Sophomore Researchers Take Spotlight

By Kaelah Blanchette ’17 and Yumna Ahmed ’17

From projects on honey and bees to acid rain and corrosion, the science fair covered a wide range of topics and food. Mr. Glenn Elert coordinates the science fair each year, along with help from Ms. Stacy Goldstein and Ms. Shaniece Mosley.

Sophomore researchers present their projects to judges.

 

According to Mr. Elert, he has been coordinating the science fair for about eight years, but Midwood itself has been holding the science fair ever since the school opened.

“The fair is a really exciting event,” said Mr. Elert. “There’s a lot of energy and it’s a really great thing to experience, especially since some of the alumni come back.”

Sophomore research students had to present their projects while the junior and senior research students were the judges. According to Mr. Elert, the judges score the presenters in different categories, then tally up the scores. Afterwards, Ms. Mosley and Ms. Goldstein look at all the scores on a spreadsheet since the presenters are seen by multiple judges, and decide on first, second and third place, along with honorable mentions. Winners will be decided in June after the scores are calculated.

Junior judge Mahmoud Abouelkheir ’17, reminisced about when he was a presenter and compared his presenting experience with his judging experience.

“It’s definitely a new experience from being in that presenter position last year to judging this year,” said Abouelkheir. “It’s exciting but at the same time I’d prefer not to do it because I don’t like to be critical, especially to these students that worked so hard on their projects.”

Abouelkheir said that he prefers presenting over judging because he feels he can better express himself in presenting instead of judging.

Other junior judge Zenab Jamil ’17, shared Abouelkheir’s excitement over judging, but would rather judge than present.

“It feels kind of nostalgic judging these projects because I was in their position last year,” said Jamil. “I would definitely much rather judge though. It’s a lot less pressure and a lot less intimidating.”

Senior judge Laila Akallal ’16, has already had her experience with presenting and judging, preferring the former.

“It’s really nice to see how the projects differ from year to year and see everyone come together,” said Akallal. “Personally I like presenting a little more because I love sharing what I’ve learned and presenting is gonna be something that you’ll have to do later on in life as well.”

The judges knew how stressed and worried the presenters were, so they tried to make it as smooth as possible. Abby Beginyazova ’18, is one of the many presenters and praised the judges for making the whole event comfortable for them and as easy as possible.

“Ms. Mosley and the judges really helped to make things easier for us. We had three weeks and I feel like that was a really short time since the first week was all AP tests,” said Beginyazova. “Ms. Mosley and the judges gave us leeway because they knew how stressed we all were and how hard we all worked.”

Beginyazova also said that she wished she had more time to work on the project so she could’ve done more trials, but she feels confident in her ability and her project.

Presenter Jessica Rakhamim ’18, shared Beginyazova’s appreciation of the judges and how they made the event as smooth as possible and the presenters comfortable.

“My partner and I worked on the project together. She’s a very artistic person and we described the project in a way that showed that music can be applied to science, and I think the judges made it a lot easier to do that,” said Rakhamim. “For our project, we had to present our topic and discuss our data and show how it applied to real life. The judges asked questions that were simple and valid enough. Everyone was really nice.”

After presenting, students were offered a variety of food, including  sandwiches, snacks and a multitude of sodas to reward them for their hard work. Elizabeth Skapley ’17, was gracious of the fact that the faculty had ordered food for everyone involved in the science fair.

“I think it’s a really nice thing that the school did to help. There were maybe more than a hundred of us and so much food. I’m surprised there were leftovers,” said Skapley. “After a long day, it felt good to sit down with my friends and talk about what projects we liked the most. Overall, I’m happy with the results.”

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