Course Description

Science Research Program – Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Full Year – Level H: Incoming freshman and sophomore students must apply for admission to this program in January of the prior academic year. Acceptance into the program will be based on a science teacher recommendation, a written essay, and excellent academic grades.

This is an ongoing program that is taken in conjunction with the student’s regular science course. There are several tiers to the program. During Year 1 students learn the components of scientific research including the scientific method and apply these concepts in various settings including designing and conducting an authentic science research project and communicating results by participation in at least one local science fair. Students also explore various applications of science topics through field trips, guest speakers and class projects. Advanced students (Years 2-4) select their science research topic, locate an out-of-school mentor (either in industry or at a local university) and compete in a variety of science fairs including the CT State Science Fair, Southern CT Invitational Science and Engineering Fair (SCSEF) and the CT Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (CT JSHS). Advanced students pursue their selected research in depth, perform statistical analysis and compete at a number of local and/or national science fairs and competitions. In Years 2, 3, and 4 students are grouped together in a non-traditional classroom setting and are required to meet individually outside of class with their Science Research Instructor biweekly to review individual goals and assess progress. All students participate in the culminating annual activity, Amity’s Science Symposium.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Please reflect on the following (200 words):

What was your overall impression of the SCISEF Fair? Specifically, what things did you enjoy about the fair? Did the fair meet your expectations? In what ways was it similar or different to what you anticipated?

What was the judging process like? Were the judges fair and helpful?

How was the food (breakfast and lunch)?

Did you enjoy Dr. John Krystal's presentation of PTSD? Explain.

In what way do you think the Mock Science Fair helped prepare you for the Fair?

Did you learn anything new about your project? If so, what can you do to improve it for the next fair? Did you have time to view other student projects? Which project(s) left a lasting impression? why?

If you did NOT attend the fair, what did you do instead? Reflect on the Mock Science Fair using the questions above (sans the food and presenter question).


  1. I did not attend the SCISEF fair or the Mock Science fair. Since transportation to SCISEF was canceled, and nobody was about to drive me anywhere, I just went back to bed like "Never mind SCISEF." It was wicked snuggly and my cat Gary was there BEING AWSOME. During the time of the mock science fair, I was actually trying to get to school. Seriously. It was rediculous, but let's not even get into detail.


  2. I was unable to attend the SCISEF Fair because originally, I was planning to go to Winter Congress in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, because of inclement weather, the trip was cancelled. By the time we were notified of the cancellation, it was too late to register for the fair. However, if the SCISEF Fair was anything like the Mock Science Fair on Friday, then I'm sure I missed a lot. From Friday, I experienced what it would've been like had I attended the SCISEF Fair. I noticed that when the judges came around to observe my presentation, most of them did not even look at the introduction. It turns out that most of them were only interested in the results of my experiment. However, most of the judges were students so they might not have been too interested in all the background information. In the end, I did a quick summary of my methods and materials, as well as my introduction, and spent most of my time explaining my results and graphs. This mock science fair has helped me prepare for future events by giving me a hands-on experience. However, I would have liked more adult judges observing my presentation because the student judges occasionally lost focus.

  3. I did not attend the 2010 SCISEF fair because my parents both work on the weekend and I could not find a ride. This weekend was my birthday weekend so I slept in and I went to dinner with my friends Saturday night. I was disappointed that I was not able to attend the first science fair. I learned from the mock science fair on Friday that I should have water by my table, I didn't realize how much talking I would be doing. One advanced science research student pointed out that my graphs should only go up to 10 instead of 12 because the participants could only rate each picture on a scale of 1-10. One person that viewed my project asked if there had been any other studies similar to my own and they asked how I got my inspiration for the experiment; this made me realize that I have to elaborate more in the introduction instead of just jumping straight to the project. Another person said that I maintained eye contact with the people I was presenting to, and I spoke very well. The mock science fair was helpful experience, if I had be able to attend the SCISEF fair, I think the mock fair would have been helpful in preparing me.

  4. The SCISEF Science Fair was a great educational experience. I thought that the fair would be more laid back, but people were very serious and had extreme projects so the fair much different than I anticipated. The breakfast and lunch was very yummy and I enjoyed socializing with my friends. John Krystal's PTSD presentation was very appealing to the whole audience and he truly deserved a standing ovation. I believe that the MOCK Science Fair helped me prepare for the SCISEF Science Fair because the peer judges at the MOCK Science Fair gave me advice on how I could improve my project for the SCISEF Science Fair. The judges were also very nice and gave me advice on how I could further my project. For instance, one judge suggested that instead of using music in my experiment, I could use different drum beats to have a more controlled experiment. I presented in rounds 5 and 6, so I had time before presenting to view other projects. Their project left a big impression on me because other SCISEF participants did project that I couldn’t even pronounce. The SCISEF Science Fair was a great educational experience and I cannot wait to attend next year

  5. I was unable to attend SCISEF, as I was scheduled to attend a trip to Washington, DC. Although the trip was cancelled, I was not registered. However, I did learn a lot at the mock science fair on Friday. In this fair, I answered questions from students and several adults, including Dr. Brady, the Superintendent. Through these questions, I found several aspects of my project that were appealing to the audience, and several aspects that needed work. For example, although my conclusions required further explanation, my results were very thorough, and the audience seemed to be interested. I was only able to see two other projects at the mock fair, Ehsan’s and Maddy’s. They were both very interesting project ideas. One thing that I noticed when I compared other students’ projects to mine was that while my poster had bullets and depended on presentation skills, others’ posters were more thorough in their posters’ written sections. I learned a lot from the mock science fair, and believe that it has helped prepare me for any future science fairs that I might attend.

