By Victor Lee ‘16
Walking out in high spirits, Midwood researchers swept all possible awards from the 25th Annual Brooklyn College Science Day, taking home all six awards on May 8.
Brooklyn College Science Day is an annual competition held traditionally on the second Friday of May, where research projects are showcased in various categories of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). This year, about 170 students presented their research projects across the three divisions of the competition: High School, Undergraduate, and Graduate.
To attend the Brooklyn College Science Day the researchers were required to submit an abstract two weeks prior to May 8, the day of the competition. An abstract is a brief outline, less than 250 words, of the completed project that typically contains the following parts: the motivation, the hypothesis, the methodology, and the conclusion.
“There was a big gap between the last competition I attended and Brooklyn College Science Day, so I did forget a lot of the information I memorized for other competitions,” said Wen Li Wang ‘15. “But while presenting, the information just came to me.”
Brooklyn College Science Day, similar to all others, announces its winners based on a judging process. However, a twist at the Brooklyn College Science Day is that the researchers presents alongside college undergraduate and graduate students, unlike most other major competitions that were high schoolers only.
Mohammad Hasan ‘15 said, “I felt relaxed for this competition, because of the time and effort it took me to memorize my entire project verbally.”
During the day of the competition, almost 200 posters lined the walls or were pasted on poster boards. Starting early in the morning, researchers began to set up their posters by setting it up on a trifold board. Shortly afterwards, the judging process began, where students gave a brief presentation on their projects.
Typically under 5 minutes, the presentation requires students to introduce the topic, a brief outline of their methodology, an explanation of the data and results collected, and an analysis of the results. Additionally, the conclusion is important as the student is required to wrap up their entire presentation, and hopefully answer the question proposed in the beginning.
Around noon, all competitors left the presentation hall for lunch at the Student Center building. Lunch was provided for all attendees, and presentations were given by Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, Council Member Alan Maisel, and the Brooklyn College President Karen Gould.
Council Member Maisel said, “The big change of modern culture is that woman has yet to fully take part in all fields, especially science.”
Approximately half of the presenters are females, and the gender diversity shocked Maisel. He recounted the time when science was a male dominated fields and the progress that has been undertaken during the last few decades for gender integration in the once male dominated science field.
“It is very important for you, as scientists, to communicate the findings through various studies you completed, especially in laypeople terms,” said President Gould.
After the intermission period, the winners were announced for the three categories of the competition, and Midwood researchers took home all the possible awards from the High School division.
Lucy Lin, First Place winner of NYSEF, once again took the First Place award home for her works on remediation of soil. Melissa Lee and Yukie Wong were each awarded Second Place, and Third Place prizes were awarded to Muhammad Abdula, Xiao Yan Yu, and Carmine See.
“I found it bittersweet having Brooklyn College Science Day be my last competition,” said Monique Powell ‘15. “For one I ended my career the same way I began-which was presenting at a competition. On the other hand, I was glad to have been able to discuss my project one last time.”
The 25th Annual Brooklyn College Science Day concludes this year’s senior researcher’s journey, as it is the last competition that the group will attend. The senior researchers have completed the vigorous three year Research track, and will now move onto their college careers.
“I feel like it’s not over,” Wang added. “Although the competitions are over, the learning never stops, as cheesy as that sounds, it’s true.”