School News Blog


 

Sunday
Apr222018

2018 Science Fair Results 

By: A.J. Fezza

Every year, Biotech sends many of its students (most from the Advanced Experimental Design and Biotech Lab Skills classes) to the Jersey Shore Science Fair. From there, students that place in the top three of each category move on to the Delaware Valley Science Fair, where they face other top-notch competitors from New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Then, only three from each entire grade move on to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the most prestigious of them all.

This year, junior Ryan Luo is advancing to the Intel ISEF competition! He won for his project: The Use of AI Algorithms to Automatically Identify Premature Atrial Contractions from Electrocardiogram Recordings. We wish the best of luck to him as he competes (and takes his IB exams) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this May 13-18.

Science fair results can be found below:

 

Delaware Valley Science Fair
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
April 4, 2018

First Place:
11th Grade
• Arya Sharma - Biochemistry
• Ryan Luo - Engineering

Second Place:
11th Grade
• Matthew Liu - Behavior & Social Science
• Andrew Colbert - Environmental Science
10th Grade
• David Yi - Microbiology

Third Place:
10th Grade
• Kush Chaudhari - Microbiology

Honorable Mention:
11th Grade
•  Purab Kothari - Medicine
10th Grade
•  Annika Agarwal - Medicine
•  Rishi Sharma, Nikhil Kalyanraman, Sungmin Hwang - Team Project

Special Awards:
11th Grade
American Association for Cancer Research Award, First Place
•  Henna Purewal
Junior Fair, Bronze Medal
• Ryan Luo

Harrisburg University Scholarship
• Matthew Liu
• Arya Sharma
• Ryan Luo
• Andrew Colbert
• Henna Purewal
• Purab Kothari
• Ester Teper

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Award, Second Place
• Andrew Colbert    

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia Scholarship, First Place
• Arya Sharma
• Ryan Luo

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia Scholarship, Second Place
• Matthew Liu
• Andrew Colbert

Yale Science and Engineering Association Award
• Ryan Luo

10th Grade Future Scientist Award
• David Yi

 

Jersey Shore Science Fair
Richard Stockton College
Galloway Township, New Jersey
March 17, 2018

18 of our 31 projects received recognition, with 13 projects (18 students) moving on to Delaware Valley.

Ryan Luo received the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Best Engineering Project Award and a prize of $150.

First Place:
11th Grade
• Matthew Liu - Behavior & Social Science
• Arya Sharma - Biochemistry
• Ryan Luo - Engineering
• Henna Purewal - Medicine
• Ester Teper - Microbiology
10th Grade
• Kush Chaudhari - Microbiology
• Rishi Sharma, Nikhil Kalyanraman, Sungmin Hwang - Team Project

Second Place:
11th Grade
• Purab Kothari - Medicine
10th Grade
• David Yi - Microbiology
• Kirti Aplash, Cameron Jengo - Team Project

Third Place:
11th Grade
• Andrew Colbert - Environmental Science
10th Grade
• Annika Agarwal - Medicine
• Sanya Jain, Ayush Kadakia, Theodore Nguyen - Team Project

Honorable Mention:

11th Grade
• Eric Guan - Botany
• Shaanti Choi-Bose - Medicine
• Rohit Sivananthan - Zoology
10th Grade
• Samantha Greenberg - Medicine
• Jonas Simmons - Zoology
• Jacob Wellens, Michael Maizel, Chloe DiCianni - Team Project

 

Congratulations to all Biotechers that competed!

Sunday
Apr222018

Women’s History Month 2018 Teacher Interviews

By: Nivedita Nambrath and Henna Purewal

March is the official month to celebrate Women’s History. In the past, women and men did not share equal rights and opportunities. Obviously, that has changed now, and women and men share the same constitutional rights. But culturally, there still exists a divide between women and men. Women are encouraged into some fields while men are encouraged into others. This cultural phenomenon has tangible effects on the major life decisions that women and men make. Women specifically tend to be encouraged away from major positions of leadership, and positions in STEM, particularly engineering and math. ​

We might not see this in Biotech, which is a STEM-focused school that encourages both girls and boys equally. But, this phenomenon does exist, and it probably affects students at Biotech as well. Perhaps it is the reason for the disparity between girls and boys in classes like IB Physics.