    -Aaron O'Neill

  6. The Mock Science Fair was not as how I expected it to be. For an overall impression, the Mock Science fair was very informal and laid back. The room was much more crowded and many more people were looking at my poster and the posters around me. Even though there were more people, I knew most of the people who looked at my poster and was even friends with them. This informal air allowed me to relax, focus more on the details of my project, smile and enjoy presenting. I also enjoyed being able to watch my fellow presenters present while under the scrutiny of other people, and I observed them to learn how I could better my own presentation. The fair definitely met my expectations because it really told me what I needed to work on for the formal presentation in front of a panel of judges. My friends were glad to be brutally honest in grading my presentation. After the Mock Science Fair, I realized that I need to know my data better, because it is the most important part of my presentation, so I also need to spend a lot more time on the charts and analysis.

  7. My overall impression of the science fair was very good. It was not what I thought it was going to be. I enjoyed the time students got to spend looking at other posters and how the judges were very nice. It met my expectations and was very professional. The judges worked in groups of three while I thought they were going to work in groups of five. The judges first looked at the poster for a couple of minutes. Then they asked the student to give the presentation. The judges asked questions after the presentation. The food was okay and there were sandwiches, bagels, chips, and orange juice. I enjoyed the presentation about PTSD given by Dr. John Krystal. His group went through the process very well and left very few sources of error. The Mock Science Fair helped me a lot for the Scisef Fair. It gave me a ton of practice and more confidence to speak about my project for the next day. I learned something about my project. I should have included what the bacteria are normally good for. A project I viewed that had a lasting impression was the one testing different types of chemicals on coral to try and save them.

  8. The fair was really nice. The school it was held at was crazy fancy and impressive. I was really surprised by the sheer amount of participants and the range of experiments present. I was also surprised by how many proposals were there. The food was nice too. I think I prefer our schools food better though. Most of the judges were really helpful. Some of them found me after I had presented and gave me some excellent feed-back. They asked me some pretty out there questions at times though. The presentation on PTSD was very interesting to me. I like the military so I found it interesting, especially on how the glands that release adrenaline also normally release chemicals to stop the reaction. What was more interesting however was the research done on success vs. failure. The fact that failing sort of shuts down the reasoning section of your brain causing you to freeze up is fascinating to me. The mock science fair helped me prepare for standing up in front of crowds trying to remember what to say. For the next fair I’m going to clean up my presentation as well as add separate graphs for the different variables.

  9. I did not attend the SCISEF fair. Instead, I was scheduled to wrestle at the Amity’s wrestling tournament, but most of the teams canceled out so it was a blow out. I did, though, go to the mock science fair on Friday. The mock science fair was great because I got to better understand how we would be judged at a real science fair, and I found out some of the problems with my poster and project. For instance, I figured out that when I presented my project to people if I explained the Ollie thoroughly I would lose their attention well before I got to my results. I figured out that if I asked them if they knew what an Ollie was and if they wanted me to explain my materials and methods thoroughly I could tune my presentation custom to each person. This allowed me to give each person a better presentation and explain my ideas better to each person. The mock science fair also gave me insight on how to use my black folder. For instance, there were people who wanted to read my abstract and such on. This showed me not only how it can be use full, but it also showed me how I should re-organize my binder.

  10. I missed the Sci Sef fair because I was scheduled to go to the JSA Winter Congress. I had been scheduled to go before we were informed of the date of the Sci Sef fair. However, due to the large storm in Washington DC the trip was cancelled. Despite the fact that the overnight was cancelled it did not matter because it was too late to register to go to Sci Sef. The mock science fair however was a great experience for me as I could be able to experience the rhythm and flow of presenting to judges. Also, the fact the audience acted as our judges by grading us on a rubric helped me a lot by giving very good constructive criticism. This was a wonderful great experience that has influenced me to do more science research in the future. Because of the constructive criticism I received towards my project I believe it will make me a much better and more efficient presenter for the future. All of my audiences were mature and were genuinely interested in my topic. They also helped me come up with new ideas for my science projects in the future. After the mock science fair I came out a more interested and better science research student.

  11. I liked the science fair a little. Wouldn't call it the best experience of my life but it was fun. The judges were kind and helpful. They didn't try to break me down or interogate me. The food was ok, I guess? wasn't really an important part. Although the cookies were amazingly addicting. To be honest i didn't listen to Dr. Krystals presentation. too busy watching Tanay play with his ipod touch. The mock science fair didn't really prepare because nobody really came ocver to my project... :). I did not learn anything new but i did mention more than what i did in the mock science fair.

