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.

Monday, February 22, 2010

2010 Science Horizons Fair

Please reflect on the following (200 - 250 words):

What was your overall impression of the Science Horizons 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? How did this years Science Horizons fair compare to previous Science Horizons fairs OR how did it compare to this years SCISEF Fair?

What was the judging process like? Were the judges fair and helpful? For those of you who were finalists, what was the second round of Judging like? Did you enjoy Dr. Thomas A. Lonergan's keynote presentation on Stem Cell biology? Explain.

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 your current preparation and anticipation for the upcoming fair(s). In particular, which fair(s) will you attend and what, specifically, are you looking forward to? What are you doing to prepare yourself fully for these events?


  1. I was not a participant in the Science Horizons competition- instead, I am diligently preparing myself for the CT Science Fair and the Norwalk Science Fair. Over break I worked on my poster. Well, I took the design to Kinko's and they printed it onto the posterboard. I also printed my full research report the week before break(for the mock science fair) and organized them into a folder. Instead of attending the fair this past weekend, I saw George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic perform at Toads, ate french fries at Johnny Rocket's, and went to the movies. Fear not- come this weekend, I will be working on fine-tuning my presentation in case I am called back for the final round of judging. I look very forward to discussing my project with judges in the coming months.

    -Ishan Sinha

  2. I thought that Science Horizons was a generally good experience. I thought that the fair was well organized and efficient. My dad said that registration was relatively simple and easy. Judging also seemed to be quick. As opposed to long waits, judging was done and over with very quickly. Although the fair was a largely positive experience, I was a bit discouraged by the feedback I received from judges. My three judges asked minimal questions and gave only feedback commending my resources and research and well as my application of the scientific method. I just wish that I could have recieved some sort of constructive criticism as opposed to just a complacent smile.

    Through the course of my presentations, I noted a few things that I could improve for future presentations. I think that I can embed my motivation for my study into my presentation as opposed to waiting for judges to ask that as a question. Furthermore, as I presented I found clearer and more effective ways of presenting my statistical analysis.

    If I remember correctly this year's fair was significantly larger than the fair back in freshmen year. I was impressed by the great work done by my peers. I was particularly impressed by a project next to me that was about cancer cells and another about the crossbreeding of pumpkins.

    All in all, I am very happy that I went to Science Horizons. I think it was beneficial to my overall presentation.

  3. My overall impression of the Science Horizons Science Fair was generally positive. I enjoyed the opportunity to see other students' projects. On a related note, I lamented the fact that I only had ample opportunity to view the projects nearest to mine. I had been to Science Horizons before, so I in large paart knew what to expect, and it therefore lived up to my expectations in the fullest sense of te term. SCISEF was more lagging on and drawn out, or at least it felt that way at the time.

    The first judge was entirely apathetic to my presentation and showed little to no interest in actually being there as a judge of a science fair. The second judge was a bit more engaged, but asked next to no questions and seemed to have his interest taper off at the end. The third and final judge to whom I presented was a great deal more enthusiastic, and much more engaged and interested in my presentation.

    I didn't really feel like I recieved all that much constructive fedback from any of my judges -- not even the third one, who, as I mentioned previously, was far from disinterested, unlike the other two. Even though I didn't make it as a finalist, I still feel like my project was adequately put together, and my presentation felt coherent. I did have the opportunity to take a look at the projects which were at least somewhat adjacent to my own, but unfortunately none were particularly remarkable: there were two moldy bread projects right near mine that were right next to each other, and neither looked, well, amazing.

    -Gregory Loscalzo

  4. Justin B
    I did not participate in Science Horizons. I will be attending the CT Science Fair instead. During the fair I was on a cruise. I went to Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. During the cruise I ate a lot of food. My favorite meal consisted of four lobster tails, 28 shrimp, broccoli, carrots, and desert. I also had snails for the first time which tasted surprisingly good. In Belize I went snorkeling. They took us 30 miles from the shore to an island where we snorkeled for a couple of hours.
    In order to prepare for the CT Science Fair, Norwalk Science Fair, and Symposium, I am modifying my poster presentation. I will focus less on specific data. Instead, I will spend more time on why people burn motor oil, briefly describe the main parts of an internal combustion engine that are effected by burning used motor oil, explain environmental effects of heavy metals, describe procedure in greater detail, and mention lack of residue after combustion (most of pollutants become airborne). I will also try burning motor oil and diesel in an alumina ceramic bowl, as suggested by my mentor Dr. Thomas Fleming. This will tell me which metals leave the engine and pollute the environment.

