School News Blog



Science in the Real World: Graphene

By: Andrew Miller

In order to contribute more articles about things going on in the real world, especially in the science world, I feel it is important to write this article about graphene. Graphene is essentially a one atom thick sheet of carbon, with tons of different properties and uses that make it such a versatile substance that is generally believed to be the “material of the future”.   

Pictured above, artist’s rendition of graphene

Graphene can be used for many different tasks due to its insane properties. It is incredibly flexible, yet incredibly durable, making it nigh impossible to break. It can be stretched, and is the world’s thinnest material along with being billed as the world’s best electrical conductor by the labs at the University of Manchester, who discovered the substance in 2004. It also acts as a perfectly impermeable barrier, not even allowing helium to pass through. This incredible functionality is projected to lead to advancements in many fields, from consumer electronics (i.e smartphones) to medical equipment and even water filtration systems, with it having recently been used to make saltwater potable. Graphene can be used from anything from augmented reality contact lenses, like the kind you see in movies, to more effective capacitors and energy storage, potentially even helping in the push for renewable energy in the modernized world, potentially even phasing out copper and other traditional metals for wiring due to its more effective electrical conduction. However, the methods to produce graphene are very expensive and time consuming. The means of production can be seen here.

Interestingly, a new method of graphene production has been invented at the University of Exeter in late 2016, that is cheaper and produces higher yields of graphene, potentially accelerating the introduction of graphene into more mainstream products as opposed to more novelty things such as graphene tennis racquets. There is a downside to this new method, however, as it does not produce neat sheets of graphene as the previous method does, but instead produces chunks, making it harder to use as a replacement for things such as silicon semiconductors at this time.Who knows; maybe in 10 years everyone will have their own Tony Stark transparent phone.  

To conclude, I believe that graphene will become an incredibly important, versatile resource in the future, and completely shift the way many of our current technology works, from things like refrigerators to data center computers. I believe that this new frontier will change the landscape of many major industries, and it is an incredibly important scientific discovery.



All About Multicultural Fair 

By A.J. Fezza

Biotechnology High School has long prided itself on being a cohesive learning community containing students from various cultural backgrounds. This Thursday, the Spanish Honor Society is thrilled to be celebrating such diversity by hosting its 5th annual Multicultural Fair! It will take place on Thursday, April 27, from 6:00-8:00PM.

There will be numerous performances, activity stations and informational booths. The performances will include Chinese, Indian, and Irish modern and fusion dances, while the activity booths will involve fun games and decorating activities. Meanwhile, the informational booths in the hallways will inform viewers about international current events and cultural phenomena. There will also be a wide array of food available, including rice cakes, clafoutis, and whichever delicious dishes you decide to bring in yourself.

Instead of selling tickets, each person attending will bring a food item or a beverage that represents your culture or any culture which you are enthusiastic about. The food can be homemade or purchased, and it must include a list of ingredients to accommodate for those that have food allergies/sensitivities. Students are welcome to bring in food the morning of April 27th, but if the item needs to be heated up or kept refrigerated, it is highly recommended that you bring it at the time of the event.

So make sure to bring yourself (and your families) to the Multicultural Fair this Thursday in the MPR to be a part of this exciting celebration!


Multicultural Fair 2017


BTHS Presents: Beauty and the Beast!

By: A.J. Fezza

The Arts and Entertainment Club (A&E) is presenting its third-ever musical on April 20 and 21. This year, following the wildly successful showings of Annie and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Biotech students are performing the classic musical adaption of Beauty and the Beast. This production would not have come to fruition if it were not for the tremendous efforts put forth by the cast, crew, pit band, and musical directors. After 2 years of strong shows under the former A&E club advisor Mr. Dannen, this year is the first BTHS production under Ms. Garbely, who deserves major credit for her devotion to the show.

Senior Varsha Garla as Belle, surrounded by townspeople.

The musical Beauty and the Beast, which was written by Alan Menken and debuted on Broadway in 1994, is based on the animated Disney film of the same name (which premiered 3 years earlier). The plot centers around Belle, a provincial girl and avid reader, whose life changes forever when she gives up her freedom to save her father. She is imprisoned in a massive castle ruled by a Beast, and little does she realize that all the animated objects who comfort her during her stay, as well as the Beast, used to be human. She learns that they were relegated to lives as trinkets because of a curse placed on them a decade before. Time is fleeting, and the only way to break the curse and have the enchanted objects turn back into humans again is for someone to fall in love the Beast. Belle, they realize, could be the girl to do so and set them all free. But getting Belle and the Beast together before the rose wilts would prove to not be an easy task, especially once herds of angry townspeople discover that a beast lies nearby, and they try to siege the castle!