  12. Overall, I thought that going to scisef was a very fun experience. Some of the coffee was not good, but the rest of the food was very good. The judges were not as brutal as I thought that they would be. I found that for in later years, I'm going to have to get better project because I could not pronounce many of the projects. My presenting ended up turning out better than I thought it would and the judges had very good suggestions to my projects. It was better than I expected but the presentation got boring after a while.

    -Evan Fox

  13. I was not able to go to SCISEF science fair on Saturday. However, I did attend the mock science fair on Friday. I felt that I was able to answer almost all questions that were asked while I was presenting. Also, I was able to draw in a few people myself to explain my interesting experiment. The atmosphere of the entire room while everyone was presenting was very unique and interesting. I feel that this mock science fair will help prepare me for the upcoming science fairs that I will be attending. I have heard from fellow classmates that the science fairs were a joy. Also, they have informed me that it was not anything to be nervous about.
    Shahryar Ahmed

  14. The SCISEF science fair had a very nice environment that was not intimidating. During the fair I enjoyed the food and I also enjoyed viewing the other posters. The other posters were very complicated compared to my own, and I knew from that moment that I was not going to win. The judges were very nice and helpful. They were a lot less scary than I had thought they were going to be. In addition, contrary to popular belief the judges do not try to tear holes into your experiment. They did give me helpful suggestions such as rating the colors on a scale of one to ten. The mock science fair definetely helped me by preparing me to better explain my project to strangers. Dr. Krystal's speech was too complicated for me to understand. For the next science fair I hope to have statistical analysis done and more participants. I was able to view other projects and the two most impressive ones dealt with lunar soil and alternate forms of fuel cells.

  15. My experience at scisef was much better than I expected. Despite the fact that the first set of judges did not get to my poster util after all my coligues were finished, the judges were courtious and friendly. They did not pick apart every detail of my progect. one of the judges even offered to contact the president of north sail because he might be interested in my progect. It was nice of them to offer free breakfest. Dr. John Krystal's presentation was informitave about the physical reasons behing PTSD. The mock science fair was very helpful in giving me practace presenting. I walked into the fair confident in what I was going to say. one student apeared to be making retarded zibra-fish. This presented a moral delema for me. Is it ehical to do this?

    -Jacob Laser

  16. The SCISEF fair was very interesting and was quite inspirational to eventually develop a winning project. The food was exquisite and they had sandwiches ranging from ham, turkey, and vegetarian. To develop a perfect sandwich, one must remove the tomatoes from a ham sub and replace with crumbled potato chips. The food also included a great assortment of cookies. From oatmeal raisin to sugar, the mouthwatering food was great. Hopefully all other science fairs follow these footsteps and reach the immense variety of food. On another note, the fair itself was inspirational because of several students pursuing a project with a mentor. I believe that the mentor is a huge help in creating a winning project. At the end of the fair, the PTSD talk was hard to understand. The judges were great and they provided wisdom to further improve my study and my presentation to show it. The judges were young and old and each had their own perspective of how to improve. The campus was huge and they had many places to sit after judging was complete. The library and the auditorium were almost larger than ours. Overall SCISEF was a great experience in my first science fair.

  17. The Scisef fair was a great experience overall. At first the GPS told us to go the wrong place but we weren’t too late. The numbers were in alphabetical order so I was all the way in the back corner. The bagels were very good and tasted like they were from New York. The judges came soon after the fair began. They asked very specific questions which made me look at my project from a different angle. They pointed out possible errors that I didn’t consider. By the time the second round of judges came I was more comfortable presenting and did a better job. After the judges came we were allowed to walk outside (it was really cold) and get lunch. I had roast beef. I liked the selection and the fact that they had signs near the sandwiches so we knew what was in them. After the delicious lunch there was public viewing. I stood by my project and answered questions from various people. At about 1:30 we went into the auditorium and saw the keynote speaker, John Krystal, who is a family friend of ours. I found his presentation to be very informative, even if I didn’t quite understand everything. Then they gave out awards and four people from Amity won which was very exciting.

  18. The SCISEF science fair was a great experience. The judges were helpful and fair. I thought that presenting to six random strangers would be scary and challenging, but it was a lot easier than I thought. However, the food of the science fair, while many predicted that it would be bland and tasteless was amazing. They had potato chips, cookies, salads, and sandwiches. The sandwiches, were amazing. They had a huge variety of sandwiches, ranging from turkey, ham, and vegetarian. All of the sandwiches had meat (except for the vegetarian), lettuce, and tomatoes. The science fair also offered an assortment of condiments, such as ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. Advised by Satish, I created the perfect sandwich. See his blog for more information. Don't even get me started on the cookies. There were chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and sugar cookies. In my opinion, the sugar cookies were the best. They tasted great, not to sugary, and they had the right combination of softness and crunchiness. Unfortunately, they only had one brand of potato chips, Lays potato chips. Although a let down, I looked around to see many others enjoying them. Back to the fair, the keynote speaker was great. I learned a lot about PTSD and it was very informational.