  5. my entire post just got deleted....
    Science Horizons is one of the science fairs that I particularly enjoy. It’s pretty informal compared to other fairs, especially SCISEF. Also, I feel like the judges at Science Horizons value originality and creativity more than other fairs. Unlike other fairs where the projects with the long, esoteric, and scientific projects always win, Science Horizons awards those who have soundly practiced the scientific method and conducted original research, even if it doesn’t seem very impressive.
    Case in point; there was one project that was measuring reflective heat of roofing tiles or something. The student had used a simple calorimeter to measure heat given off and absorbed as well as some more math that detailed other things that went beyond the normal scope of something that would otherwise resemble a chemistry problem. His board was lackluster, his title and project promise purely adequate, but he got 1st place and a special award because he had found a simpler way to do things.
    This year, I felt that the fair was much larger than usual. However, I was frankly amazed at how many judges volunteered (150). In freshmen year, I had about 10 judges in final around; this year it was five. It was actually kind of enjoyable and useful because I got to practice my presentation so much.
    I enjoyed the keynote presentation a lot; Lonergan gave a very, very comprehensive and brief overview of a topic that has a lot of significance within the scientific community and definitely has the potential to affect many people. Honestly, I didn’t know much about stem cell research, only that it was controversial, but I came away convinced of necessity of stem cell research while seeing that many of the rumors about the research were unsubstantiated. In fact, a lot of the research he was talking about with mitochondria echoed stuff I had talked about with a researcher I will probably be working with over the summer, and so perhaps I have an idea for next year already.

  6. Instead of attending SciHorz, this break I continued to work on my preparations for CSF. I completed the final version of my poster and will print it in the near future, I predict. I look forward to these fairs. [Read witha Sco'ish accent, ay?]

    -Thomas Mattessich

  7. Overall, Science Horizons was a great fair. Specifically, I enjoyed the fair's more "laid-back" atmosphere and the judges' kindness. This year's fair was very similar to SCISEF, but there were not any refreshments (for non-finalists), and the judging process was extremely different.

    Unlike SCISEF where the judges came in two groups of three, Science Horizons featured three different judges that visited invidually. I had some really enjoyable discussions with the judges. However, I felt that they were less experienced than the SCISEF judges. For example, one of the judges did not know what a P value is, which is a term with which most scientists are familiar. Also, none of the judges looked closely at the poster or even opened the journal, research paper, articles, or surveys. These were items that the SCISEF judges analyzed very closely.

    I learned several important things from the judges' feedback. One of them asked me whether or not I had conducted any statistics concerning one of my surveys, and I was unable to provide that. My mentor is a bit busy for now, but I know that I'll need to meet with him to conduct another statistical analysis prior to the Norwalk Science Fair. I did have some time to view the other projects while registering. Most of them concerned plants, but there was a physical project that will probably last with me the most. The project's purpose was to condense Einstein's theory of relativity into a manner that is more easily understood. However, this did not actually include any sort of new research; it was basically just a list of summaries from scholarly literature on relativity. I was actually walking with Arian when we saw it; he immediately renounced it as pretentious and useless. Arian also noted that he had read nearly all of the literature listed in the poster's "Works Cited" section. That is a memory of this year's fair that I will not forget any time soon.

  8. I thought the fair was very crowded and had a lot fo diverse projects. Some projects were pretty abysmal, while others were very high class. Additionally, there was no room to sit, so I got tired very quickly. Next year, I definently have to bring in a chair and a book to keep me entertained in the meantime. The judges were nice, and actually made you less miserable to be there. It was still very tiring by the end of the day.

    The second round of judges was pretty much the same. I actually got a judge that I had two years prior, and she recognized me and my project. The lecture on stem cell biology was interesting and I learned new things about it that I had not known before. Still, I wish there was an astronomy lecture instead.

    I learned new things about my ANOVA and how I have to fix my degrees of freedom. Some of the other projects were interesting. There was one that summarized general relativity, although it did not do any actual experimentation.

    All in all, the fair was fun but tiring. I met new friends and liked the experience overall.

    - Arian

  9. I loved this year’s Science Horizon’s Fair. Specifically, I enjoyed the fact that I won 1st place and the American Psychological Association special award. Lol- but really, the fair itself was not the best of the ones that I attended. To begin, the registration process was extremely unpleasant. When I arrived at Berkshire Hall, the line of people waiting to get registered went out the door. I waited outside in the cold and windy day for about 20 minutes before I got to go inside. However, when I got inside, I realized that there was a lot of room in the hall, and ropes could have been used to allow a curving line, so that everyone could have been able to stay inside.
    The area for the presentations/judging was not ideal as well. The posters were far too close to each other. However, there was a whole row that was completely empty of posters. And the aisles were too narrow. In aisles where everyone had a chair, walking through was extremely difficult. Also, because there were so many people all clustered together, hearing yourself and the judges was extremely difficult. Also, the experience was more difficult for me because I did not bring a chair, and I was wearing heels, so yes- I was in pain.
    I really liked the fact that the judges came around individually. This allowed for a more personal one-on-one presentation than when presenting to three judges at a time. The judges were all extremely nice and offered many positive and helpful comments and questions. The second round of judging was a little more nerve-wracking. However, the judges were still extremely helpful and encouraging. And for me, they were all much more enthusiastic. The keynote presentation about Stem Cell research was extremely interesting and helpful as well. Dr. Thomas A. Lonergan explained very clearly what stem cells were; pre-school students that can be molded into whatever you want by sending them to the right college. He made me understand exactly what he was talking about, and what the controversies about stem cell research were about.
    I learned a lot about my project. I learned that I have to explain more about WHY my project is so important and relevant. Also, I learned about the whole correlation/causation aspect about my project. One judge gave me very helpful advice about how I can find out causation by expanding my project to a long-term study, changing one of my variables. This helped me very much in my presentation to the other judges.
    My favorite project other than mine at the fair was the project about the pumpkins that won the overall award in the biological section. I actually had a chance to talk to the student while we were waiting for judges in the second round. And I had thought that his project was really interesting and worthy of a great award. He was enforcing the whole “organic” eating trend that is very popular these days.

