Students Shine at Science Competitions

By Irissa Cisternino ’14

Intel  Research students won big at Science Day at Brooklyn College on Friday, May 9. Midwood students swept the contest, winning every award in the high school division.

Science Day features posters from Brooklyn College undergraduate and graduate students, as well as students from partner high schools. Between graduate, college and high school students, there were over 100 posters featured.

“It was a good competition and it was so great to see Midwood sweep all the awards, first to third,” said Chris Ayala ‘14.

First place went to Xin Yi Chen ‘14 for her project, Fermented Food Waste and Plant Growth: A Greenhouse Study. Allen Barbarovich ‘14 also took first place with his project, Link Between Systematic Cobalamin Deficiency and CNS Demyelination in a CD320/TCblR KO Mouse Model. In second place was Raquel Hosein ‘14 and Chris Ayala ‘14 took third.

“Brooklyn College Science Day was a great experience for me because I was able to showcase my work in what I would call my arena because I conducted my research at Brooklyn College,” said Yasmine Brown-Williams ‘14, who also participated. “The competition was fierce but Midwood came out on top in the high school division. It was also a great moment for my lab as well because the first and second prize winners in the graduate division were from my lab team.”

In addition to Brooklyn College Science Day, Midwood students also won big at ACT-SO, or the New York City Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. The contest took place at St. Francis College on May 5, and research students received seven gold medals, two silver, two bronze, and two ambassador awards. This is more awards than have been won in any previous years.

This competition was not limited to science; there were categories such as painting, short story and instrumental music in addition to the STEM sciences. Some students even won multiple medals or awards. Gold medals were awarded to seniors, Ayala , Stefanie Henry , Hosein, Mosammed Tasnin Kabir , Chukwunonso Nwasike , Akeem Pinnock , and Gabrielle Rios . Samuel Genchikmakher and Anna Li received silver medals, and Brown-Williams and Rios received a bronze. The two ambassador awards were given to Ayala and Nwasike .

“ACT-SO was the most diverse competition I had been in this year because there were contestants from many different disciplines,” said Brown-Williams ‘14. “We had Midwood students competing in art, music, science, oration, basically everything. It was a great chance for our entire school community to be represented, not just us science kids. I wish we started competing in ACT-SO earlier, and I encourage incoming sophomores to enroll in the competition next year.”

All ACT-SO medalists will go to Las Vegas to compete in the national ACT-SO competition, which will be held on July 19-23.

Stefanie Henry ‘14 said, “I’m looking forward to participating in the national competition in Las Vegas. It’s a great opportunity to share my research with a wider audience.”

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