So, we wanted to share a positive message with our peers, one that encourages confidence in girls, and encourages them to strive towards their goals, and to work hard towards success. We hope to empower women by inspiring confidence and by inspiring the idea that success in fields of leadership and STEM is absolutely possible and attainable for women, as long as you just work hard and work smart.

We’re doing this by sharing the voices of the female leaders in our school, to learn about their stories and experiences. We are surrounded by a lot of strong and inspiring women leaders, especially women leaders in STEM, which is a big theme currently, so we wanted to honor them and hear their experiences, as they might soon be ours. We learned a lot about our teachers by conducting these interviews, and we hope you will too.

Read the interviews with Ms. Laczny, Ms. Kelterborn, Ms. Jensen, Ms. Engstrom, and Dr. Rogers here

Sunday
Apr222018

An Informal College Visiting Guide: 7 Things to Look For


By: Sam Mueller

You’re at least halfway through your high school experience, and those dreaded words shoot down your spine: college search. Although many people - especially supportive adults - regard the experience as exciting and eye-opening (which it can be), it can also be a stressful time. Why are there so many colleges? How do I pick the schools I like? How do I even know what to look for? In this article, I’ll talk about some of the factors that are important to look for on a college search.

1.) First off - Why visit colleges? Can’t I learn everything there is to learn on their website?

The answer is both yes and no. By visiting, you’re showing the school you care about them. It’ll also make you look favorable on your application. There’s also something you get when you visit a school that you can’t see on their website. You can see the students living their everyday lives, what the dorms, libraries, classrooms, and other facilities are like. You can see how each school is unique in its own way, and this individuality is hard to obtain from a virtual tour. College is four years long - that means you don’t want to make an important choice without visiting your future home!

2.) Geography: is the location right for you?
Would you like a small-town feel in a “college town” or live in the middle of a city with no formal campus? Do you want to live close to home, or far? Do you want your campus to be close to cities, or is a rural area preferable? Hint: there’s no right or wrong answer to these questions. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with.

3.) Size
Colleges vary in size - anywhere from 2,000 students total to 30,000 or more. Do you want a quiet, small student population or a vibrant, loud campus with a massive social scene? Do you want to meet new people every day and see new faces or all the time, or would you rather have a tight-knit group of students and know every face? Size is something to consider in your college search.

4.) Academics: Majors & Programs
What you’re studying in college is obviously important, so be sure to pay attention to what each school offers! Look at the wealth of majors and minors each school has. Furthermore, are there any special programs that are specific to a field of interest? How are each of these programs and departments ranked academically? Look out for these things at each college you visit. A smaller liberal arts college might not be the best fit for a prospective engineer, just as an arts-centered college experience wouldn’t be the best at a STEM-heavy school.

5.) Faculty
Do you see yourself in a large lecture hall, or a small, intimate classroom? Think about how you’d like to learn when you visit different schools. Pay attention to the student-to-faculty ratio, which is a good measure of classroom size.

6.) Student Life and Professional Opportunities
What clubs and organizations are available to a college’s student body? How can you spend your time outside of class? These are questions that you should ask as you tour different colleges. Also pay attention to what professional opportunities are available to students. Does a specific college seek undergrad students to work in labs or other settings? What other work or internships are available off campus? If you know what you want to study, think of ways to get hands-on experience during your four years.

7.) Cost and Financial Aid
Needless to say, cost is important. Pay attention to tuition costs when you visit colleges as well as how much financial aid they can give. This factor will vary from family to family, but oftentimes is the most important factor in the college search.