  10. I did not attend the the science fair this weekend. Instead i worked out with the baseball team, then i went and took batting practice at a batting cage on the post road. After this i babysat my brother over saturday night. However sunday was a lot more active for me. I worked out and then hit at the cages again. After that i went to a friends house where we set up his blue ray player and then we watched iron man and played ping pong. As the Ct science fair is coming up i submitted my abstract to the fair's website (it was a little late). Also i have mad improvements to my poster including calculations about cost efficiency. Also sunday night i got called into the fire department for an activated fire alarm... however this was a dud and there was no call. WAIST OF TIME. over all i had a productive and fun vacation.

  11. Zelun---

    I did not attend the Science Horizons Fair, but I hear good things about our students. Congratulations to those who earned honors, and for those who did not, I am sure it was a unique experience. Last year, I remember that I was chosen for the semi-finals and spent about 7-8 hours at the school. It was worth it though, by the end I had my oral presentation down. Over break, I caught up on a lot of sleep and studying that I had neglected in preparation for the SCISEF fair. I got a late start on my research, so I spend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the lab with my yeast strains, which weren't growing. I also went to swim practice and had a meet against North haven High School. I am preparing for the JSHS and the CT Science Fair. I still have some data collection and analysis to do, and I must submit an abstract by March 1st to the CT Science Fair website. I have revised the procedures for my research and now will hopefully get better results. I will also need to revise my poster and paper, and perhaps print out a copy on a large poster.

  12. I did not attend the Science Horizons Fair. Over the course of the February break, I was visiting family in Florida. I had fun not swimming in the cold weather (one night it was only 40°F!), and catching birds when I went fishing. Yes… Birds.
    During the Saturday of the Science Horizons Fair, I was on my way back from Florida in a minivan with 5 people and 2 dogs for most of the day, and that night (less than an hour after I got back), I went to a party. There was food, rock band, and twister, so it was fun.
    Sunday I spent sleeping, recuperating from my tiresome trip, and catching up on procrastinated work. But all of that was less of a priority to me than watching more LOST, which by the way is a great show.
    I have opted to attend the CT Science Fair this year instead of the Science Horizons Fair, because I did Science Horizons last year and I want to experience different things. I will also attend the Norwalk Science Fair, which I have also not attended yet. My level of preparation at this point is good. I have much more confidence in the quality of my research, my science fair poster, and my ability to present the information this year than last I had last year. In order to more fully prepare myself for these fairs, I have practiced presenting to other people, adjusted my presentation to completely satisfy the judge’s rubrics, taken the advice given by peers on my presentation, and reviewed science fair websites to see what must be done to excel in the fairs.

  13. I did not attend the Science Horizons fair. Instead I relaxed and spent my time watching TV. and doing homework. On Saturday however I did attend a horse show in Holyoke, Massachusetts. It was interesting. The riders rode around on the horses for about five minutes and then the judges judged them. I learned what the judges were looking for as well as how to make a horse do what you want. For example, I learned that the horse should walk deep into the corners. I also stayed to watch the awards ceremony and saw all of the different ribbons that were awarded.
    Soon I will be dropping my poster off at the Connecticut Science fair and attending the Norwalk Fair. I am looking forward to the Norwalk science fair because I like how it is a small fair and a good environment. In order to prepare for these science fairs I am going over what I will say about my speech. More specifically, I am working on refining my procedure so it isn’t as long and confusing. I am also reviewing my lab report and looking for grammatical mistakes and ways to refine it. In addition, I am cleaning my poster up a bit to make it look nicer.

  14. I did not attend the fair. Instead I got up late and ate a full breakfast with my family of eggs and bacon. After that, my Dad, my sister, and I all went to the bowling alley, because I wanted to bowl to warm up for my hockey game later that day. We bowled a lot of games, and went and got ice cream after we were done. The bus did not leave from the school until 5:00 pm, so I was able to eat a steak and cheese as well as Ramen noodles before my game. Finally, I left for my game and we won again, so our record is 15-1-1. After that I went home and stayed up late watching the Olympics. On Sunday, I had hockey practice, and afterwards I watched to Olympic hockey games (Russia vs. Czech Republic, U.S.A. vs. Canada).
    Last week I completed collecting reaction times for my experiment, and I am currently updating my abstract and poster presentation to fit this new data, although nothing interesting happened, because nothing changed. I am looking forward to going to both the Connecticut Science Fair and the Norwalk Science Fair. I won last time at the Norwalk Science Fair and I like their judging system, so I am looking forward to that, and I like the set up for the Connecticut Science Fair.