  19. Overall, the science fair was great. The judges were very kind and helpful. The science fair was fun but very long. They had great food. Even though there was an hour delay, the timing was perfect and the science fair finished earlier than expected. The Mock Science Fair helped me prepare for the SCISEF Science Fair. At the Mock Science Fair the students and teachers asked good questions that helped me better my presentation. The students at the science fair were very nice and had very cool projects, especially the two students next to me. Both the Mock Science Fair and the SCISEF Science Fair were great experiences that have bettered me in the science world. They have not only taught me how to present but, they taught me to be confident and have faith in my project no matter what the other students say about my project being easy. The only thing bad was that all the students at the science fair in my school and out were bugging me about the bread that I brought and everyone wanted a peace and wouldn’t leave me alone about it. The science fair was a great experience and one I will remember for a long time.

    Jordan Henck

  20. I usually strongly dislike SCISEF. This year was a bit of an exception. Generally, I preferred Staples compared to the Convent of the Sacred heart where the fair was held, but I must say the sandwiches there were delicious. I enjoyed the judging; I agree, there are ups and downs with only presenting twice, but the judges were very receptive, inquisitive and gave great feedback. I'm eagerly awaiting the judges' feedback sheets. I was a little miffed at seeing all the numerous projects in the "research proposal" category: a lot of them seemed more like an extensive review of literature and other people's work. They would plan out these ideal projects based on the assumption that they would have all the resources they needed without the intention of actually completing the project. I just thought it was pure laziness, though I guess it was okay since research proposals were another category.

  21. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Southern CT Science and Engineering Fair this year as transportation ended up being a huge issue. It was, however, great to hear that several students in the program at Amity won honors from the fair. It is also unfortunate that I had to miss out on Dr. Krystal's presentation; I had been in contact with him a few summers ago regarding a potential project, as I was interested in his work in the field of psychopharmacology. The Mock Science Fair on Friday was a great experience; I was able to informally present my work to curious students and I was able to work on my presentation. I also got some great feedback from teachers and students alike, particularly in the domain of statistical analyses. It was great to see other students' projects as well. Most striking to me was the work of Mr. Eric Zheng, who evaluated EGFR inhibitors for the second time. It was enlightening to look over his poster, hear him present, and offer my own insights into his work. In the future, I hope to print a poster that actually fits on the board that I had purchased - hopefully this will be done in time for the CT Science Fair. I also hope to work on shortening my presentation and keeping things as concise as possible without leaving out critical details.

    - Ishan Sinha

  22. So, I couldn't go to SCISEF, as I had a debate tournament that day. Sadly, the debate tournament was canceled on account of snow that never came...still, I couldn't get a ride to SCISEF anyway (once again, because of the snow that never came). So basically, snow and the American legal system crapped on my weekend's activities.

    BUT, I did attend the Mock Science Fair. It was very interesting how we were able to present to our peers and talk on their level about our project instead of talking to some judge in all technical terms. Plus, I was able to see the posters of others and give feedback to them. That way, I could adjust my own poster in relation to what others have done. Finally, I was able to familiarize myself with the entire judging system with the rubric.

    I think we should make the Mock Science fair more formal, and have actual teachers judging. We could even make our own Science Fair as the years go on.

    I wish I had gone to SCISEF, and I miss the opportunity to present my project. However, I am glad I attented the Mock Science Fair.


  23. I could not attend the Southern Connecticut Invitational Science and Engineering fair but did attend the mock science fair. I waited until 11pm to decide whether or not to attend SCISEF, but after considering that the school did not want to be liable for the transportation and that my mom’s car cannot drive in the snow, my parents and I decided not to go. Unfortunately, it did not snow at all. Regardless, the mock science fair helped me revise my presentation. The advantage to a mock fair is that students can put their plans for presenting into practice and receive immediate feedback. Originally I spent too much time on specific details of my data but learned that a general overview of my data worked better. I also learned to spend more time explaining background information and the significance of my research. The only problem with the mock science fair is that few people stay and listen to a five minute presentation so I experimented by emphasizing parts of my presentation to different people. I would like it if qualified judges came in to see our projects. Also, I would like it if half of the class presented while the other half of the class listened. This would allow us to receive more feedback and see other classmates work. I only received a quick explanation of Ishan’s research and Jen’s research because I had to get back to my poster.

    Justin B

  24. I thought the fair was fairly good overall; I sort of remember it being a bit more efficient last year, or at least it felt that way. I enjoyed hearing feedback about my project, as constructive criticism is always helpful. It was almost exactly as I expected, having been to it twice before.

    My first set of judges at times struck me as less than kindly, and rather overly critical - while constructive criticism is helpful, at some point (the point when you're struggling to think of possible ways to invalidate the presenter's data for the sake of it) it just stops being constructive.

    The food was decent. It wasn't amazingly to my liking, but it was alright.

    That presentation might have been very interesting, except for the minute detail that we were all exhausted from our presenting, so we couldn't really be expected to pay attention.

    I think the mock science fair helped a significant amount, as it helped me refresh on my presentation skills.

    I didn't really feel like I learned anything new about my experiment. Ishan is so awesome. The second set of judges had a decent amount of constructive input, but much of it was stuff I already knew. I had brief looks at other people's projects, but I never got to see any other students present, so none really left all that lasting of an impression on me.

