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Science fair demonstrates students’ excellence

Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 by for Media, Science Fair.

The stage was set for sophomore researchers as they presented their projects for all research students to see during the annual science fair.

Even though the science fair was for the sophomores of AP Capstone, it was mandatory for juniors and seniors who had previously taken AP Capstone to attend.

Juniors and seniors had a job to fulfill. The job of utmost importance was that of a judge. Some students prepared the tables so that food could be placed on them.

"The science fair was the biggest ever," said Mr. Glenn Elert, the research teacher. "We had more seniors this year than last year. We had more alumni than ever before. Normally teachers are substitute judges. We had so many judges that we didn't need any teachers to judge."

Not all projects are graded the same. Depending on whether or not they worked alone or with someone else, the total points someone could receive differed. For example, if you worked alone, the presentation would be scored out of 60 points. However, if you worked with a partner, the presentation would be scored out of 70 points.

The topics that students chose weren't just random topics. Some students chose a certain topic because of their love for a certain class or the topic itself.

"I have AP Chemistry, and I want to put what I learn into use. I want to show them that AP Chemistry matters," said Alyssa Kattan '20, who did her project on the ability of chiral glucose molecules to polarize light.

Ihtsham Chaudhry said '20, "I had great interest in my science fair topic on the regeneration process of planarian worms, and it helped me develop new knowledge on a planarian worm that I didn't know before."

While some students decided to work in pairs, others decided to work alone.

"I decided to work alone. I am kind of a perfectionist. By working alone, it is easy to maintain my standards," said Kattan.

Jennifer Wu '20 said, "I find that when I work alone, I exert more choice on what I want to put on the board."

Not all students had the equipment needed to do the project. As a result, they turned to the school for the necessary equipment.

"It was a bit difficult because I didn't have the right equipment," said Jennifer Wu. "I didn't have an electronic balance net and beakers. So I did the experiment at school. All I had to do was ask the science department so that I could do the work in school."

Getting the presentation ready for the science fair wasn't an easy job. It required a lot of time and effort. Luckily, AP Capstone, including its teachers and students, were there to help each other out.

"AP Capstone is a phenomenal program that allow students to pursue scientific interests that many other schools cannot provide," said Armin Pasukanovic '20.

Group photo of seniors and teachers Alumni judges from the classes of 2014 and 2016

Kattan said, "I have never done a presentation for a science fair before. Teachers and students from research helped me navigate the process step by step. They were always there for when I had questions to ask."

The judges were very impressed by the work sophomores put into their presentations.

"I think the presentations they made are very advanced. Their presentations have a very meaningful purpose and can help change the world. Sophomores, even though they are only 14 or 15, have a lot of potential. They are also very organized," said Neslani Johnson '19.

Bareera Abid '19 said, "It was interesting to see what sophomores did. It was new and unique."

The science fair didn't consist of only Midwood students and staff. Midwood alumni were also there. Some of them were even judges for the science fair.

"This is my first time in two years coming back to Midwood," said Laila Akallal, an alumni who graduated from Midwood in 2016. "It is great to see how much the research program has grown."

Written by Cindy Wang and Rubhiyah Chaudhry (Class of 2019).
This article originally appeared in the June 2018 edition of Argus.