  15. I really enjoyed Science Horizons this year. The location was great and there were many projects this year, more than I expected. The people around me had really interesting projects. This girl who was across from me came from New York and her project was about horses and why they eat dirt. I thought it was pretty interesting. The food was great too this year. This year’s fair definitely exceeded my expectations. This year I feel like there were a larger number of projects which made the fair more interesting than last year. I liked the judging process at this fair because you only had one judge each time. I felt more connected to and more comfortable with one judge. The judges weren’t really helpful because they had never heard of the creatures that I worked with so they seemed a bit confused at times. In total I had eight judges. Out of those I felt like only two of them really understood my project. The second round of judging was faster than the first. I had one judge after another! Dr. Lonergan’s presentation was really interesting. He was a great speaker so it was easy to understand the topic he was speaking about. Like I said there were a lot of interesting projects but the most memorable were the two next to me, one was about horses and the other was about stress. I kept hearing their projects over and over again, so I had no choice but to become interested in them!

  16. Overall Science Horizons was not my favorite science fair. Even so, the fair was still enjoyable. What I found most enjoyable was looking at other projects. I found many of the student's projects very interesting.
    As a whole the fair did meet my expectations but it was different from what I had expected. In particular the system of judging was different than that of SCISEF. In SCISEF each student was judged two times by groups of three judges. Unlike this system of judging, in Horizon's each student was judged three to four times by single judges. In a way it seemed easier to present to one person rather than three. Also I found the judges to be very unhelpful. None of my judges gave me any criticism and one of them didn't even let me present, they just asked me questions. Not only that, but unlike SCISEF there were not waves of judges, instead the judges just came randomly. This seemed unorganized and caused many of the students around me to miss one of their judges.
    As stated I did not receive much feedback about my project but from the feedback that I had received I learned that I should spend more time discussing the results of my project and showing the graphs rather than spending so much time describing my background. Also I do not remember the names of any projects specifically but there were many that seemed like very good project ideas.

  17. I did not attend science horizons because I plan on attending CT Science Fair in March. CT Science Fair will be my first competition because I missed SCISEF due to JSA conflictions. Over the weekend, I slept a lot. On Saturday night, I went to Sushi Palace with friends to celebrate a friend’s 1 year anniversary of his license. He can now legally drive his friends without any consequences. On Sunday, I worked at my job for the entire day. Since it is tax season, he has to file client’s tax forms. I help him by compiling his client’s forms and scanning and making copies of their entire returns. It feels good to get paid after a whole days of work :D
    To prepare for the CT Science Fair, I finished my electronic version of my poster and sent it to Yale to print. They printed a proof, or smaller version of my poster, for me to look over and edit for mistakes and errors. I reviewed it, found a couple mistakes and sent it back on PDF form for the final printing. I expect to receive my full poster by the middle to the end of this week. I also updated a little of my paper after talking it over with my mentor. My binder is all compiled and complete and I plan on rehearsing my oral presentation once the fair gets a little closer. Two weeks ago when I stayed after for the gallery walks, I gave my 1st oral presentation to a group of teachers and that was really good preparation.

  18. I did not attend Science Horizons because I plan on attending the Connecticut Science Fair later in the year. Instead, this weekend I had an interview for the University of Connecticut Combined Program in Medicine. I visited the facilities and was surprised at how open they were to allowing students to use their research. The research opportunities and the encouragement from the faculty was the main attraction to this program. I feel that research is essential in becoming a doctor and the research facilities would best help in nurturing the problem solving mindset which is essential in becoming a doctor.
    Also, the UCONN JSHS was a fair which I used in my essay for this program. I believe that having a more intimate knowledge from the tours at these fairs gave me an advantage in applying for this program. I had a deeper connection with the school. I am extremely excited for the UCONN JSHS fair. It has always been one of my favorites and always proved to be a good time. I truly believe that my experiences at these fairs and at presenting my work will contribute to my ultimate goal of becoming a physician.

