Hornets Take Top Prizes in Prestigious W!SE Program

By Adela Julevic ’16

Four of our Hornets in the Social Science Research program were chosen to compete in the W!SE Quality of Life Competition, a prestigious city-wide contest that focuses on improving communities.

This is the first time that Midwood has ever been recognized in the Quality of Life Competition.

The Quality of Life Competition is a contest in which high school students from all over the borough present problems and solutions that will improve their community.

“It has been really inspiring to see young people take such a strong interest in these issues and put so much work into trying to improve their world,” said Mr. Michael Dowd, social science teacher.

Students in the Social Science program researched topics about noise pollution in the Regents Living Environment Curriculum, improving their local parks, persuading students to recycle their clothing, implementing a composting program at Midwood, etc.

One Midwood student is among the top finalists in the city and the other three students are semi-finalists.

Alec McFeeley ’16 is one of eight finalists in the city and the first student from Midwood to get this far in the competition.

“My paper talked about the need for a Freshman Transition Program (FTP) in Midwood,” said McFeeley. “FTP is a mentoring based program where juniors and seniors mentor freshman by playing icebreaker games with them the first week of school in an attempt to acclimate easier to Midwood.”

The mentors will expose the freshmen to extra curricular activities and the setting of the school during their lunch period.

McFeeley believes that his program “will increase school spirit and offer a greater sense of school community.”

Kyra Haley ’16, Vanessy Exhavier ’16, and Durr-E-Ajam Riaz ’16 are semi-finalists in the competition.

Haley and Exhavier’s project was about creating a fitness club in Midwood and ranked They surveyed a total of three classes: LASI, gifted, and AP. They asked about their eating habits as well as their willingness to join a fitness club.

“We haven’t created the club yet, but we plan to before the school year ends,” said Haley.

Riaz’s project attacked gender gaps in sports. Her project was Girls Wrestling: An Oppurtunity to Close the Gender Gap in High School Sports.

“I proposed a girls PSAL wrestling team to help eliminate gender discrimination in our school because when I conducted my field research, I found there to be gender discrimination at Midwood,” said Riaz.

As a result of her research, Riaz has gotten enough girls interested in a girls wrestling team at Midwood and PSAL approval of the team. She is waiting for Mr. Michael McDonnell’s approval to officially apply for the team.

The contestants were awarded at the W!SE Quality of Life awards ceremony Monday, June 1, 2015. McFeeley received a finalist award, and Haley, Exhavier, and Riaz received Borough Leader awards.

“I was really proud of all the hardwork that they did,” said Mr. Dowd. “Midwood was very well represented at the awards ceremony.”

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