The Home of Midwood Science Research

Midwood Science Research, Class of 2024

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2024 by for Seniors.

Large group photo in the Midwood Auditorium

2024 Midwood Science Fair Awards

Posted on Friday, June 7, 2024 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
Vivian Li
Acid Rocks
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Akash van Koert & Alexandra Rakhovski
Berry Badness

2nd Place

Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Aziza Ziyadulloeva & Kathy Liang
Water Quality on Marine Life
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Han Xin Ou Yang & Abril Flores
The investigation of amylase enzyme digestion time on the production of reduced sugar in various fruits and vegetables

3rd Place

Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Meerab Chishty & Mariam Gvasalia
Investigating the Effect of Sucrose and Glucose on Tooth Enamel Decay

Honorable Mention

Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Timothy Wong
Investigating the Influence of Sunlight on Mitosis Rate in Amoeba Proteus
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Hafsa Fnu & Sophia Ugazovas
Spray Away: The Effect of Different Disinfectant Spray Brands on Bacterial Growth on Doorknobs
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Lena Li & Saba Khoja
Comparing the efficiency of various antacid brands on neutralizing pH levels of stomach acid
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Leo Ye & Ivan Chen
Investigating Soil Liquefaction and its Impact on Earthquake-Prone Areas
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Queeny Huang & Sanna Ngo
Mindful for Math
Traditional photo of the award winner holding their trophy standing in front of their poster board
Kathryn Otkydach & Luis Olvera
Investigating the Relationship Between Body Mass and Impact Force in Falls on Different Materials

Bonus photo

Group photo of all the winners holding their trophies
Congrats to all the winners!

Alumni Spotlight: Christopher Ayala (Class of 2014)

Posted on Friday, June 7, 2024 by for Alumni Spotlight.


Selfie of Chris Ayala

Chris Ayala is an alumni of the Midwood Science Research program who worked on the project "Encoding Information with Light's Angular Momentum" with Dr. Giovanni Milione. He graduated in 2014, and since then, has continued his interest in research as a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan. He's currently the President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Vice President of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). Aside from his passion for physics, Ayala enjoys scuba diving and drone photography in his free time. He also loves to cuddle his cat-daughter Kyoshi. I got the opportunity to interview him and see what he's been up to these past 10 years and what advice he has for current students in the research program.

Masha: What did you do during your time as a part of Science Research?

Chris: To encompass what I've done during my time at Midwood Science Research was build a really solid understanding of what I liked and did not like about research.There was a sophomore science research class in which we were able to partake in research projects that we were able to think of ourselves and that helped [kindle] my beginning interest in science research. It wasn't until the summer of sophomore year where I asked Mr. Elert what other options there were to keep my summer occupied. He had given me a connection to a PhD student he knew at City College University. I think just that experience alone helped determine that what I wanted to do was to study lasers.


Chukwunonso Nwasike, Akeem Pinnock, and Chris Ayala at the 2014 National ACT-SO

After successfully completing two Bachelor's degrees in Applied Mathematics and Physics at SUNY Stony Brook, Ayala continued his studies at the University of Michigan, but not before taking an opportunity that would further his interests even more.

Chris: I took a gap year after I graduated and deferred my acceptance to the University of Michigan where I worked in the meantime at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa for a year, working on quantum imaging research for a year. After that I came back and started my PhD at the University of Michigan, where I currently am a 5th year PhD candidate working for the Steven Cundiff Research Lab.


Chris's experimental setup

Masha: What would your PhD specifically be in?

Chris: My PhD specifically focuses on the study of interaction of light — mostly visible light, up to infrared — and the interaction of semiconductor materials which are used in your everyday electronics, specifically wide gap materials. Then, that produces high harmonic generation, which is a process which produces higher frequency light after the interaction with the semiconductor metal. So, I'm effectively taking visible light and then changing its frequency to ultraviolet.

Masha: What do you like most about what you do?

Chris: I get to shoot lasers and play with lasers. I think that really hasn't changed from when Mr. Elert asked me that as a sophomore in high school. He asked, "Do you want to work with this PhD student who works with lasers?" and as a 14 year old kid, I said, "Yes please!" Now I find myself as a "semi expert in the field of lasers."

Masha: Did you ever encounter any difficulties throughout your career?

Chris: Yeah. As an experimentalist, one of the biggest issues you really face is your own experimental setup. Many of my issues have mainly been due to laser error, but, I think, in the long run, these issues have also — in a twist of fate — helped me understand the laser better and my foundational knowledge of it. But, overall, the main challenge of it has been a little bit of motivation in trying to get these things to work and being in school for so long.

If you would like to read more about Chris's favorite memories of Science Research or other advice he has for students, click here to read a transcript of the full interview.

Masha Bazilevich (Class of 2024)

24/7 Lecture: Identity development in adolescents

Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

24 seconds: This project explores the influence of different individuals on the identity development of adolescents. After analyzing responses from 108 surveyed students, parents emerged to be the most influential, followed by friends and grandparents. Additionally, conducting a statistical analysis using paired sample t-tests revealed the importance of parental figures in shaping adolescent identity and self-perception.

