Class Announcements

Feature Friday - Eitan Minsky-Fenick

posted Nov 13, 2015, 5:21 PM by Deborah Day   [ updated Nov 13, 2015, 5:25 PM ]

David Hasselhoff, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, all aliases for me, Eitan Minsky-Fenick. I am constantly asked how I became the man I am today. The answer is the Amity Science Research Program. I recall sitting at my kitchen table eating some mashed potatoes when my brother came home. He had been informed about the Science Research Program from school. He described the program and explained how it worked. It truly fascinated me that I could explore anything in the realm of STEM. Although he rejected the program and said it would be an obstacle in the way of his goal, I decided the class would be my goal. Ever since that day I trained so that when the time arrived I would make the cut.

Every day I went to Khan Academy, practicing writing applications. The first thirty days were gruesome, my keyboard was soaked with sweat, my heart racing as I waited for Sal’s response. This continued until June 30th of 2013, the day that I had been waiting for so long. I went to the Amity website and filled out the application form. After I filled out the application I felt very confident, and twelve days later I received the email that changed my life. It was time for the boy named Eitan Minsky Fenick to become the man Eitan Minsky Fenick. The best part of the email was that they spelled my name wrong, Etan, but I think that it was meant to be my nickname.

This is where Yusuf got lazy and stopped writing, so now I have to actually write the rest of my feature Friday. I got into SRP and researched the effect of acidity of a certain part of a battery on the voltage it produces, as I needed to power my base on Mars (I am also known as Matt Damon). This year I am researching loss aversion so as to learn about appropriate strategies for teaching fiscal awareness. It turns out, someone with as much money and as many aliases as I have needs to know how to handle money properly and how to be less loss averse and more rational.

When I have my fiscal issues sorted, I will move to RWDC where I will design drones to take over the world, incidentally known to most as the Great Honeycrisp in the Sky. I wish you all a happy life under my dictatorship and movie propaganda, but I have to stop writing as I must get to the ‘chopper’ now.

Feature Friday - Jasmine Moon

posted Nov 3, 2015, 8:10 AM by Deborah Day   [ updated Nov 3, 2015, 8:16 AM ]

Hi, my name is Jasmine Moon! I am currently a junior, and this is my third year in the Science Research Program!

Even before I entered the high school, I had a habit of listening to music while doing my homework or studying for a test. I was curious as to whether listening to music actually helps or hurts my performance when I work. Therefore, in my freshman year, I conducted a simple experiment: The Effect of Music Genre on Numeric Memorization. I was able to gather a great total of 11 participants. A significant number of my participants (5 people) memorized best while listening to rock music, and only 1 participant memorized best while listening to pop music. Therefore, I concluded that listening to rock music while doing homework/studying was optimal and listening to pop music while working actually had a negative effect. With this project, I went to SCISEF, which was my first science fair since I entered SRP. This science fair showed me what a science fair was like and how to present my gathered information.

In sophomore year, my mentor, Dr. Damion Grasso, and I came up with a project entitled, “The Effect of Social Media on Loneliness.” My hypothesis was, “If participants use social media for a longer time, then they will have higher scores of loneliness.” I had to gather participants in order to prove/disprove this hypothesis. In total, I was able to gather an amazing number of 45 participants!! However, since my project required statistical analysis, 45 participants proved to be insufficient, and it was concluded that more data would be needed to truly prove/disprove the hypothesis. With this project, I went to SCISEF and I was also selected to attend JSHS! JSHS was truly a phenomenal experience!

This year, my mentor, Dr. William Graf, and I are proposing a project about ankyloglossia. There are barely any long-term, controlled trials done on this topic, so it’ll be very interesting to do this project!

I try to continue learning more science outside of SRP. I am a part of Yale Pathways to Science, where many lectures, demonstrations, and classes are offered! In addition, thanks to Ms. Day’s recommendation, I was accepted to an internship program at Yale ITS last summer. It was an AMAZING experience that I will never forget!

The Science Research Program has really been the highlight of my high school career thus far. I love that the SRP allows us to pick and conduct a project in a field we are interested in! I am so thankful to be a part of the Science Research Program!

