Friday, October 27, 2017.
Reading Scientific and Technical Papers
Assignment 4: Contemporary Paper
The purpose of this activity is to analyze a piece of contemporary science as reported in a peer-reviewed scientific research journal using the following summary technique. You will write and rewrite this assignment several times. The final draft is due the first day after Winter Break — Tuesday, January 2, 2018.
- Option 1: Have your mentor suggest a research paper to read.
- Option 2: Select a research paper from Science or Nature in a field that you would like to work in.
- Option 3: Select a research paper from another scientific journal in a field that you would like to work in that is not hidden behind a paywall. Search using Science Direct or Google Scholar.
Lab Log Format
- In general …
- Use a hardbound notebook — one that would show obvious damage if a page was removed.
- Number all pages so that missing pages can be spotted.
- Never remove pages from your lab notebook.
- Place important information on the inside front cover.
- Personal information
- Your name, phone number, email address so that a lost lab log can be returned to you
- Your ICE name and phone number (ICE means "in case of emergency")
- Where you work
- Name of primary worksite, location (room number), phone number (if applicable)
- Name of secondary worksite, location (room number), phone number (if applicable)
- Name of tertiary worksite, location (room number), phone number (if applicable)
- Who you work with
- Principal investigator (PI) name, phone number, email address
- Other researcher name, phone number, email address
- Lab manager/technician name, phone number, email address
- Post-doc name, phone number, email address
- Graduate/Undergraduate student name, phone number, email address
- Personal information
- Daily entries
- Time In/Time Out
- Monthly summaries
- At the end of each month, create a table that summarizes the work you did for that month.
Name of Month Date Hours Activity ⇐ Total hours for the month
Weighting and Extra Credit Requirements
- In order to receive extra credit for the month (juniors only) or to receive a 1.05 for the semester (juniors and seniors), you are expected to attend lab and/or do lab-related work for at least 4 hours per week (16 hours per month for a month with 4 full weeks).
- A possible option for this time is analyzing articles that are related to your subject similar to the way you reviewed articles for this class.
- For all equipment that you use, you should read the manual from your lab and explain the operating principle behind that piece of equipment.
- For all protocols you should create an extremely simple flow chart of the procedure and identify the final product.
Fall Lab Logs
Lab logs are due at the first meeting of each month.
- June/July/August lab logs are due in September for seniors and October for juniors.
- September lab logs are due in October.
- October lab logs are due in November.
- November lab logs are due in December.
- December lab logs are due in January.
STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
Attend an approved STEM lecture
- Attend, listen, and take notes.
- Retain your admission ticket, program, or any other handout given at the lecture.
- Have your photo taken at the event by a teacher or other approved attendance taker.
- Complete this assignment while the lecture is still fresh in your mind. (Print the page before you go.)
- Type up your responses to the questions and submit them to your supervising teacher the next business day along with proof of attendance. Be prepared to discuss the lecture at your next meeting.
- American Chemical Society New York Section
- Brooklyn Frontiers in Science Public Lecture, Thursday, May 4, 2017
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
- Major Trends in Modern Cancer Research, Thursday, November 3, 2016
- The Rockefeller University
- Talking Science a.k.a. the "Holiday Lecture", Saturday, December 7, 2017
Competitions and Events
Participate in STEM competitions or attend STEM special events.
- Review this list at the begining of the school year.
- Find an event or competition you are interested in.
- Tell your supervising teacher what you intend to do.
- Provide evidence of progress or participation for partial credit (when applicable).
- Manage your time effectively. Anticipate Deadlines.
- Provide evidence of completion for full credit.
Last Updated 5 September 2016.
- American Mathematics Contest 12 (AMC 12)
- Ask the Math Department at Midwood about this competition
- Organized by the Mathematical Association of America
- American Association of Physics Teachers
- Bay Scallop Bowl
- For members of the Ocean Science Team
- See Mr. Stack in room 135 or Ms. Lau in room A212 for more info
- Biology Olympiad
- Ms. Ross supervises this activity
- Organized by the Center for Excellence in Education
- Brain Bee
- For students in AP Psychology (current or former)
- Organized by The Dana Foundation
- Chemistry Olympiad
- The AP Chemistry teachers supervise this activity
- Organized by the American Chemical Society
- Run by the New York Section of the American Chemical Society
- Cyber Security Awareness Week
- Cyber Forensics Challenge
- Organized by Tandon School of Engineering at New York University
- DNA Day Essay
- Ms. Ross supervises this activity
- Organized by the American Society of Human Genetics
- Sponsored by Toshiba, Inc.
- FIRST Tech Challenge
- For members of the Robotics Team
- See Mr. Jahn in room A317 or Ms. Mosley in room A200 for more info
- Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams
- Grants of up to $10,000 for technological solutions to real-world problems
- Maker Faire
- Two days in September
- Serve as a volunteer (a "Traveler" in Maker Faire speak)
- March of Dimes Essay Competition for Students (no website)
- When they contact me, I will contact you.
- Organized by the New York State Chapter of The March of Dimes
- Moody's Mega Math Challenge
- Cassini Scientist for a Day
- Capillary Effects on Liquids Exploratory Research Experiments (CELERE)
- Space Settlement Contest
- NASA's educational opportunities for high school students have been volatile lately. Check the NASA Education homepage for updates.
- Spirit of Innovation Awards
- Sponsored by the Pete Conrad Foundation
- Saturday Science Seminars (a.k.a. S3)
- Organized by the Barnard College Office of Pre-College Programs
- For female students only
- Sleep Story High School Video Contest
- Organized by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
- Team America Rocketry Challenge
- Urban Barcode Project
- Organized by the Dolan DNA Learning Center (a.k.a. the Harlem DNA Lab)
- Ms. Goldstein supervises this activity
- Young Science Achievers Program
- Write a research proposal
- Applicants for this program must be …
- females of any ethnicity
- males of African American, Hispanic or Native American descent
- attending public or private high schools in New Jersey or New York City (grades 9–12).
- World Science Festival
- Five days in May/June
- Serve as a volunteer