    -Eric Zheng

  19. I did not attend the Science Horizons fair. As I did not go to SCISEF either, I still have not gone to a fair yet this year. Instead, this weekend I stayed at home and watched a ton of the Olympics. I have never gone to Science Horizons, so I have no idea what it’s like beyond the pictures. I was also pretty upset that I wasn’t able to go to SCISEF because that is usually my favorite fair. I like the structure of the schedule there because we seem to always be busy with judges and are always close to each other.
    In a way, science research is like the Olympics. Everybody from different places is extremely competitive and vying for the prize when the games are on, but we are all very supportive of each other and interested in each others’ successes. For this reason, I chose to watch the Olympics all weekend to remind me of how awesome Amity SRP is.
    ~ Dave S

  20. I did not attend the Science Horizons fair this weekend, but congrats to everyone who did well! It was a great fair last year, and I am sad I could not participate in it this year. I am currently busily preparing for JSHS and CT Science Fair in two weeks. During the break, I finalized my data with statistical analyses - linear regression. I made a second version of my electronic poster and met with my mentor to discuss finalizing and printing it. My mentor was very helpful and provided me with high resolution detailed maps of the Cove River site that I put in the center of the poster. I emailed the final version to him and the poster should be ready to pick up in a week. =) I am looking forward to supporting the JSHS oral presenters on Friday after school. JSHS should be a great experience over the two days. I am really excited to hear the other oral presentations and poster presentations and to tour the labs at UConn. Connecticut Science Fair should be great as well. I remember volunteering there last year, and the setup and projects looked great. Once I get my poster back, I will be practicing my presentations with the actual poster.


  21. Armed with parking directions scribbled in blue-and-black ink on my palm, I stepped out of the car on Friday night. A surprisingly plain and rather unimpressive campus view greeted my eyes. So this is Western Connecticut State University looks like?
    Luckily, a smaller campus meant quicker navigation to the sign-in hall. I checked my watch: 6:57. Only three minutes until official “tardy” consideration. Thus, who would expect so many people to suddenly show up at last minute—or rather last three minutes—of signing in? The wait line was rather long with most people looking around my age, and therefore less intimidating than the participants of Scisef.
    After an extensive sizing check of posters with somebody asking, “You have no name? Are you sure? No school name? No personal name? No family name?” about ten times, I finally placed my poster into the room. Judging by my project number, 5124, I knew there was going to be a lot of people.
    The next morning required enormous effort to just “rise and shine” to make the bus. I arrived on time (unlike someone, who was in the position I’m usually in), and stepped in the exact same room, reaching my poster.
    My first judge was kind and seemed generally interested, but also seemed rather novel in judging. The only comment I remember is, “Wow, you seem to have taken this a lot further than what’s normally taught in biology classes.” Positive feedback, I assume.
    So I’m waiting and waiting for the second judge to come, but he doesn’t. Then I go to blow my nose in the bathroom, and guess what? He comes. Now I have to apologize for stopping my overflow of mucous before it could become publicly visible in a sneeze. However, the comments at the end were positive. The only recommendation was to put my two graphs on one scale.
    My third judge, according to Danielle, who’d just previously had him, was “creepy.” But, he commented that my project was very “thoroughly planned and conducted.” Positive again, I think.
    So, if you (the three judges, not you, Ms. Day) are not going to give me any negative comments and/or significant recommendations for the future, at least give me a good score so that I can be a finalist… (harrumphs on the inside). Oh well. I guess the main problem with my project is that there’s no benefit to the society. Now I know this for next year.

  22. Over vacation, I did not attend Science Horizons. Instead, I went on a trip to Puerto Rico with my family and family friends. We stayed at a remote hotel on the west coast of the island. Aside from the hotel, it almost felt like being on a deserted island. We went swimming in the ocean every day. One night, we took a boat out to a bioluminescent bay. In the bay lived a certain kind of plankton that actually glowed and sparkled (due to some chemical reaction from eating a certain plant). We went swimming in the water and every where we disturbed the water the plankton lit up. Although I never saw one, we heard manatees in the water nearby. It was an unforgettable experience.

    I will be attending the CT Science Fair and Norwalk Science Fair. I am editing my poster and paper as I continue to collect more data. This week, I plan on going into the lab many times to calculate the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory. I am hoping to go into the final rounds of the CT Science Fair and am looking forward to the Norwalk Fair, which has a very comfortable and intellectual environment. For these fairs, I will practice presenting my poster in a concise and clear manner.

  23. My overall impression of the Science Horizons Fair was that it was too crowded but took a good approach at judging. The fair met my expectations and was a great science fair to go to. It was so well organized. I personally liked how one judge came to you at a time. They each brought their own opinion on the experiments and the presenter really got to have a one on one experience with the judge. In my opinion the way they judged was much better than groups of judges like the SCISEF fair. I anticipated this science fair to be judged in groups although I did expect a lot of people and there were a ton of projects and students. There were also finalists in the Science Horizons Fair. The second round of judging was not any different than the first round except you had more judges. I enjoyed Dr. Thomas A. Lonergan's keynote presentation on Stem Cell biology. It was interesting that after four years he was able to find out a little bit of facts of the mitochondria. I learned that I should have possibly actually tested a microbial fuel cell without any apples in the anode chamber. I should have also done a water density test with the gram scale to really see how accurate the scale was. I thought this science fair was very interesting and I am glad to have made it to the finals.