Feature Friday - Double S

posted Oct 24, 2015, 8:22 AM by Deborah Day   [ updated Oct 24, 2015, 8:24 AM ]

Schloha( a combination of shalom and hola...even though I'm a spanish dropout...that's awkward) to all my minions and followers: the peasants, the cows, horses, chickens, and most importantly my kindred spirits THE KINDERGARTENERS. 
While I am commonly known as Sarah S ( yes I kill it in the alliteration game...don't get too jealous) some of my street names include Lian, DOUBLE S( just like how Krispy Kreme calls itself KK and Dunkin Donuts calls itself DD ... I could basically start my own donut shop and call it spicy snodonuts SS) , SURAH, that girl who didn't go to preschool( don't mock me), polarpanda99( my animal crossing username), and that girl who is lactose intolerant but keeps on getting ice cream.
So now that you know my name, it's about time that you know my story( try to imagine this entire student of the week feature to a rap song...not that I can really rap). I spent the early days of my childhood sheltered from the other children, as I was a secret weapon which had to be protected. I was kind of the half Asian repunzel. I would watch mystery television shows and envision my future role as QUEEN( of all of the animals, children who play animal crossing, the lactose intolerant people, and the ice cream lovers). Despite the fact that I was basically lactose intolerant, when I was in eighth grade I found a new magical dairy product, a beautiful new flavor of ice cream. The flavor was the scientific method, and the woman serving the ice cream was none other than the great Debby day.
This ice cream has added so much into my life since I first became addicted (it is almost like crack...kidding @julia, almost as addicting as drop dead diva or bobs burgers or animal crossings). Through science research I have been able to develop skills which have helped my rule the world of animal crossings, and be skilled at fighting the terrible little army that comes everytime I eat ice cream. My freshman year, I basically saved American children from obesity by investigating the powers of subliminal messaging on food selection. Sophomore year though, I realized that the American education system needed me. In an extremely innovative fashion, I fixed the problem in dwindling class participation by incorporating an adorable robot into classrooms. My junior year, however, I decided that the people of the world needed my drop dead diva reasoning and began saving lives. I teamed up with this strange girl who formerly spent her days counting the number of friends people have, and together we are developing a novel bench top pump for left ventricular assist devices which can combine the efficiency of the turbo dynamic pump with the movement of the pulsatile pump. 
When I am not saving the people of the world, I enjoy eating ice cream, feeding my pet turtle, helping children, passing money to Julia in shady plastic bags ( I promise we are not dealers it is all legit), being the sassiest animal crossings player ever, and observing videos of pandas online. After I retire from world saving, I would like to open a real life bobs burgers that is also a day care and petting zoo. 
Thank you so much for the student of the week opportunity! 
#spanishdropoutsunite #misidentifiedracesunite
--Another Fantastic Feature Friday by @Julia

Feature Friday - Helen Liu

posted Oct 9, 2015, 5:01 AM by Deborah Day

*left hand to forehead now wave (sign language for hello)

Name's Helen, seasoned senior science researcher. Flavorful and spicy. Last year's post was bland, this year I'm ready to lay down the truth.

As a senior, I have slowly moved up the ranks of the school. But that's not my end goal - I am looking for world domination, then queen of the galaxies (with an endorsement from Neil Armstrong). I thank my success to this amazing program, science research, and the most fabulous teacher, Ms. Day. This is how science research shaped my success...

My first science research project involved seeing how teaching caretakers of autistic children affected both the child and his/her parents. The conclusion? Education is important, kids. 

Then I went to discover many genes related to a bone disease. And boy, many genes are involved indeed.

After, I tried to save the world by reducing air pollution but I have a long way to go, it's in my agenda for world domination, don't worry.

This summer I edited the genome of a cell by deleting one of their death receptors and essentially made them super cells, yay science! I'll need the technology for my army.

And throughout many summers, I found an inkling of hope that a growth factor could be a potential treatment for a disease. YES! 

Outside of these projects, I plan for my election speech when running for galaxy queen, here's a preview:

Because diplomacy does not exist in the galaxies, I shall use the powers of science that science research has taught me and  mesmerize the audience with my brownies, brownie points. My husband, Froggy and my boyfriends, BIGBANG, always tell me to never stop shooting for the moon.

So while I'm not quite there yet, I spend my time culturing bacteria in the lab, culturing them very carefully. And I humbly rule Science Olympiad and TEAMS. Also, I make toast and bread.

Thanks y'all, I hope you will become meh followers. (The real advice is to listen to Ms. Day, the chem queen, who truly inspires us all to be queens)

Feature Friday - Emily Criscuolo

posted Sep 24, 2015, 7:19 AM by Deborah Day   [ updated Oct 24, 2015, 8:23 AM ]

Gola (a combination of greetings and hola) my fellow science munckins! 

The name is Emily Elizabeth Criscuolo (yes I did star in Clifford). More commonly, I am known by my street names, Ecrisp, LilE, that girl who runs, emgurl, emilia criscuolmann, emilu, the queen of dairy free ice cream, and the best customer at the local Wendy’s in Hamden Connecticut.