  25. I feel that SCISEF was a good start to this years science fairs. It was definitely exceeded my expectations. I felt that the fair was a great opportunity to practice articulating and presenting my project for future fairs. Presenting at SCISEF also gave me an opportunity to practice answering questions from judges. The judges were generally very friendly and genuinely interested in my project. They gave me positive feedback that gave me more confidence about my project.

    I typically dislike SCISEF, yet this year's fair was far better than ever before. Lunch was quite good and judging definitely seemed more efficient. Typically, judging at SCISEF constitutes a large gap between presentations and a lot of just sitting around, yet this year that was not the case. I also enjoyed the addition of Dr. Krystal's presentation. I feel as though it gave students an opoprtunity to get a feel for research done by professionals.I thought that students' presentations seemed really well done. It was interesting to get an opportunity to see the work of ours peers.

    I feel that the Mock Science Fair was a great preparation for SCISEF. I think it would be especially helpful for first year students who never experienced a fair in the past. The Mock Science Fair gives you a feel for presenting as well as an idea of how to set up your poster for a fair.

    I feel that all in all SCISEF was a great experience!!

  26. I was unable to attend SCISEF due to cancelled transportation. However, I found the Mock Science Fair helpful for future fairs. I particularly enjoyed presenting my poster to teachers and members of the administration as they seemed genuinely interested in my work. However, it was a bit difficult presenting to students because they did not appear interested and just wanted to complete their assignments for their teachers, as I had anticipated. I also enjoyed looking at the work of my peers, as I missed a day of presentations in the classroom. I was particularly impressed with Arian’s project, as I had no idea he was locating quasars and I am very interested in astronomy.
    It was helpful to have teachers look at my work, as they most resembled judges. I was able to practice answering their questions and explaining foreign material to those unfamiliar with my field of study. This will help with future fairs.
    I didn’t necessarily learn anything new about my project, but I became more proud of it after sharing it with others. For future plans, I will try to emphasize the significance of my research.

  27. SCISEF was a conflict with JSA's Winter Congress, means didn't sign up for SCISEF. Lots of snow in DC means no JSA's Winter Congress, means missed SCISEF for no reason. Good sandwhiches at SCISEF means felt regret for not going and getting good sandwhiches at SCISEF. Sandwhich at home was merely adequate; actually it was a tortilla wrap. I also ate other things besides going to SCISEF, such as breakfast cereal, although all cereal is breakfast cereal, so just cereal. Beyond food matters, had I went to SCISEF it would have been a great experience, as was the mock science fair on friday, the day before SCISEF.
    It helped me learn that it is good to give background and methodic information before the conclusion, because most people do not know what "surface avidin presentation on PGLA nanoparticles" is, unless they are scientific researchers in this field, which most people are not. Gregorian Loscalzo's research projeckt left a lasing impression because meta-sequoias makes me think they are like sequoias that practice metacognitive trancendental meditaion. Also, his statistical analysis was very impressive.

    --Thomas J. Mattessich, Esq.

  28. Overall, I believe that SCISEF was an awesome fair this year. One part of the fair that I enjoyed most was how densely concentrated the participants were. Although it was annoying at times, I met a lot of new people, including some students from Convent of the Sacred Heart. Normally, I am very anti-social, especially at science fairs, so this was definitely not something that I had anticipated.

    The judges were down-to-earth and practical, and they really seemed to enjoy hearing what I had to say. I also liked that judging rounds were indicated on your name tag, which meant there was no pointless waiting for judges that won't even arrive for a few hours.

    I didn't utilize the breakfast table too much, but I drank a lot of water as I waited nervously for my judges to arrive. However, I thought that the lunch was delicious. I had a turkey sandwich, some salad, and a few bags of potato chips.

    I certainly enjoyed Dr. Krystal's presentation on PTSD. I actually know him fairly well; his son and I teach tennis clinics together over the summer, so I've talked to Dr. Krystal quite a few times. It was extremely interesting to see the biological aspects of stress, as well as their implications. I particularly liked when he explained the Navy Seals who were puposely "drowned" and the participants reactions. It helped to illustrate the extent to which stress can control an individual and ultimately ruin one's life.

    The Mock Science Fair helped me immensely in preparing for SCISEF, particularly in my presentation skills. In the past, I didn't enjoy presenting too much, but on Saturday, I felt very comfortable in front of the judges. I spoke more confidently than I normally do, and I seemed to have a strong answer to each of their questions. This definitely would not have been possible without all of the preparation.

    The judges were very practical and constructive with their feedback, and they taught me quite a few things about my project. One variable that a judge mentioned was that my participants' BART scores could have been influenced by whether or not they had won their tennis match. This was an aspect of the experiment that I had never considered, and it is certainly something that I will address as one of my project's limitations at the next fair. I didn't have too much time to look at other students' projects other than the ones that were right around me. There were proposal projects on both my left and right side, one of which concerned amphibians' fertilization tendencies while the other sought to discover the effects of premature birth on social factors. These were both extremely interesting, but I thought that the proposal in front of me was the most interesting of them all. It was a computer science project proposal suggesting an entirely new method of constructing computers. Although I did not understand the technical aspects of this project, it seemed like something that could potentially be a breakthrough discovery. However, this led me to question the feasibility of the three projects because they would require a substantially massive amount of funding and materials that would not be accessed easily by the average high school student.