7 Words: Parents carve, friends polish, and others shadow.

Areeba (Class of 2024)

24/7 Lecture: Researching the mechanisms of actions of 5-fluorouracil in wild-type and ThyA Escherichia coli

Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

This 24/7 Lecture is also available on Instagram.

24 seconds: 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is a chemotherapy drug used to treat various cancers by inhibiting thymidylate synthetase (TS), essential for DNA synthesis. Our research focused on its mechanisms in wild-type and ThyA mutants of E. coli. We found that minimal thymidine is required for bacterial growth, and deoxyuridine inhibits ThyA mutants while enhancing 5-FU's effectiveness. Additionally, ThyA mutants needed less thymidine than CarAB.

7 words: Investigating properties of 5-FU on Escherichia coli.

Rikza, Devin, Joanne (Class of 2024)

24/7 Lecture: The correlation between emojis and communication interpretation

Posted on Monday, June 3, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

This 24/7 Lecture is also available on Instagram.

24 seconds: Two different forms of survey were sent out. One form of the survey had five conversations with emojis present and the other form of survey had five conversations without emojis present. After reading the conversations the participants were asked to rate on a scale from 1–5 about how positive they think the conversation was. Then the participants were asked questions about how they perceived the person's feelings. Both forms of the survey were compared using bar graphs and regression analysis.

7 words: Use emojis and make communication more meaningful.

Sanbina (Class of 2024)

24/7 Lecture: The sun’s magnetic activity: Statistics of solar flare and sunspot numbers

Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

This 24/7 Lecture is also available on Instagram.

24 seconds: I used Anaconda, a coding platform that enabled me to use Python. Using Spyder in Anaconda, I used programming packages like Numpy and Matplotlib to analyze data on the intensity of solar flares, the number of solar flares, and the number of sunspots. My mentor provided all the data and taught me how to navigate Spyder to create multiple graphs to analyze the relationship between solar flares and sunspots.

7 words: Analyzing relationships between sunspots and solar flares.

Emely (Class of 2024)

24/7 Lecture: Why your favorite lipstick shade may not match your personal color

Posted on Monday, May 27, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

24 seconds: Individuals often struggle when selecting cosmetic palettes that best match their personal colors. This experiment examines the impact of wearing the right arrangement of colors on attractiveness. By applying different shades of lipsticks on individuals with varying undertones, data shows a correlation between undertones and suitable colors for those with neutral or warm undertones, but not for those with cool undertones.

7 words: Save your money on personal color analysis.

Xinwei (Class of 2024)

2024 Science Fair on News12

Posted on Friday, May 24, 2024 by for Media, Science Fair.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Midwood Science (@midwoodscience)

2024 Science Fair Abstract Book (and more from the past)

Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 by for Science Fair.

2024 abstract book cover
2023 abstract book cover 2022 abstract book cover 2019 abstract book cover 2018 abstract book cover 2017 abstract book cover 2016 abstract book cover 2015 abstract book cover 2014 abstract book cover 2013 abstract book cover 2012 abstract book cover 2011 abstract book cover 2010 abstract book cover

24/7 Lecture: Testing methods for identifying and analyzing circumstellar disk structures

Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

This 24/7 Lecture is also available on Instagram.

24 seconds: Protoplanets are typically found within circumstellar disks where they cast shadows. Our project utilizes scattered light data taken from multiple imaging instruments based on the criteria of having previously confirmed shadows. We utilized Python to deproject these images, apply an r2 correction, and made profiles to construct Normalized Intensity vs. Azimuth and Radius vs. Azimuth graphs to identify shadows and compare these results to those from previous literature.

7 words: Planets forming cast shadows. We analyze shadows.

Ava and Zehra (Class of 2024)

24/7 Lecture: The effects of omega 3 fatty acids on suppressing ADHD symptoms

Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

For a video with more information on this project see our Instagram feed.

24 seconds: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a chronic condition that affects children all around the US. This is an attempt to understand if omega-3 fatty acids are an effective way to suppress ADHD symptoms using meta-analytical techniques. Greater consumption of EPA and DHA were seen to lead to a greater chance of reducing ADHD symptoms as a longer duration of the experiment indicates.

7 words: Natural medication for the suppression of ADHD.

Yanhe and Joey (Class of 2024)

24/7 Lecture: Evidence for the ability of horses to read human emotions

Posted on Sunday, May 12, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

This 24/7 Lecture is also available on Instagram.

24 seconds: 17 horses were each shown 3 photos; one of a smiling, one of an angry, and one of a sad woman. Horses express body language through putting down their head, reaching toward something, pinning ears, and left-gaze bias. They were shown the photos, and anytime they did those cues, it was recorded. Most horses responded in an expected way – the angry and sad photo caused responses associated with negative horse emotions such as pinning ears and left-gaze bias, while the happy photo caused most horses to reach toward it, which is a sign of comfort. For this reason, it’s possible to say that horses can read human emotions.