When I was a shy, slightly awkward donut enthusiast in eighth grade I sat in the library media center of the Bethany middle school (although I hail from woodbridge), and listened to the great Deborah Day introduce the wonders of the science research program. As I heard Ms. Day, in all of her beauty and grace, introduce the program I was reminded of another time in my life, on my tenth birthday, when I received my invitation to Hogwarts. Although I was not able to attend (my parents the Debster and Rob didn’t want me flying away from home), I have continued to practice wizardry over the years. When I heard Ms. Day present, I realized that I could again practice magic, but now through science. 

The science research program has drastically transformed my life by offering my with various opportunities, and teaching me the greatest spell a young wizard can learn, the scientific method. My freshman year, while still a running, donut enthusiast, I embarked on a project investigating the groundbreaking question at the intersection of education and technology. My project, The Effect of Computer Screens on Memorization, revolutionized modern education, and with my eleven participants I gained an understanding of technologies influence on students study habits, to maximize students and educators methods for communicating knowledge and education. After I saved the American, if not the global community’s, education system, the next year I decided to save the population of the human race afflicted with deer ticks and Lyme disease. I was motivated to conduct this project after I was exposed to the dangers of ticks first hand when I was a young child who roamed the woods with deer like bambi. This next year I am continuing my groundbreaking research on ticks with my project Incidence of Granulocytes in Response to Borrelia Burgdorferi. I have been able to conduct these projects with Dr. Linda Bockenstedt, in the Yale Department Rheumatology. This experience has opened my eyes to the entire scientific process, and allowed me to develop my problem solving and reasoning skills (which are very useful when looking for the best dairy free pizza).

When I am not saving the world from potential dangers caused by ticks, you can find me attempting to learn how to fly, although Julia Nadelmann (LIL J), is far superior at this, taking my daily run down to Wendy’s to pick up my favorite chili ( I am a very frequent flyer there), making donuts ( I have a company called glazed my day they are SO GOOD-almost better than krispy Kreme), painting ceramic pigs at the claydate, or raising money for women’s cardiovascular research through my club Go Read for Women. I also run a bit, but not really. I aspire to own my own donut chili shop, known as “Spicy meaty donuts”, and spend my days observing and researching deer. 

The Amity Science Research Program has completely changed my life and I could not be more honored to have been chosen as student of the week. I am deeply sorry for when I failed to send my student of the week bio in last year, and I hope that the rest of the science research program can forgive me. 


-the one and only emgurl  
--Another Fantastic Feature Friday by @Julia

Feature Friday - David Wang

posted May 17, 2015, 2:47 PM by Deborah Day

Hi, my name is David Wang and I am a junior. This year will be my second year in the Science Research Program at Amity and it has been an extremely fulfilling experience. In my sophomore year I studied the effectiveness of electronic testing as a means to measure creativity with the help of my mentor Dr. Baptiste Barbot. I was able to participate in both the SCISEF and Norwalk science fairs which was a great experience and was a lot of fun. But my work during that year was simply the build up to the annual science research symposium where I poured out my love for Shaunak Pandit in a heartfelt story detailing his adventures as an extravagant multi-millionaire and celebrity. The symposium, the climax of my sophomore year, was an amazing but bittersweet experience as we said goodbye to many seniors as well as welcomed many first year researchers into the Science Research Program.

Then this past year (junior year), I continued my computer science research by creating a semantic search engine driven by ontologies. I was a finalist at CSEF and was extremely happy with the work I had done. But enough about my research, which was merely an excuse for me to take part in the annual science research symposium again. Currently I am working tirelessly on a couple different senior tributes and though I have been slightly limited by the 1:30 time restriction, it has not been an impediment to my creative flow. I am hoping to do the seniors proud this year and create an extremely memorable set of tributes.

Being a part of the science research program has exposed me to many people who are just as excited about research and, more importantly, the symposium as I am. I devote one hundred percent of my free time towards working on the symposium and senior tributes because science research is my life. Long live SRP, long live Debbie Day.

Feature Friday: Aria Mohseni

posted Apr 17, 2015, 9:24 AM by Deborah Day   [ updated Apr 17, 2015, 3:49 PM ]

Hi, my name is Aria Mohseni and I am a junior. This year will be my second year in the Science Research Program at Amity and it has been a fun ride. I began science research in my sophomore year and studied the effect of insole pattern on comfort. I was able to go to the Norwalk Science Fair to present my project.

In my junior year, I decided to team up with my friend, Jacob Gibbons-Morales to work on a project with our mentor, Dr. Kiassat. Together we met up several times to discuss our project and finally came up with the idea of working memory. Therefore, Jacob and I studied the working memory of STEM students compared to non-STEM students. We have presented at SCISEF and will soon participate in the Norwalk Science Fair.

Outside of Science Research, I am a track athlete and also participate in a wide variety of school clubs. I enjoy science a lot and plan to pursue a science related field in college. 