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  30. I wasn't able to go to the fair due to the ACT...which was annoying.

    However, I did have the pleasure of attending Amity's Mock science fair. First off, it seems that knowledge and interest in the program has definitely increased since last year, as the turnout was much greater. I also think that with more students actually enrolled in the course, the variety of projects has also increased. Overall, it was a successful event.

  31. Although I could not make the science fair (due to lack of ride) but i heard great things such as our very own William Dixon winning SECOND PLACE (you go dudeee) any way i can't wait for the next science fair! Best of luck to all!

  32. I was unable to attend SCISEF this year because of the weather. But I thought the mock science fair this year was much better than in past years: this was mostly due to the larger number of people who attended. In the past when only one or maybe two classes came, there were not too many interested students. This time, I thought that everyone was very interactive with their feedback and actually paid attention. The mock science fair was a great run-through for science fairs because you have to be able to explain your project to people who have barely any background in your field, which is always useful when talking to judges. I also thought that the mock science fair was a great practice run while using the poster to present instead of a powerpoint. There are different techniques that you need to use, and sometimes you can be really practiced with a powerpoint but stumble on some aspects of presenting a poster.
    ~ Dave S

  33. Unfortunately, I missed both the mock science fair and SCISEF because I had planned to go to Washington D.C. for a JSA convention. However, due to the several feet of snow, Dr.Britton cancelled our trip and I couldn't go to either events.
    On thursday, I gave my powerpoint presentation and got a lot of great feedback. I realized from personal experience and from the presentations of fellow classmates that keeping the project explanation contained to 5 minutes is very hard. Only 1 or 2 people from our class were actually within the limit while everybody else was well into 7-8 minutes. Hopefully for CT Science fairs, the judges won't be as strict with the time.
    Over the weekend, I finished the final touches of the electronic version of my poster and it's ready to print.

  34. Zelun Wang--

    That was a very good experience. Too bad they canceled the bus, there was no snow. Towards the end I got a little uncomfortable, I had a fever and was sore from standing. Not waiting for my judges, I was done within like half an hour, which was nice, but waiting for david powers' judges. My judging rounds were right next to each other, so they went by fast. Others, who had judging rounds like 2 and 6, were not so fortunate.

    this year I was a lot more confident than last year. I knew what I had to say, expressed it clearly, and I think I presented well. The bad thing is that I did not have enough data to drawn any conclusions. I spoke with Dr. Michael McAlayer, Ms Day's friend, who gave me some critical advice on my project. I learned a lot.

    Props to the freshmen who won things---especially mr Laser. Good job!
    This must have been tough, your first science fair. It gets better. Now you know the format of the fair and know what to expect for Science Horizons and Norwalk, it's basically the same thing.

    Food was.....okay. Not as good as last year but hey free sammich.

  35. I could not attend SCISEF due to transportation problems. However, I strongly believed the 2010 Mock Science Fair to be a more enjoyable experience compared to those of previous years. I believe this is due not only to the large turnout of people who showed up, but to the nature of the students. Although they may not have had to been genuinely interested in my project (having to fill out info sheets about my project), they asked questions which mimiced ones which the science fair judges woudl have asked. I think that this not only improved my feelings towards presenting, but also my skill during presenting. I did not anticipate so many people to go to the mock science fair. The sheer amount of people made it a more active experience.
    Presenting to teachers was also helpful because they provided more constructive criticisms than the studenst. I strongly believe that the mock science fair was an efficeint way to practice presenting for future science fairs. A poster presentation is very different from an oral presentation, and the opportunity to present my project to my peers and teachers provided me much needed practice.

    -Eric Z

  36. I did not attend SCISEF because I was at a Leo Club conference. The Mock Science Fair on Friday was a big success though. I was extremely impressed with the number of people that showed up compared to last year. It almost got a bit hectic with so many people in the room, but the atmosphere was great. Our chemistry class came during period 1, and it was really interesting to hear the Year I students present their projects. I thought they did a great job.

    During my actual period 7 fair, I presented the MRS poster because my actual project poster was printing and I was not going to SCISEF. It was still a great experience, and people were very interested in the team/individual project options that SRP offers. It is really encouraging to know that our peers at school are interested and curious about our hard work and would take the time from their classes to come support us. I saw many of my friends during period 7 and the familiar faces made presenting easier for me.

    I hope that in the future I will be able to attend SCISEF. I have heard many great things about the fair both last year (Staples HS!!) and this year. I'm sure it was a valuable experience for the ones that did get to go.