This story was loosely based on a 1740 French fairy tale, which for long was not particularly notable. However, once the 1991 Disney film was released, the story skyrocketed in popularity. A new live action version of Beauty and the Beast, in fact, was just released on March 16, 2017, starring Emma Watson as Belle.

The vibrant backgrounds were painted by the Set Painting Crew, led by Carey Lau (the Visual Arts Chair of A&E). Angela Zhao is conducting the pit band, which will provide resonant background music as awe-inspiring as the scenes themselves. The stage crew, led by Laura Vorbach and Maxine Wang, functions to ensure seamless transitions onstage. Choreographers Patricia Magistrado and Aneesha Doshi created the spectacular dances in numbers such as “Be Our Guest” and “Human Again,” and the costumes were arranged by Ingrid Song. Lastly, Directors Nina Samuel, Isabel Wallace, and Michael Brennan invested countless hours of their time every week into organizing rehearsals and bringing this production to its final product. This year, over 30 talented students make up the musical’s cast, a third of which being completely new to the Biotech stage! The cast includes Varsha Garla as Belle, Andrew Colbert as the Beast, and Ben Buckman as Gaston.

Senior Ben Buckman singing as Gaston, while Lumiere and Cogsworth share a laugh in the background.

Please be our guest this Thursday and Friday (April 20 and 21), in the Biotech MPR to see the spectacular arrangement. You can buy the tickets here for both dates, and if you are a Biotech student, you can also purchase tickets during lunch the week of the show. See you there!



By: Sam Mueller and Arya Sharma

Biotech saw its second Boys’ Night Out event on Friday, March 24, along with the longtime BTHS tradition of Girls’ Night Out. All guys were welcome to stay after school, and for $7, gained access to pizza and unlimited snacks and drinks.


Video games lined the hall leading into the MPR like Biotech had never seen before. TVs, projectors, and computers brought a great environment to the area. There was even a proper man cave set up, shielded from the rest of the school. Biotech’s male gamers couldn’t be happier.


Doubters worried about rain, but the Friday afternoon only grew nicer as the day progressed. Testosterone filled the spring air as basketball and soccer games raged on. An upperclassmen vs. underclassmen football game, with Mr. Evancho and Mr. Martin as quarterbacks, took place on the back fields.


The girls arrived for dinner time and everyone sat down together, enjoying a mix of pizza, pasta, and more. At 7, the boys cleared out, and the girls had Biotech to themselves for the night.


The girls had a plethora of activities that were planned for them by the GNO committee. First on the list was Serena DiMaso, the night’s  keynote speaker. She talked to the girls  about her struggles as a woman in politics, how she maintained a balance between her family and career, and how she grapples with people who didn’t believe in her. It was quite inspirational, and she gave out stress balls to the girls at the end of the discussion..

The girls had some time to chill out and take some pictures with huge balloons that spelled "GNO"before moving into rotations. Girls had the choice of getting henna done, making hemp bracelets with Ms. Engstrom, doing Zumba to fun and upbeat music, and singing karaoke. The most popular rotation was definitely the henna; by the end, everyone, including Mrs. Siter and Mr. Meehan, were in on the craze.

The next activity, dessert was definitely the highlight of the night. The MPR was filled with treats such as a sundae bar, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, fruit, and a huge chocolate cake. As the girls were finishing up dessert, the GNO committee started to explain the rules of the next activity: the fashion show.

Girls were split into groups, and each group received a bag full of supplies necessary to complete the challenge.

SOS held a clothing drive so that the girls could use some of the clothes; however,  it was decided that the clothes would be more helpful if they were donated instead of cut up. The clothing drive will continue until April 7th, so please remember to do your spring cleaning and bring any clothes to the front of the lobby!

The final activity of the night was a self-defense class. Even though it was 12 AM, everyone was fully awake and ready to demolish anyone who stood in their way. The girls learned valuable moves and safety tips that they can take with them in the real world.

Congratulations to the BNO and GNO committee for planning a successful night, and we hope to see everyone again next year!