Feature Friday: George Zhang

posted Mar 12, 2015, 5:36 PM by Deborah Day   [ updated Apr 8, 2015, 5:27 AM ]

Hi, my name is George Zhang and I am a junior. This year will be my third year in the Science Research Program at Amity and it has been quite the adventure. In my freshman year, I studied how the order of questions on a test affects how well a student scores. I was able to present my project at SCISEF, and it was a great learning experience.

Then in sophomore year, my whole life was changed when I learned about the McGurk effect. My friend Eli and I were so intrigued by the phenomenon that we decided to pursue a project regarding the effect. We met a fantastic researcher at Yale, Dr. Jason Johannesen, who allowed us to work with him and guided us through the creation of an experiment. Eli and I decided to study whether musical training had an effect on how susceptible a person was to the McGurk effect. Interestingly enough, musicians were found to be less susceptible than non-musicians! We were able to present our findings at SCISEF and CSEF with great success!

Then this year (junior year), Eli and I decided to look even further into the McGurk effect by studying the effect of timing of the presentation of audio and visual stimuli on the strength of the effect. We also wanted to utilize electroencephalography (EEG) to look at brain activity while people are perceiving the effect. Additionally, we hoped to be able to study some people with schizophrenia to see how their brain activity differs from healthy participants. Unfortunately, due to time restraints, we were only able to finish the pilot phase of the study, which we presented at SCISEF. We hope to continue this study next year.

Being involved in the Science Research Program has been a great experience for me. I have been given numerous opportunities to conduct actual scientific research and I have learned valuable skills that will help me in college and beyond. 

Feature Friday: Rohan Patel

posted Feb 11, 2015, 6:49 AM by Deborah Day   [ updated Feb 11, 2015, 6:51 AM ]

Hi, I'm Rohan Patel and I am now a sophomore. This is my second year in science research and I'm already getting the chance to work on projects that I have a personal interest in. 

Last year, I did a fairly simple project on how different fertilizers can affect the growth of plants and their colors. I had around 40 plants and used chemical and organic fertilizers to test the effect on the plants' heights. I also used a color scale that I created myself to analyze the colors of the plants. Overall, the main purpose of the project was to guide me towards the actual process of researching through journal articles and formulating my own experiments.

This year, I got the chance to work on research the field that I love the most, neurosurgery. In this project, I worked with my mentor Dr. Ketan Bulsara, and we are looking further into a very common complication that occurs after the repair of an aneurysm rupture. We are screening the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) through LC-MS and GC-MS, and will be investigating the different concentration changes every day after the patients had their aneurysm repaired. There is no know cause for this complication, and no one knows what chemicals are involved. We have gotten down to five amino acids that have had substantial increases, and we are analyzing the data of these metabolites. Phase 1 of the project has been completed, where we found normal levels of metabolites in a patients' CSF. Phase 2 data is still being analyzed and should be completed shortly. If we have the ability to identify the amino acids, we could save hundreds of patients' lives using these amino acids as indicators of the complications.

Science research has opened me up to possibilities that I thought I would never get the chance to face in high school. Catching up on research is one of my hobbies, and hopefully this program can take me further than I ever imagined. However, it's not the only thing I do. When I'm not doing anything related to school, I'm usually doing something for baseball and I also tutor for math. 

Feature Friday: Lillian Zhang

posted Feb 2, 2015, 6:49 AM by Deborah Day   [ updated Feb 2, 2015, 6:51 AM ]

Hello! I’m Lillian Zhang and I’m a sophomore. This year will be my second year in the science research program and it’s a super awesome program that I’m glad to be part of!

Last year as a freshman, I performed an environmental project on the impact of stress on a cricket’s chirping rate (so original). I got to know the scientific method a little better and learned the difficulty of keeping crickets quiet. I enjoyed attending SCISEF and The Norwalk Science Fair. Both fairs helped develop my presentation skills and meet with other presenters from other schools! The first year was such an amazing experience that I wanted to come back for another year, so here I am!

This year, I completed a project in the field of psychology on an auditory task’s role in a visual change blindness stimulus. I looked forward to meeting with my mentor Dr. Dina Moore from SCSU and conducting my study. I had fun with the project and the study deepened my interest in change blindness. In October, I had a wonderful opportunity to attend the CT Psychological Association Convention. At the convention, I met speakers and listened to their psychology talks that were informative and engaging. I am able to attend SCISEF and JSHS this year, and I’m excited to convey my research.

Science research has been a pleasure for me and I’m sure I will be likely to come back for a couple more years! My favorite part of this program is there is no limit to what you can do. Unlike “boring” experiments in bio (frog dissection anyone?) or those CAPT chemistry labs, SRP students can perform long term studies that interest them instead! I’m grateful to be part of the SR community and participate in many events and opportunities, in addition to being under the stellar guidance of Ms. Day.

1-10 of 68