School News Blog


 

Tuesday
Jun122018

How to Survive Finals: A Biotech Guide

 

By Andrew Miller

    Hello Biotech, it’s that time of the year again. It’s almost time for finals, which as many of you know can be the most stressful time of the year, especially for underclassmen. Taking one test on content you learned almost 9 months ago can be hard on its own, let alone taking 3 to 4 of them. However, with these tips and tricks it can be just as easy as any other test. Also, just an obligatory notice: everyone has their own strategies that work for them when preparing for and taking tests. Find yours. If you study in a way that works for someone else, it might not work for you. Figure out what helps you the most.

[1] Don’t start studying the night before. Don’t do it. This shouldn’t need to be stated. Start at least a week or two in advance. You’re not review one month of content before a final, you’re reviewing nine. It’s not a good idea to cram all of that in in one night. All you’ll be doing is keeping yourself up incredibly late, which studies show does in fact lower test scores.

[2] Use the syllabus or, if your teacher provides it, study guide to your advantage. Produce your own study materials based on the content in both of these. It helps in retention and overall preparation, as well as making you look good if you share it to other people. Keep in mind that especially on the Freshman and Sophomore year finals, they are made by teachers from the whole MCVSD, meaning some of the questions for topics like freshman biology aren’t exactly Ellsworthy.

[3] Group study. Nuff said.

[4] Another helpful set of resources is the internet. There are tons of websites around that can help you with a variety of classes, such as shmoop.com for English, Bozeman Biology for Biology and Khan Academy for pretty much all of your needs.

[5] Lastly, Youtube has plenty of super useful resources for studying a variety of topics, like Crash Course for Biology and History, along with Thug Notes if you want a relaxing, humorous look at the literature you’ve read just to refresh yourself. If you’re an IB Chemistry student’s future self, Richard Thornley is an invaluable source for sample problems and mark schemes.

    The most important part of studying is remembering not to burn yourself out. You might study for 8 hours at a time, but at that point you’ll probably feel exhausted. Take a break every once in awhile and eat, watch a show, and don’t become obsessed with your GPA. That’s never healthy. You have a lot of content to study, but your sanity comes first. If it starts to feel too tedious, relax for a bit, but don’t relax 60 minutes for every 20 studied. The work is going to have to get done eventually. Just keep a clear mind the whole time, make sure you know the coursework, and by the time you have the test in front of you, you’ll be ready.

Tuesday
Jun122018

Making Time For Art

By: Nivedita Nambrath

At BTHS, students’ lives are intrinsically centered around the sciences. In between schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and other obligations, creating art often seems like a frivolous and frankly useless thing to do with the already limited time we have. But, as numerous studies confirm, the benefits of art are numerous and diverse in nature, and some amount of artistic activity is essential for a full and rounded life. It shouldn’t matter how skilled an artist you think you currently are -- you can still reap the benefits of doing art. Art relieves stress, encourages creative and innovative thinking, improves self-esteem, increases brain plasticity, and increases the ability to empathize. It should also be noted that while science and art are often presented as opposites or complements of each other, they are oftentimes actually one and the same. Countless great scientists were also musicians, linguists, poets, writers, painters, and more. Similarly, countless artists have also been inventors, engineers, biologists, etc. Creativity is a vital component of science, just as analysis is a vital component of art. So while it certainly can be difficult, it is important to make time for art in our everyday life. Here are some small ways in which you can do so.

Pick up an instrument
- The ukulele is a very popular instrument among young adults, because it is supposedly one of the easiest instruments to learn (excluding the recorder). With a bit of practice and a few YouTube videos, you’ll be able to strum the chords to your favorite songs, and jam out with your friends. Other simple and affordable instruments that you can try to learn are the guitar, drums, kazoo, flute, harmonica, or keyboard. You can also always try to learn to sing. With the internet at your disposal, you can really learn anything you want.
- Practicing your instrument for even ten minutes a day can provide a refreshing and enjoyable break from your usual routine.

Improve your drawing skills
- With the vast and diverse community of artists sharing their work and expertise on the internet, there is no shortage of drawing tutorials and resources for an amateur artist. Pick something to draw (cartoons, people, plants, architecture, animals, fruits in a bowl, etc.) and get to work. A simple search of “flower drawing tutorial” on Google can yield so many results. All you need is a pencil and piece of paper. With practice, it can become a useful skill.
- If you don’t want to draw, there are still many fun ways in which you can make visual art. You can do things like finger painting or using a coloring book as well.