Considering all of these factors should help you narrow down your college search to the schools that match your fit. The college search process is a stressful time, and it’s important to remember: the process is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes careful thinking, and opinions can change over time. You might not immediately fall in love with a school, or feel torn between several. That’s okay. You have plenty of time to choose - all you need to do is give yourself options. College searching and visiting is a manageable task when you know what to look for. Armed with this information, best of luck to everyone on their search!

Tuesday
Mar272018

Student Walkout Against Gun Violence

By: Maryam Khalid

On March 14th, Biotech students joined hundreds of schools across the nation in conducting the National School Walkout announced by Women’s March Organizers. The date marked one month since the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

This tragedy is noted as one of the world’s deadliest school massacres, considering the sheer amount of lives lost to such events. The United States has a harrowing history of school shootings that dates back to the 1999 Columbine shooting and includes arguably the most emotionally charged catastrophe at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 kindergarteners and first-graders and 6 teachers. Following the Parkland shooting, numerous Marjory Stoneman Douglas students including David Hogg, Delaney Tarr, and Emma Gonzalez took to the masses in the form of social media, town halls, PSAs, and rallies to express outrage for elected officials who have stayed inactive regarding gun violence and school safety.

The Women’s March Organizers took note of this fervent student activism and called for all students to take the time out of their school day on March 14th and walk out at 10:00 AM local time for 17 minutes, one minute for each Parkland casualty. BTHS students Chloe Raichle, Kevin Yin, Laura Vorbach, Selena Nandiwada, Neha Nandiwada, Daniel Levit, Sam Mueller, and Maryam Khalid facilitated a walkout for fellow peers who wanted to participate and join the national conversation. At around 9:55 AM, students left class and filed into the MPR and organizers laid guidelines for purposes and conduct. At 10 AM sharp, everyone walked out of the building to the side blacktop where 17 students read off names and biographies of every Parkland victim after each minute. One rose was dropped for every individual lost, and pin-drop silence could be heard through the duration of the event. Despite missing instruction time and standing outside in the freezing wind, over 180 students felt compelled to make a statement. Here are some of their voices:

What was going through your head during the walkout? What emotions were you feeling?

“I felt overwhelmed by everyone’s willingness to make sacrifices to walk out. Despite people’s individual beliefs, there was still a large desire for change in the students’ minds. Personally I did not walk out, but was happy to see others do so.” ~ Purab Kothari, Grade 11

“The walkout was such a powerful and emotional experience both for me and a lot of the other freshmen. It gets hard to stomach the cold truth when you actually put faces to the names. A lot of those students could have easily been Biotech kids. Some of the biographies sounded as if they were describing my close friends, and that scared me a lot. Parkland could have happened to any school. The walkout made me realize that.”
~ Joyce Lee, Grade 9

“The walkout was solemn and quiet and gave me a chance to think about each victim’s individualities and similarities to myself. They were loved by family and friends and had aspirations for future success just like I do. I wasn’t angry about gun control during those moments. Instead, I thought about honoring the victims and how our generation is working together to make a world of peace for ourselves and the generations to come.”
~ Mia Jay, Grade 11

What do you think can be done to prevent future school shooting incidents?

“I think we need to change our laws. Government officials must enforce stronger gun control laws because the great amount of school shootings we have is unacceptable. We need change and the only change that will influence the amount of gun shootings is changing the law.” ~ Tiffany Park, Grade 11

“To prevent future school shootings, there are many steps that can be taken. First off, I believe that the minimum age to hold guns must be raised. There should be more comprehensive background checks that dive deep into a person to make sure that they won’t become a threat. Automatic, semi-automatic, and high magazine guns should be banned. There can also be strong enforcement of these laws to make sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands. Having more security measures at schools is a big step. In addition, race and religion must be kept aside when assessing such tragedies. We as a society are prone to jump to conclusions when a perpetrator is black or Latino or Muslim and end up vilifying whole demographics for a single person’s actions. This is in no way constructive to solving issues and only divides us further.” ~ Krishna Palya, Grade 10