  24. My overall impression of the Science Horizons Fair was that it was overcrowded and a little unorganized. On Friday when we had to drop off our posters they should have had a better system worked out because some people were there for 45 minutes. And when we had to find out whether or not we were a finalist, we had to get in a huge line and just look up at a paper with our numbers on it. I think they should have found another way to do it. The fair did not meet my expectations, it was my first fair and I was expecting everyone to have their own table and to have more space. The judges that interviewed me were helpful and although some judges were hard on the students and ripped their projects apart, my judges were nice and fair. I had four judges and all of them seemed interested in my project. I had one judge that had a hard time understanding how I made the composite pictures at first, so when presenting I should make sure I am explaining it fully. I did have some time to view other projects; one that left a lasting impression was the blood splatter pattern project. I enjoyed the science fair but it grew a bit boring because after I was judged by four judges I had nothing else to do and I was done being judged within the first hour and a half.

  25. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the CT Science Horizons Fair. I was also unable to attend the previous science fair, SCISEF, as well. In order to make up for this lack of experience I will be volunteering at the CT Science Fair. While volunteering at this event, I will look at science fair projects that were selected to go to the most prestigious science fair. I can observe these projects and use elements in the project that I like and add them to my own poster. Since the posters sent to the CT Science Fair are created mostly by student researchers that have a more complicated and in-depth poster than mine, I can learn immense amounts of knowledge on how your board should truly look, and even possible future research. After hearing stories of extravagant and ground-breaking projects, my poster sounds too simple and not as complicated. I think if I change the title to something much more intellectual, then my poster sounds more interesting. Also the organization of my data and presentation of it could be improved. I am hoping to test these improvements at the Norwalk Science Fair. Hopefully I can use the volunteering to improve my knowledge on posters in general.

  26. Elliad Dagan
    The science fair was a very good experience for me. I enjoyed hanging out with my friends as I waited for the judges to come and ask us questions. The science fair did meet all of my expectations that there were the kinds of projects that I expected. It was similar to what I expected in that the judges were exactly what I expected to find at a science fair (older scienctests who had much experience in many different fields) but I was surprised that so many people were forced into such a small area. The only science fair that I have ever been too was the mock science fair and the difference between them was largely that the mock science fair was much more lax and much more fun. The judging process could be very uncomfortable at times however it was still a good experience. The judges did not seem very fair and they were not helpful at all. I learned a lot about my project and I have realized that if I speak much clearer and more sophisticated to the judges I may be scored higher. I did have lasting impression from a project and that was the project in which the poster was much larger than the rest of the posters and that was the project on ticks.

  27. Dan Grober
    I did not go to either SCISEF or Science Horizons Fair. Both days, unfortunately, fell on the days of really important wrestling meets. At Science Horizons this weekend I had the most important meet of the year, LLs. LLs is the feeder tournament for State Opens which feeds for New Englands and Nationals. Even though I did not do very well, it was important for me to go and support my teammates. The Norwalk Science Fair is coming up soon though and I need to prepare for this fair. My plan is to look over my improvements from the mock science fair and practice presenting my poster. I am also planning on helping out behind the scenes at the CT Science Fair on March 9th. This will help me see what the judges are looking for in presentations and I might even see someone rehearse their presentation. The students going to this fair are some of the best in Connecticut, so seeing them present will give me a baseline to compare my presentation against when practicing it. I am looking forewords to future science fairs, and I want to see how I do now that I am hearing how great my fellow classmates have done.

  28. I really enjoyed the Science Horizons Fair. I loved presenting to the judges, and enjoyed meeting the other participants and looking at their projects. The fair exceeded my expectations. I never expected so many people to be there! In preliminary judging, the fair was quite crowded. I was actually somewhat relieved when the gym cleared out for final judging. I thought the judging process was very fair. The judges were nice and asked good questions about my project. All judges, preliminary and final, were helpful and made constructive suggestions for improving my poster. However, I noticed that in the final judging round, many judges seemed to be in a rush. This actually helped me to meet the time limitations of my presentation. I learned more about improving my project from the other finalists’ posters. For example, I noticed that many posters had a limitations section. I am going to add this section to my poster by next fair. One project that left a lasting impression on me was a finalist across the aisle from me. He did a project on the relationship between human interaction and seal behavior. I listened to him present, and he was able to answer all questions well. He ended up winning 2nd place. On Sunday, I enjoyed the awards ceremony. The presentation on stem cell research was a bit tedious, however, especially as I was waiting for awards to be given out.
    -Aaron O'Neill

  29. Peter Satonick

    The Science Horizon Science Fair was a great educational experience. I enjoyed the judging process the most because I felt that the judging process was quick compared to the SCISEF Science Fair. This fair met my expectations because I felt that this fair would be less intense than the SCISEF Fair. Truly, this aspect of the fair was correct because some students participating in the fair were wearing jeans and t-shirts. The Science Horizon Science Fair was much different than the SCISEF Fair because of the attire of the participants and the quickness of the judging process. The judging process was very quick and each judging wave had only one judge that you had to present your poster to. The judges were very nice and helpful as they provided me with information on how I could improve my project for the next science fair. One judge suggested that instead of using music, I should use drum beats in my experiment to measure the speed of the tempo of the music. After my four judging waves were over, I did have time to view other participants’ project. Some projects were simpler than the projects at the SCISEF Science Fair. Also, I noticed that Aaron O’Neill’s project was very similar to mine. This could have had an effect on the judges’ views on my project. As you can see, the Science Horizon Science Fair was a wonderful experience.