7 words: Did you know horses read human emotions?

Hamood (Class of 2024)

Science Fair in 2 weeks

Posted on Thursday, May 9, 2024 by for Science Fair.

The 2024 Midwood Science Fair is scheduled for Thursday, May 23 (two weeks from today).

  • Registration for alumni, teacher, and special judges is underway. (Contact me if you judged in the past but did not get an invite from me this year. I think I have a lot of expired email addresses.)
  • Registration for sophomores is next week.
  • Juniors and seniors are already registered.

Add this event to your calendar and prepare your mind for an afternoon of science (and giant sandwiches).

Add to Calendar
Thursday
23

24/7 Lecture: The demographics of trash in NYC boroughs over the last 30 years

Posted on Monday, May 6, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

This 24/7 Lecture is also available on Instagram.

24 seconds: I used data science to organize the demographics of trash in New York City over the last 30 years. Using retrospective data, Python, and Anaconda, I cleaned the data, organized it chronologically, and produced graphs. I used "missingno" and Matplotlib to visualize the data. There were around 23,290 records and eleven fields, but out of the floats, I used the “RefuseTonsCollected.”

7 words: I used data science to organize trash.

Ariane (Class of 2024)

Back at Brooklyn College after 4 years, with two First Place awards

Posted on Friday, May 3, 2024 by for Awards, Brooklyn College.

Back after a 4 year delay due to you-know-what, Brooklyn College Science Research Day 2024 is a revived annual event that showcases the work done by students with research mentors at Brooklyn College. This year around 125 students presented their work in one of several STEM categories, with faculty members and friends of science serving as judges. Awards were given in three divisions: high school, undergraduate and graduate. 13 Midwood Science students participated, two of our projects tied for First Place.

First Place

  • Max Kogan and Rebecca Yakobovich
    Project: Determining possible associations between PP1β and NCL in different cancer types.
    Mentor: Dr. Anjena Saxena, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology, Brooklyn College
  • Jinyu Xu
    Project: Impact of fires on asthma rates in Brazil: An analysis of PM2.5 exposure.
    Mentor: Prof. Sheena Philogene, Assistant Professor and Science Librarian, Brooklyn College
Group photo
13 participants
Principal and student standing in front of poster
Principal Quinlan and Jinyu

Principal, students, and teacher standing in front of poster
Principal Quinlan, Max, Rebecca, Mr. Elert

24/7 Lecture: The relationship between locomotive behavior and vocal behavior in monk parakeets (Myopsitta monachus)

Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

24 seconds: Monk parakeets are social birds who breed collonially.This observational study examined the relationship between the locomotive behaviors of monk parakeets and vocalizations through video analysis. While there were no statistically significant correlations found, observations suggest potential connections between the two variables, particularly flight and chatter/contact calls. Further research could explore factors influencing behavior and voice call usage, shedding light on the cognitive processes of these parakeets.

7 words: Parakeet behavior and calls: Linked or random?

Brandy and Sabrina (Class of 2024)

24/7 Lecture: The hijab’s impact on hair loss

Posted on Saturday, April 20, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

24 seconds: Our project is about the Hijab's impact on hair loss, otherwise known as hijab alopecia. Alopecia can be caused by many things including tension on the hairline. Constant pulling on the scalp is usually due to undercaps. Undercaps should stabilize the hijab. Cotton undercaps contributed the most to hair loss while bamboo contributed the least. A dermatologist can diagnose you.

7 words: Cotton makes you bald. Bamboo does not.

Humayrah and Nuzhat (Class of 2024)

24/7 Lecture: Thrombopoietin administration after stroke injury occurs restores cognitive functioning

Posted on Saturday, April 20, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

24 seconds: Early administration of thrombopoietin in rats following experimental stroke minimizes cognitive functioning impairments. Rats underwent middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by reperfusion and non-stroke SHAM-operated rats were used as controls. After brain injury occurred, TPO and phosphate-buffered solution were administered. Before and after stroke, an active place avoidance test was performed and data were recorded. Results indicate that administration of TPO post-stroke increases the recovery of cognitive functioning.

7 words: TPO whispers hope. Strokes yield cognitive recovery.

Christina, Jessica, Vienna (Class of 2024)

24/7 Lecture: Religious orientation’s effect on mental health views amongst public high school students

Posted on Friday, April 19, 2024 by for 24/7 Lecture.

This 24/7 Lecture is also available on Instagram.

24 seconds: We investigated the religious devotion of individuals and its relationship with their mental health views, seeking to understand whether interpretations of mental health within religious teachings hinder adolescents from seeking appropriate treatments. We surveyed students and analyzed their multiple choice and short response answers to determine their opinions on mental health and level of religiosity. Statistical analysis revealed no significant correlation between the two, suggesting that religious devotion may not be the sole influence on how adolescents perceive mental health.

7 words: Religion does not affect how adolescents think.

Masha, Shirley, Elana (Class of 2024)

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