  37. I really enjoyed the SCISEF Fair this year. I liked the fair though when it was at Staples High School. I felt a bit cramped at this new location. All in all it was a well organized fair. The judging process was great. I felt like it really went by fast because I didn’t have to wait long for the judges. I really liked the group of judges that I had. They were really interested in my project, which allowed me to be more comfortable. The breakfast and lunch was great. It was nice to sit and talk to not only students from our school but also students and teachers from other schools. Dr. John Krystal’s presentation at the end was very interesting. I was really tired on Saturday so I wasn’t fully paying attention to the presentation. Overall though (the pictures and little information that I caught) the presentation was good. It was a topic that I didn’t know a lot about so it was nice to learn something new.
    I felt like the mock science fair helped me prepare well for the science fair. It helped me practice to practice what I was going to say to the judges. It also helped me become more comfortable of speaking to others one on one. I didn’t really learn anything new about my project at the fair because the judges didn’t tell me anything about ways to improve it, but maybe for the next fair I could take my laptop to show the movie of the small colony. I did have some time to look at other students projects. The one that I remember the most is of the girl who was next to me. Her project, I believe, was about diabetes. I liked it because that was a topic that she was really interested in because she did a similar project last year.
    - Yesmien

  38. Unfortunately, I could not attend SCISEF seeing as my parents both work on Saturday and I could not find a ride. Therefore, I will reflect upon my experience during the mock science fair. At first I was overwhelmed by the number of students who attended the mock science fair. In years past we have never had so many other classes come to watch us present. It was also slightly overwhelming because all of the students seemed to come at once and they all crowded around in front of everybody's posters. However, once I got over this initial shock it became easier and easier to present. In addition, in the beginning I was uncertain what the students wanted to hear about my project. I wondered whether I should give a brief synopsis of my experiment or a detailed description of what I did. Overtime I found that students usually wanted enough information so they could understand what I did and what I found in my study. Altogether I found that the mock science fair was a very helpful experience in that it prepared me for the upcoming science fair. The feedback from the students who reviewed my project will help me in the future to decide what to include in my speech and what to leave out. In general the mock science fair was helpful and prepared me for future science fairs. The mock science fair also gave us a chance to look at other students' work which was also helpful.

  39. Overall I found SCISEF to be a really fun science fair. Even though there were only about 140 participants I found many students projects to be very interesting. I particularly enjoyed presenting my project. The first set of judges I had were really nice and suggested some good ways to improve my project.
    This fair did meet my expectations and I it was very similar to what I anticipated because I had attended SCISEF last year as well.As a whole the judging process was not very organized. I was suppost to be judged rounds four and six but they came during round one instead of four. Also being in round six I had to wait for nearly two hours after my first judging. My second set of judges weren't very nice and I don't think they graded me very well.
    The food was okay but I liked Staples food last year better.
    Also I enjoyed Dr. John Krystal's presentation. It was very interesting and he used pictures to explain what he was saying very well. Not only that but I found the mock science fair to be very helpful in preparing me for this fair. Up until this fair I hadn't been able to practice presenting with a poster, so the mock science fair better prepared me. From this fair, I learned that I should include some more pictures in my binder or out on the table to help give the judfes a visual.
    David Powers

  40. I liked the SCISEF Fair because the judges were good and the projects were interesting. It was similar to previous ones because the wait was terrible in between rounds of judging. The judges were very helpful and easy to talk to because they would ask helpful questions and seem interested in the project. Also, I was videotaped during my second round of judging, and that was a fun and new experience. The food was ok, even though the lettuce wasn't that great in the sandwiches. I left before the awards ceremony, so I didn't get a chance to see Dr. John Krystal's presentation. The mock science fair made me gather all my materials together earlier than I would have if we hadn't had it. I didn't really learn anything new about my project, and couldn't look at other projects because I was busy waiting for judges the whole time.

  41. SCISEF was a really good experience, but I didn't like this year's fair as much as I had the past two years. The science fair itself was spectacular; the judges were very nice and everything ran smoothly and very quickly. The bagels and juice for breakfast were very nice, and the sandwich lunches were great also (it was very considerate for them to offer veggie sandwiches). However, the location was disappointing. Staples High School was a bit more suitable for hosting a science fair. Firstly, the fact that Sacred Heart was in Greenwich and the bus was cancelled made transportation very long and iconvenient for my grumpy parents. Secondly, at the fair, the posters were very close together, and there was almost no room to walk when the judges were out judging. Thirdly, poster presenters were not able to sit- and for those that were waiting for a long time, that was extremely difficult to bear (especially in heels). Finally, the temperature that day was extremely cold, and the gym was very chilly- and everyone had to walk outside from building to building for different events. The location was fairly inconvenient, but SCISEF, overall, was a fantastic experince (as usual).

    The judging process was terrific. The judges weren't very picky about time; I saw some judges timing, but they did not obnoxiously cut you off or anything while you were presenting. Also, although I heard many students commenting that their judges were so much nicer than previous years, I cannot agree completely. None of the judges were mean in particular, but there were some judges with facial expressions that made me anxious. But overall, the judges were very halpful. They asked me questions that made me go deeper into my project- not questions that tried to tear my research apart. They really gave me some good insight and advice.

    Dr. John Krystal's presentation was very interesting. It really made me think about the terrible traumatic stresses that people such as soldiers face. Dr. Krystal also incorporated some amusing images to engage the listeners. However, I think that Dr. John Krystal might have been able to be a little more enthusiastic and engaging, himself. The presentation was also a bit long. Besides a couple negative factors, Dr. Krystal's presentation was wonderful.