  30. My overall impression of the Science Horizons Fair was that it was very informative and was an overall good fair. But, one thing was that there were much younger students here and the population of senior students was much less than the junior population. The SCISEF fair was invitational and also contained many more complicated and complex projects unlike this fair where it ranged from starting projects to projects that could compete on the SCISEF and higher science fair levels.
    The judging process was much less intimidating than SCISEF because of the judges not being in groups. They were in single groups and they were much easier on the projects instead of trying to pull apart the project. I learned many things from the judge because they were really good at critiquing the projects without giving harmful advice. Taco Bell was a lot of fun and the food was very good. I ordered a mouth watering Bacon Cheesy Potato Burrito along with a Mexican Pizza. The food was very good overall and I think that I would love to go back to Taco Bell again. Science Horizons was a great Science Fair and I would love to go back next year.

  31. The science fair was different than I expected at the fair, only 3 judges came to judge us and it was very long. Also, since I came early on Friday to drop off my poster so I had to be in the back where it was a tight space and you could not walk through. The students next to me had very interesting projects. One was about the left and right brain and how well you memorize shapes and words. This was cool because it could be used to help understand how people learn and how to study. The other project was on meat tenderizers and, and which made steak the most tender. Overall, the science fair was great and a great experience and I learned although the judges did not ask any helpful questions or give any helpful advice. I have only been to one other science fair and I think the first science fair was better mostly because it was smaller. It was also disappointing that I was not able to bring the perfect bread as a visual example to explain the density distribution through the bread. Overall the science fair was a fun and great experience.

  32. Shahryar Ahmed
    The Science Horizons Science Fair was very interesting. It was very organized. The only complaints that I have was that we did not know when the judges would be coming around. Also, the science fair took too long. There was just too much waiting involved. Also, if you just took a break to go to the bathroom, there was a chance that you would miss your judge. I saw that happen to many people. Overall, I fairly enjoyed the science fair. It was a very interesting to be judged by the judges. It was not as formal as I thought it would be. Also, I thought that the science fair was supposed to be very official and a lot more organized than it actually was, however it was still a very fun and enjoyable science fair. The bus ride home was not so enjoyable because of a certain someone. I was not able to take that power nap that I really needed. However, the stop at Taco Bell was fairly enjoyable. I had a bean burrito and cheesy potatoes. I then had a mountain dew for a drink. After reviewing the events of the day, I came to the conclusion that I enjoyed the Science Horizons Science Fair very much.

  33. Science Horizons was a very large fair, and, personally, I thought it was a little bit too crowded and very tight. I thought that it was going to be large, but not that large. Though, I did enjoy that there were a lot of people at the fair. I also thought that the judges would have been a lot harsher, but as it turns out, they were really nice. Overall, I liked SCISEF more than Science Horizons because there was more space, food, and it just seemed to be smaller and less stressful. I believe that the judges were very fair and they said what they honestly thought. The judges though, were not that helpful because the ones I talked to did not have any criticism and did not say any ways that the poster could have been improved. They just talked about what my results can possibly lead to in the future. But, from talking to some peers, I learned that my research project itself was very good but there was a lot of blank space on the poster and I should have filled those spaces up with more pictures. I did look at some of the other student works and the one that made the lasting impression was the one how facebook can help stop Alzheimer’s.

  34. Jacob Laser

    I did not attend the science horizons science fair. Instead I visited both sets of grandparents in Florida. It was cold for that region, and we could only go to the beach one day. I did give a good amount of thought to how I can improve my project. The best way to improve my project is to change the name. “Sail or Fail” seems unscientific. Instead I will change the name to “The Effect of outhaul on lift produced by a sail”. Another way I can improve is to better define the technical sailing terms I will be using. Certain people found my definitions confusing and could not fully understand my project. Although the presentation had some small flaws the data was satisfactory. I could still conduct many more experiments to broaden this study. I could measure the effect of “vang” or the rope that pulls the boom closer to the bottom of the mast. I could also measure the effect of halyard on the lift produced. Halyard is the control that can lift the top corner of the sail. In conclusion this study can be expanded in many directions.