Write
- We do so much analytical writing as a part of our academics that we often lose touch with the ability to write stories and poems, which do not require such concise and analytical language. The ability to communicate and paint vivid pictures using only words is a highly valuable skill, but it only comes through practice. So, think of something to write (it can be anything -- a journal entry, a fantasy story, a play, a murder mystery, a cynical discourse on the hardships of life, a poem, etc.) and write it. Just have fun.

Photography
- Phone cameras nowadays are far more sophisticated than they used to be, and are capable of capturing very high quality images. The internet is a form of media in which digital imagery plays an integral part. So, there are plenty of sources of inspiration for photography on the internet. Many photo-editing apps exist on the market as well, most of them free, so there are sufficient means available to take interesting and high-quality photographs using just your phone. Photography is simple, and can help you see the world around you in a whole new light, while being lots of fun.
- Try taking photos of your friends and family, the nature outside, or whatever it is that catches your eye.

Baking and Cooking
- While not conventionally considered “art forms”, cooking and baking utilize the same faculties of creativity and empathy as other art forms. If you try deviating from a recipe and imagining what it might taste like with other ingredients thrown in, you are harnessing a more artistic aspect of thinking. Baking and cooking are very practical, as you can eat what you make, and share what you made with other people as well. Making something to eat is always a very fulfilling activity - both for your mind, and for your stomach.
- Even if you stick to every word of a recipe, you are still practicing art by creating something.

Devoting yourself to an art form can be what gets you through the most stressful periods of life in highschool, and it can be something that produces the most genuine enjoyment and satisfaction. In the routine monotony of everyday life, art is essential as a means of sparking passion, empathy, and joy.

Tuesday
Jun122018

Students of Service Club Recap: 2017-2018 

 

By:Nikita Rana

Students of Service, more commonly referred to as SOS, is the community service club at Biotech. Originally a chapter of the Key Club, SOS allows students to come together and volunteer at activities that help their communities. The 2017-2018 school year began with a meeting held to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a pediatric cancer charity. Students of all grade levels came together and enjoyed the lemonade and learned about the charity.

As October came along, so did Students Change Hunger. Every year Biotech students donate many, over a thousand pounds of food to local food banks to assist in feeding the hungry during the holidays.

During the holidays, SOS volunteers collected toys for children whose parents cannot afford presents through the Angel Tree Foundation. Through this foundation, children are able to write down their desired gift on an Angel, which is then hung on a Christmas tree until someone picks it up and purchases the gift. The gift is then delivered to the child on Christmas.

Random Acts of Kindness Week is one of SOS’s largest umbrella of activities. One event that occurred during this week was Operation Smile, which is a drive to collect dental products to promote dental hygiene and to help with cleft lip surgeries around the world. The Random Acts of Kindness weren’t limited to drives to help people across the globe; in fact, there were many activities that took place to spread kindness within Biotech. For example, SOS volunteers stuck motivational post-it notes on all the lockers with sayings such as “One kind word can change someone’s entire day” or “Be the reason someone smiles today.” Continuing with the theme of post-it notes, volunteers created the “Heart Wall” as a way for students to write short and kind messages to each other. During this week, the Biotech Secret Admirer Facebook page was open for classmates to submit anonymous compliments to. By the end of the week, there were almost a thousand messages!

In April, SOS partnered with Spanish Honors Society (SHS) to help raise money for the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Through the joint efforts of both clubs at the Multicultural Fair, we were able to raise almost $300 of donations!

And now, the winding down of the school year could only mean one thing: club elections! Through the process of a student vote, the officers for the 2018-2019 SOS Team were chosen. And the officers are…

Co-Presidents: Daniel Levit and Olivia Pasquale
Vice President: Sophia Yun
Secretary: Arya Sharma
Service Directors: Nikita Rana and Dylan Fitzgerald
Webmaster/PR Coordinator: AJ Fezza

Tuesday
Jun122018

Biotech Athletes in 2018

By: Nikita Rana & Bridget Corpus

Despite being surrounded with the “nerd” stereotype, Biotech students are quite successful in their athletic endeavors. Even though we can be busy at times, we still find the time to do what we love. Here is what a few students have to say about being student athletes at Biotech:

Shane Zimmerman: Wrestling at Keyport High School

  • Statistics: 22-8 with 11 pins
  • “My goal is to be at least a district champion, but like every other wrestler, the main goal is always to make it to AC and be a state qualifier.”