    The Mock Science Fair was extremely helpful in prepping me for the real fair. It gave me a chance to really put together my thoughts for presenting, and it gave me a clear picture of how I will have to present for the judges. Also, the feedback that I received from my mock judges was helpful as well.

    I learned that my project was "not science," according to some bystanders that were commenting how social sciences did not count as science. That is incredibly insulting, not to just me and the other students that worked incredibly hard on their projects, but also to the real scientist with degrees such as psycologists and epidemiologists that dedicate their entire lives to helping people through research. I would consider anyone that incorporates the scientific method to be a scientist; some people should be more considerate and open-minded.
    But on a postitive note, I learned about ways that I can improve my project. I could compare cognitive function and online social networking between senior citizens that live at home and those that live in retirement homes. I also have to work on explaining the whole 'cause vs. correlation' aspect of my project.
    I was not able to look at other peoples' projects very thoroughly, but the project that I thought was particularly interesting, but yet understandable, was the Apples project, done by one of our own Amity students. He really deserved to win!! (His poster was also very attractive as well.)

    SCISEF was fun~~ and those that missed it, truly missed out!! :)

  42. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the SCI SEF Science Fair due to prior plans of attending the Junior State of America’s Northeast Winter Congress. Not until the Friday was it announced 6 hours before the trip that the trip to Washington D.C. would be canceled, thus freeing up the day for the SCI SEF fair. However, due to a lack of registration, I was still unable to attend. However, the cancellation of the Winter Congress Convention allowed me to attend the mock science fair before SCI SEF.
    If I attended SCI SEF, the mock science fair allowed me to get into the rhythm of presenting my board. The more I presented my board, the clearer my presentation became. Who doesn’t say that practice makes perfect? The mock science fair also helped me improve specific parts of my presentation. For example, at the mock science fair, I realized how important the literature review part of your presentation was. At first, I ignored that part of the presentation putting it off as superficial, before realizing how important it actually. The literature review is the backbone of your experiment. Without it your experiment ceases to exist. I can definitely improve on this segment of my presentation by talking more about the basis of my research.

  43. As my first science fair ever, I would not say that Saturday was one of my best days. For starters, I arrived about… forty minutes after nine o’clock. I missed the breakfast, so I can’t say anything about that. Although, people say it was just bagels. But since this was my first, I had no expectations. My only thoughts were to learn what types of projects other people had and the level of sophistication needed in order to win/place. (And I sure had a taste of the latter when the only winning title within my comprehension boundaries was “sail or fail.”)

    When I came “walking quickly, but not running to prevent from attracting the judges’ attention” into the poster/presentation room, the first round of judging had just begun. Nervously—and a whole lot confused—I looked down at my name tag. Then breathed. Luckily, my turn to present was not until the 2nd round.

    The first three judges were nice, presumably. I don’t know the actual score they gave me, but after my presentation, one of the females bent over to pat my shoulder and tell me that I did well… So either I looked really nervous in front of her (and she did this to console me) or she genuinely enjoyed my presentation. (Hopefully, the latter was true.)

    The next set of judges (all males, I would like to point out in a non-feminist, non-biased way) were strict. And everything went downhill from there. Before we even shook hands, one of them told me I was trapped in the way back corner—apparently the worst spot in his opinion. Good-humoredly, I replied back, “Well, if there’s a fire, I’ll be the first one out!” After my presentation, one judge was so fastidious with his comments, telling me I left this and that and those variables uncontrolled. Then, the judge standing next to him went on further to defame the integrity of my project, saying, “basically, what I’ve learned from your project is that everybody should pinch their noses when going to the bathroom.”

    Well, looking back, I think the second round of judging actually told me a lot that I didn’t realize before. For instance, my experiment was simply measuring the amount of bacteria that settled onto the petri dishes, not a great indicator of the concentration of bacteria in the air. Also, somebody pointed out that if air circulation in the different rooms were varied, then that would affect the amount of bacteria that landed onto my plates. I guess I’m glad for that round of strict judges because they taught me a lot about the validity of my project—despite that my scoring must have been sabotaged at that point.

    Food: edible… healthy-ish… I’m satisfied. Since food is generally appealing to me, I found it pretty good. I actually greatly enjoyed my roasted vegetable sandwich, even though most people thought it tasted gross.

    The presentation: it started out very nice. I was excited at the beginning. Then slowly, progressively, my interest rate diminished until all I could do was observe the presentation skills of Dr. Krystal instead of the actual content of his speech. About ten minutes into the presentation, a fellow science-researcher on my right fell asleep. Then the fellow researcher on my left fell asleep. And I was sandwiched between two people with their heads down. Funny scenario, now that I recall it.

    If truth be told, I think our in-class presentations were more helpful than our mock science fair. During the mock science fair, mostly people from my grade came, and hence I knew these people. Plus, they didn’t carry around ominous grading sheets, so I was under no pressure at all talking about my project with them. During class, though, every time I stared ahead, pink rubric sheets would pop out.