New York Academy of Science Sponsors
The Great Hall at City College at 137th Street and Convent
Avenue was buzzing with hundreds of students voices, judges
listening to presentations at each exhibit, and students conferring
with each other about their projects. Students were chosen
randomly by this roving reporter to explain their hypotheses,
their choice of project and their mentors.
Gregory Williams, President of CCNY addressed the group, congratulating
them on their success in having been chosen to present their
projects on this special day.
Farah Soha, grade
11, High School for Health Professions and Human Services,
Manhattan. The Advocacy of Diagnostic Medical
Tests for Deep Vein Thrombosis. The longer title is Is there
a difference between dopler studies performed on an emergency
basis and those performed during normal working hours. This
study is actually testing the time differences of the daytime
studies and the nighttime studies. My hypothesis was that daytime
studies are better because we have better-trained personnel.
Nighttime studies have a lot of people in training. They're
good too but they're not good enough. The result was dependent
on the people.
I was lucky in choosing this topic.
In high school we had to do an internship and I chose to
do it in a hospital because I want to become a doctor when
I grow up. And I was actually looking for something in the
schizophrenic area, but I couldnÕt
find any recent studies so I was chosen for nuclear medicine
and now that I actually know that nuclear medicine applies
to all types of science–I really liked it–so I'm
thinking of actually becoming a nuclear medicine physician.
When I was there I had a mentor at Beth Israel Medical Center–I
still have one–and he introduced me to many topics. I
also have cousins who are doctors in Bangladesh.
Daniel LoFaso, Bayside
High School, Queens. How Do Caved Fish Navigate around Various Materials?
I was researching online and I found that cavefish have no
eyes so I was wondering how they navigate. I found a few
theories though no one is exactly sure. They use electric
pulses, sound waves, and sensory organs in their skin. I
took different material to test electric pulses and sound
waves. I had wood to block the sound, plexiglass with drilled
small holes, an aluminum foil sheet to conduct electricity
and I saw how these materials have an effect
on the cave fish. I put the material on one side of the tank
and the food on the other but they weren't really drawn to
the food. After observing the cavefish, they appeared to just
feel their way around because they stick to the bottom and
the sides of the tank. The fish that did have eyes, that I
used to compare, wouldn't go past the wood or aluminum because
they didn't know if danger was on the other side and didn't
want to risk it. My conclusion is that I believe the cavefish
have a sensory organ in their skin that they use to feel their
way around. Originally I was going to do this at school but
I did it all at my house. My Uncle gave me a couple of tanks
Pres. Gregory Williams,
is the eighth year we are holding this event and we're really
excited. It's so great to see all these kids who have so
much interest in science, and we think that's so consistent
with what we're trying to do, to develop the science and
engineering programs here at City College. In fact, the governor
has endorsed that recently. In the governor's budget, Phase
I project for the science building here, we're going to have
a science center and an advanced science center which are
budgeted for around 180 million dollars. That's a huge investment
in science at City College and we're very pleased about it.
We have eight members of the National Academy of Sciences
on our City College Campus. The engineering school is one
of the best in the nation and the only public school of engineering
in the Metropolitan region. What I'm most excited about is
that our research has increased and gone up 50 percent in
the last couple of years totaling over 47 million dollars.
We'll be able to provide an incredible undergraduate research
program. Currently we have the largest in the metropolitan
area. I'm truly excited about being able to see undergraduate
students working with senior professors on substantial scientific
projects–and building an interest in science at the very
basic level. These students are going to go on and get their
Master's degrees and Ph.D.'s, so we are really building a pipeline.
Since we're a majority-minority institution, we are putting
students of color in the pipeline of science and engineering
in a way that very few other schools in the country are doing.
This will truly be a great science center in New York City.
Grade 12, St. Francis Preparatory High School, Fresh Meadows,
I did first was start looking at articles that focused on
post-partum depression and from there I found my question,
Does the Lack of Awareness of Post-Partum Depression Correlate
to Treatment-seeking among Women? With that, I developed
a survey with my mentor–Dr. Sheila
Marcus at the University of Michigan. I read one of her articles
and contacted her. With that we developed an eight-question
survey. We found that most women felt that they received enough
information but they just didn't understand that information
and that affected them in seeking their treatment. We found
that most women weren't likely to seek treatment. They wanted
to solve it on their own. Patients weren't hearing about the
treatments that are out there and so they were more prone to
develop into the further stages of post-partum depression.
Physicians need to be educated.
They need to know that this is out here and they need to
alert their patients to all the treatments that are available.
With that women are more likely to go to their physicians
and say, "I heard about this
treatment and I want to know how this can help me." When
I was a sophomore, my cousin had a baby the year before and
she was experiencing "baby blues," not as serious
as post-partum depression, but with that I started looking
into articles and I found that this question wasn't being answered
and that this might be prevalent in why women aren't seeking
I'd like to become an obstetrician and deliver babies so this
plays into it. As an obstetrician I can help my patients learn
about the treatment.