“In order to work towards preventing future school shooting incidents, I believe that it is necessary to look towards the cause of past incidents. In many school shooting incidents, such as the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, past students have chosen to take action against their former schools because they didn’t receive the support they needed and saw violence as the only way to retaliate. While this is no excuse for the crimes of school shooters, it represents a continuous cycle from which these instance arise. While alternative solutions, such as arming teachers, represent possible ways to act against this cycle, raising awareness is a necessary action in order to reduce the amount of these incidents. By standing up for past victims and providing support for other students, we will be able to help prevent school shootings, no matter how significant of a difference each of our individual actions makes.” ~ Odhran King, Grade 11

“I think that we, as a community and a nation, should promote a safer environment for kids -- one where we can focus on learning for the future rather than having to protect our present. That can come from a variety of ways; personally I think reducing widespread access to military-grade weapons is a step that should be made, but even just being more conscious of the dangers, raising awareness, making this into a national issue that no one can just brush off is crucial to promote discussion for policy and start working towards improving conditions in today’s day and age.” ~ Hoang-Nam Vu, Grade 12

Why did you think it was important for students across the country to raise their voice in this situation?

“Collectively as a nation, the educated youth is discovering that a change has to be made to ensure the best outcome for our future. Because, after all, it is OUR future that’s at stake. By raising our voices in this situation, we sent the message that we are the ones that will make the change for ourselves.” ~ Carly Geissler, Grade 12

“It definitely helped the students of Biotech feel like they were making a difference and doing their part. It was also a good event to unify students after this tragic event. I can’t speak for other Biotech students, but for me, this walkout was reminding me that school shootings are not that far from us.” ~ Danielle Lo, Grade 12

“To show that we are simply not complicit. Just because we are young adults does not mean we do not have a voice and the right to advocate for important causes. This walkout makes officials aware that we are not just messing around and that we want change.” ~ Meha Kumar, Grade 11

Image taken by Dolci Carroll

Tuesday
Mar272018

Biotech Takes On The Teen Arts Festival

By: Ester Teper

On Thursday, March 15th and Friday, March 16th, Biotech students took a field trip to the annual Teen Arts Festival. As always, students performed songs, brought their artwork, competed with their creative writing, and even performed a number from the 2018 BTHS musical production Legally Blonde. The event took place on the Brookdale Campus in Lincroft, New Jersey, and all of Monmouth County competed with the hopes of moving on to the New Jersey State Competition.

First, there were large and small ensembles for musical theater. Two songs from Legally Blonde were performed: Serious and What You Want. In Serious, the protagonist Elle expects her boyfriend Warner to propose to her, but instead Warner breaks up with Elle for not being “serious” enough. Anna Deputy and Nam Vu performed this scene masterfully. The judge lauded them for their performance and gave helpful critiques. Then, nearly the entire Legally Blonde cast performed What You Want, a number in which Elle decides to go to Harvard Law School and is eventually admitted. This event served as a great experience for all of the cast to understand how to perform, as well as to prepare them for the musical in April.

Then, there were six students who submitted visual artwork, including Kevin Yin, Shivani Patel, and Andrew Cao. Andrew Cao’s artwork was selected to move on to the next level, making all of Biotechnology High School very proud. Three students submitted creative writing and poetry, including Amelia Jay and Maryam Khalid, and everyone considered this a new experience that they would love to participate in in the future. Alena Nag performed a vocal solo, and two groups (one instrumental group and one jazz) came out to display their talent. Finally, Nam Vu performed a piano solo.

There were also several workshops and activities available for students to participate in throughout the day. Monmouth Teen Arts Festival put together a magnificent event, allowing students to relax and enjoy the creativity put forth by students around the county. The activities included drawing the roads with chalk, facepainting, an Instagram contest, an advocacy campaign, a scavenger hunt, and a token campaign. Workshops included character design, solar recording, life drawings, paper sculpting, cyanotypes, ceramics, martial arts, writing and art, and contemporary jazz dance.

We hope that BTHS students will continue to perform and show off their artistic talents.