Mark Capell: Baseball at Marlboro High School

  • “Work hard and get stronger. Don’t be lazy with school or practices.”

Sophia Yun: Track & Field at Freehold Township High School

Statistics:

  • Indoor Nationals 3/7/18 HJ: 5'3
  • 84th Eastern State Championships 2/20/18 HJ: 5’4”
  • NJSIAA Group Championships 2/17/18 HJ: 5’2
  • NJSIAA Sectional Championships - Central Gr. 1&4 2/10/18 HJ: 5’0
  • Monmouth County Champs 1/11/18 (1st place) HJ: 5’2”
  • Monmouth County Relays 5/3/18 (1st place) HJ: 5’4
  • Lion Invitational 4/28/18 HJ: 5’0
  • A North Championship 4/17/18 HJ: 5’0

“I really never notice how much I love going to track until the season's over. From the laid-back premeet days to the hottest of workout days, I wouldn't trade it in for anything. During the winter, all of the jumpers had a rough practice. Before we left, our coach asked us: why do you do this sport? You cannot leave today before you give me an answer. It took me a while to think of an answer, but once I said it I knew that it was what I truly felt: ‘I do this sport because it gives me a feeling of accomplishment that you can't get anywhere else. In school, you can always strive for a 100, but you can't really go anywhere from there. But in this sport, the amount of work you put in will make you get even better every day. If you push yourself and put in the effort, you will always see results and at the end of the day, the feeling of accomplishment and pride you have is not replicable.’”

Priya Thamburaj: Horseback Riding

  • Statistics: qualifying for regional level at Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) competition
  • “I began riding six years ago. I found inspiration from my mother, who had done the sport when she was younger.I love horseback riding because it does not only involve physical activity, but also a great deal of skill. This sport also involves caring for the horses and building friendships with fellow riders.”

Matt Rondinella: Swimming at Colts Neck High School

  • Statistics: 2:11.33 for 200-yard freestyle; 5:52 for 500-yard freestyle
  • “ My high school experience with the team has been great, and my club swimming at FOBY has definitely helped me as well. I was also introduced to the longer distance events (200 and 500 yards) on the Colts Neck team and have been swimming them ever since. For next year, I hope to make the cut times for shore conference, which are 2:07.51 for the 200 and 5:48.50 for the 500. I also plan to improve my times overall on FOBY, and want to grow as a swimmer by continually practicing. Overall, my experience with swimming has been great and I really enjoy the sport.”


But of course, balancing school and sports can be difficult at times. Here’s what a few Biotech students have to say:

“Manage your time! Sometimes practice would go late or I would get home from games late and I wasn’t expecting that to happen. Always good to do things in advance.” - Sophomore Jackie Finley, Manasquan Soccer

“Get work done before your sports. Don't let sports keep you from doing your best in school.” - Junior Maddie Sass, Wall FC Soccer

“Study during your sport events.” - Junior Matt Su, Marlboro Baseball

“Be prepared to commit a lot of your time!” - Sophomore Oliver Gu, Colts Neck Tennis

“Don’t give up because of a minor setback. It’s just something you have to work through.” -Sophomore Ryley Kirk, Manasquan Lacrosse

The general takeaway from these statements is to stay focused, manage your time, and to have fun!

Tuesday
Jun122018

Current Events Spring 2018

By Ester Teper and Michael Greenberg

With access to new technologies and a more in-depth understanding of the world, the scientific community sees advancements nearly every day. Common areas of study include tissue culture, which allows us to grow cells in a synthetic environment, with the prospective future creating ample opportunity.

The Human Brain
    A driving force in evolution is natural selection for the fastest, smartest, and best characteristics that will allow populations to survive. The human brain has been evolving slowly over the past 3 million years, but the genetic mutations causing a physical change have not yet been identified. Now, researchers have identified a gene family, the NOTCH2NL, that specifically develops the cerebral cortex of the human brain. The process is simple: differentiation of neurons is delayed, keeping cells in the stem cell stage, where more can be created. The presence of this gene is what separates us from monkeys, such as macaques. This revelation has brought scientists to look at the gene’s effect and development over the past thousands of years.