Judge: Giselle Nakhid,
Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn: science teacher. I have been judging for 8 to 10 years. The
presentations are drastically different today from what they
used to be. The work has more emphasis on what they're doing,
more thought, more in-depth. I am really proud of these kids.
They have really put their hearts and souls into it. Certainly
computers and technology have played a role as well as outside
effort put into it, apart from classroom time. The display
boards are fabulous and captivating.
CEO, New York Academy of Sciences and former
editor of the journal Science shared some thoughts with the
group. Science fairs can produce great interest for students
even if they're not science majors. Students should be a beacon
for intelligence for issues in science, issues like stem cell
research. We have to be able to make intelligent choices. New
York City is a mecca for science education.
Jesse Siegel, Colin
Van Heyningen and Gabriel Lutz, 10th grade, Abraham Lincoln
High School, Brooklyn. Their project is Earthworm
Regeneration. First we did a project with mice but that wasn't
so successful so we decided if we could find a supplement to
help earthworms regenerate fast, it would oxygenate the soil
because when earthworms go through soil, they create tunnels
and oxygenate to help flowers grow better. If we found a supplement
to help them regenerate faster then it could potentially help
people with their garden.
We thought about what would help humans and our skin, if we
were in an accident or something, so we were fascinated in
using things like zinc and iron on the earthworms. Worms are
more genetically similar to us than most people would think.
We cut off the tail and mixed with worm food, we put vitamin
supplements. We had a supply of 50 worms that we monitored
for over a week. We found that zinc was the best alone in regenerating
the worms fastest. Miss Issacson, our science research advanced
teacher, was a mentor, and she supplied us with our materials.
We would possibly plan on entering this competition next year.
Not sure yet about what we want to do in the future with science.
9th Grade, Francis Lewis High School, Queens. How Can Hydrogen Be Recycled to Be More Cost Effective? I studied
the research done by Sir Williams Grove who invented the fuel
cells and I found out that his original idea was to electrocute
water in order to separate it into hydrogen and oxygen. I thought
if we could recycle the fuel cell waste by doing this, then
we could make the environment cleaner at a lesser cost. My
science teacher, Dr. Marmur, was my mentor. He helped a lot
in checking my work, in giving me resources, and just helping
me to find more information. I made the graphs by myself with
computer software, fireworks. My hypothesis was right: if the
fuel cell is recycled, it will last longer and use less fuel
and would be a better choice over the internal combustion engine.
This data and this technology can be implemented and used
in other technology such as air conditioners and heaters. It
could help the environment and keep the fossil fuels up to
benefit the earth. I want to go into pre-med and to also see
if I could go farther with my research on this topic. I would
be the first in my family to go into science.
Francis Lewis High School, Queens. Gender
Differences and Accepting Parental Divorce. I've always been
interested in divorce because I've seen some of my family members
be affected by it. I found that boys are affected more negatively
by divorce than girls are. It also depends on the age. Pre-school
to teenaged boys are most affected. Boys are taught not to
express their sorrow so they are not cushioned like the girls
are. They become aggressive and have more behavioral problems,
worse social skills. Girls who tend to have a close relationship
with their moms and don't mind as much, they also have a better
support system. I did it all on my own.
Melissa Lee, Bronx
High School of Science, 11th Grade. Fractal
Dimension of Cells. I'm really interested in math and biology
so I wanted to find something that was connected. I found out
that if the cells get higher, more likely it's cancerous. I
found out that if you compare them to other cancerous cells,
it's more cancerous as fractols get higher. You can't really
find out if the cell is cancerous until it starts mutating.
But if you were to maybe apply this method, you could find
out that it might be cancer sooner. My math teacher, Mr. Magma,
helped me. I want to be a pediatrician when I grow up.
Elahd Bar-Shai & Amitai Cohen-Halberstam,
12th Grade, Solomon Schechter HS of NY. Fabrication of Uhralong
Metallized Nanowires for Nanoelectric Applications. Working
through science papers and research articles sparked our
interest. We wanted to be part of something new and that
we know will have applications for the future. We found the
professor's website and now are working in his lab at Hunter
College. We go there regularly, we work with graduate students
as well as the professor. His name is Dr. Hiroshi Matsui.
He is excited about our project and we're planning to submit
it for publication.
Judge: Mr. Benjamin
Jansen, Office of Naval Research, Newport, RI. I think there's some remarkable
work here at the high school level. I'm happy to see the
kids are nervous because if they're nervous then they're
taking it seriously. I think it's fantastic that they're
as much involved in it as those of us who do it professionally.
One of the students' projects I just saw is at the caliber
of what I do on a daily basis–I'm very