  35. My overall impression of the Science Horizons science fair was that it was okay. Personally, I felt that it was better than SCISEF mostly because I became a finalist, but also because it wasn’t so formal. I felt that the level of the other projects wasn’t as advanced as the level of projects during SCISEF. The fair did meet my expectations, and was actually more than I expected. I definitely did not expect to become a finalist. I did not feel that my project was at the same level as the other but it was a great accomplishment and I was honored when I saw my number on the paper with the finalists. Judging was slightly different in the second round. The judges asked slightly more questions and a few of them looked through my binder. The food that they served was really bad and I really wish I went to Taco Bell. For Sunday, I thought that the reception was pretty pointless. The food they served there wasn’t that good, and it wasn’t lunch either. The keynote speaker was actually pretty interesting, more so than the SCISEF keynote speaker. All in all, this was a great experience and I learned a lot from it. I look forward to participating in many other science fairs.

  36. I did not attend the science fair because I was in Florida. I went to Disney World for a week and it was really fun. The weather was cold for Florida with lows in the 30s due to a cold front. However I am planning on attending the Norwalk Science Fair. To prepare for the next fair I will thoroughly look over the judges’ comments from SCISE. I am looking forward to seeing the comments and what I need to change so my project can be improved. I think the judges will say that I need to explain how the green bags function more. I am also considering changing my title to a more scientific and specific one. At the SCISEF fair many of the titles were complex. In addition I am going to practice giving my presentation so it will sound smooth and I will be less nervous. I have the fix some of the paper on my poster because the tape ripped off some of the paper. The titles of the graphs also need to be the same size. These changes will make my presentation more professional. Overall I had a great time in Florida but I am sad that I missed out on a great science fair.

    --Melissa Viezel

  37. The science fair was not as good as I thought. We were too nicely dressed up to go to that fair. The judges were the only people who are nice. There were a lot more projects but they didn’t have as complicated names or even complicated projects. I really wished there would be food there.
    The judges were nice and were helpful in pointing out what might be better explained. I think the judges were fair and I think they were better than the ones at the other science fair.
    Some good projects I saw were about saving money on an energy bill and one on finger prints. I learned from the judges that Billboard, the company I got the number 1 hits from, might have an obsolete way of finding the number 1 hits. Billboard gets their data from the number of times a song is bought. But the age of the person that buys the song might have an impact on the number one hit because older people would tend to buy older songs and younger people would tend to buy newer songs.

  38. Tanay Lathia
    This science fair was disorganized. It was a lot less professional and intimidating than SCISEF was. Also, some of the participants were very short and they seemed like middle school children. The judges this time were also more personal and they came by themselves. The judges gave me some useful tips on my project. One tip was obviously to continue my experiment and get more participants. One judge was a psychologist, and she told me to ask the question about what color they like best without directly asking the question. Another judge told me that I did the scientific method exactly how it should be done and the mistakes made couldn’t have been avoided with the tools that were at my disposal. The final judge didn’t ask me many questions and didn’t give me any good advice. Also for the next science fair I will try to ask my participants to rate the colors. This will add another dimension to the experiment. Another goal of mine is to do statistical analysis of my project. The judging process did not seem fair to me. For example, some students had four judges instead of three. I did not have time to view the other projects because I didn’t know when the judges would visit my poster.

  39. Zhang Liu said
    Overall, the Science Horizons fair was very informal and relaxed. Most students were dressed casually, as well as the judges and other teachers. Although the atmosphere allowed presenters to be more relaxed and focus more on their presentation, the fair did not meet my expectations. I was judged three different times by three different judges. The judges were mostly helpful and had an upbeat and friendly attitude. However I feel that they were too easy and did not grill the presenters about their project. Since I was not a finalist, I was interested in what the judges thought my project or presentation lacked. It would have been very helpful if they criticized us more and pointed out flaws. One project that left a lasting impression on me was right next to my poster. The project focused on Lyme disease and the varying concentration of ticks in Western Connecticut and how humans contract the disease. The poster was massive, a combination of two large black poster boards, which overshadowed all the other posters in its area. Other posters that impressed me were our own Joanie Kim, Emily Feng, and Yesmien Nyhan’s. For the next fair, I will look to improve my speaking by eliminating “um”s and nervous stammering.

  40. Unfortunately I couldn’t be at the Science Horizons fair this year. The reason for this was mostly due to the fact that my sister had a gymnastics meet that weekend as well as myself having to spend time in Vermont with my grandmother. As of now I still need to make some changes to my poster and presentation in anticipation for the next fair. As I wrote in my last post I plan to add some graphs to showcase the multiple independent variables in my experiment. I also plan on reprinting most of my content in larger increments to make my overall presentation of the poster neater. As for my oral presentation of the poster I want to try and make sure to mention my variables (independent, dependent and controls, constants etc.) by name instead of just talking about them without referring to them by their actual title. i am planning on attending the fair in Norwalk next. I’m really looking forward to competing again against my fellow classmates as well as listening to more keynote speakers. I also want to look at other student’s posters not only to see what kind of work they’re doing but I also want to get some ideas for my project next year.