Hospital Bacteria
    Acinetobacter baumannii, a bacterium generally regarded as one of the most dangerous on earth, is now considered even more harmful. Recently, scientists have found a new feature about this organism: tiny finger-like structures that attach to medical devices in hospitals, and then cause contamination. Fortunately, antibodies were developed to prevent the widespread of the bacteria. These structures are classified as archaic chaperone-usher pili (ACU pili), which are found on most bacteria. Using research mechanisms like X-Ray crystallography, they found loops on the tips of the pili, which allow A. baumannii to attach to hydrophobic plastics. The bond formation between the pilli and plastic was interrupted through the use of biofilms.

3D Printed Corneas
    The first 3D printed corneas have come about, thus moving technology forward. There is generally a very limited amount of corneas available to transplant, and it is a very difficult surgery. Millions of people around the world need this surgery, and about 50% end up going blind due to the lack of it. The concept for these synthetic corneas is very simple: stem cells, collagen, and alginate were mixed to create “bio-ink,” and then printed on a simple 3D printer. The results were astonishing and the technology is now undergoing rigorous tests until it can be used on humans.

DNA-based robots
    A new magnetic system was able to induce a less than a second response in DNA- robots, indicating a future potential to control DNA-based robots. This would be effective for drug delivery or DNA movement (working as an enzyme or binding DNA with other molecules). This is an enormous breakthrough, as it allows real-time response from microscopic organisms. The methods for this included using magnetic “tweezers” to move cells for biomedical applications in gene therapy. They were able to use the magnets to force the robots to function on a faster, and smaller lebel.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/top/science/

The constant change in policies, leaders, and opinions in the many nations in the world brings about a steady stream of riveting news stories and information. Though a vast amount of politics-related news can be found, some of the more notable stories include developments on the unstable relationship of North Korea with the world, as well as the progression of turbulent political decisions in South America.

Italy’s New Leaders
    On Friday, June first, a new Prime Minister and his two deputies were sworn in to serve Italy after the election in March. The three men have each promised to improve Italy in some way, though some people question their qualifications. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte brings concern for the state of the Italian government because he has no political experience, having delved into politics after working as a law professor. However, it appears that Conte is not expected have as much influence in government as is generally expected of a person in his position. The main reason for this stems from Conte’s deputies, Matteo Salvini and Luigi di Maio. Salvini, the new deputy prime minister and interior minister, has pledged throughout his campaign to institute programs to efficiently and forcefully remove illegal immigrants residing in Italy. A leader of the Lega Nord (Northern League) political party, Salvini has boosted his reputation with his nationalist views. Di Maio, the minister of labor and economic development as well as the other deputy prime minister, also brings pause to some people, as he dropped out of college, and had little to no notable achievements prior to going into politics. Time will tell if the new Italian government will turn out to be a good fit.
    
Turmoil in Nicaragua
    In April, potential social-security system reforms in Nicaragua incited protest throughout the country. Recently, the protesting has become noticeably more violent. On Wednesday, the date of the Nicaraguan Mother’s Day, a march to commemorate people who died in previous protests resulted in more fatalities. People part of the march claim that the police and pro-government groups attacked the marchers, who had advertised the event as nonviolent. These proposed reforms have brought about civil unrest and general dissatisfaction of many Nicaraguans with their government. They condemn the government’s use of force to deal with its citizens. However, it is clear there are still those that support the government in Nicaragua.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Heads to North Korea
    The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, flew to Pyongyang, North Korea this Thursday to meet with Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. After the recent agreement between North and South Korea to end the long-lasting hostilities between the two nations, efforts to reach the denuclearization of North Korea have increased. Lavrov arrived in North Korea hoping to win the favor of the nation to “increase its influence in the region” before the upcoming summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. The Foreign Minister caused some discontent in the United States after his bold proposal: sanctions on North Korea should be lifted before denuclearization begins, reasoning that the sanctions themselves make the process of denuclearization more complicated. The American government holds that denuclearization must occur before any sanctions can be lifted, and has been attempting to get the process started before the summit. While in Pyongyang, Lavrov also paid his respects to memorials of some of the former leaders of the nation.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/01/europe/italy-government-intl/index.html