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, May 24, 2011

2011 Amity Science Symposium

Our 5th Annual Science Symposium was an amazing success!

Discuss what your personal experience was preparing for and participating in the symposium. How did this compare to others in the past? If it was your first Amity Science Symposium, was it what you expected? Explain. Also, what contribution did you make towards helping the symposium run smoothly (set up, break down, food etc...). How many guests (that you invited) were able to come and what was their impression?

If you did NOT attend the symposium, what did you do instead? Explain.

Prof. Scott Graves discussed Citizen Science. What was your overall impression of the Keynote presentation? Did you enjoy the topic? Was it delivered at, above or below your understanding/ability or comfort level? Why or why not?

What did you think about the quality and diversity of student presentations and topics?

Lastly, list one thing you liked BEST about the symposium (be specific) and one IMPROVEMENT that you would like to see for next year.

Your BLOG post is due by the end of the class period on Wednesday May 25th.


  1. The symposium was different from those in the past. It was in some ways better than last years and in some ways worse in others. The thing I liked better was it was run by the students more than last year. But what I didn’t like as much was that it was more of a social event and no one really looked at the posters. I wrote all the name tags along with editing the abstracts. I also decorated the cafeteria and helped to clean it up. I invited four guests but only three were able to come. Out of the three that came they believed the event was great but slightly long. Personally the Keynote speaker was only ok as he did not talk much about science and only talked about his life and the SRP students’ previous work, although, the topic was really good and easy to understand. The student projects were the best part of the symposium as it was interesting to see what others in the same program were researching. One thing that I like the best was as I said before the student presentations. The thing I liked least was the poster session.

  2. Personally, I enjoyed this symposium a lot more than last year’s symposium. This was my second symposium and I participated a lot more with the creation of this symposium. I was a member of the set up committee, the cleanup committee, senior farewells, as well as a little bit of invitations. I was a little disappointed that I did not receive some of the other jobs I wanted such as manning the pie table. I did however bring in a chocolate pie, which was eaten completely which I did not even get a slice. I invited my family as well as my other friends but unfortunately, no one was able to come. One of the parts I enjoyed the most was reading out my senior farewell. We will really miss the seniors next year. I thoroughly enjoyed the keynote speaker, except I felt that he presented a little slow and was at some points a little boring. He lost my interest at some points. It was at/slightly above my understanding because there were. I really enjoyed the quality of the student presentations. They all knew their topics well and I feel they represented the best of the Amity Authentic Science Research Program. The best thing about the symposium for me was the senior farewells. One improvement I would like to see is to maybe make the symposium more fun, and more advertisement with more activities.

    Andrew Chen

  3. The fifth annual Amity Science Symposium was far better than I could have ever asked for. As a senior, this is my fourth science symposium, and, in my opinion, the best one yet.

    Prior to the symposium, I contributed by helping create and print out student certificates, make the collage of freshmen photos for the slide show, bring a vegetable platter, and help decorate. I also invited my parents and mentor, all of whom were able to come to the symposium.

    That said, what set this year’s symposium apart from that of past years was the genuine excitement. Unlike in past years, I am now a senior and feeling nostalgic about saying goodbye to Amity and the Science Research Program. I enjoyed sharing my project with the community, Dr. Brady, and my mentor Dr. Kaplan. I loved my senior tribute by Essie Khan. Together, my collage, complete with pictures from my past four years in SRP and a picture of my look-alike, Connie Nielson, and Ehsan’s speech, made me smile and laugh!

    Beyond these aspects of the symposium, I can honestly say that I enjoyed watching student presentations. I feel that Jenny, Zizi, Satish, and Eeman all did very well sharing their research in a concise and comprehensive manner. As for Professor Scott Graves, I enjoyed his presentation, but felt that it was a bit dragged out. That said, for next year, I suggest that we possibly preview the keynote presentation and encourage our speakers to remain within a 30 minute time slot.

    All in all, however, I have no complaints about the symposium. I plan to come back next year in hopes that SRP will continue to thrive!!

  4. To prepare for the symposium, I helped make many of the lists that went into the program, and I helped print of the program, all before the symposium. At the symposium, I mainly presented my poster to anybody who asked me to. This seemed pretty similar to other symposiums in the past. It seemed to have the same format and it ran in pretty much the same way as the others. For the symposium, I brought in strawberry pie, and I helped Satish set up his iPad presentation. Also, two of the guests I invited were able to come, and they found that the symposium was fun and interesting and they liked the creativity of student work.
    Overall, I enjoyed the keynote presentation. It was very informative, yet he also kept everything at a level that was easy to understand. Therefore, I found the topic was interesting and it was delivered in a way that satisfied my expectations. He kept it fun and also kept the presentation centered around what we as students and citizens could do rather than only what he does.
    I enjoyed all of the student presentations. The topics were interesting and kept me entertained throughout the symposium. Topics were very diverse yet they were all presented very well and professionally.
    The best part of the science symposium was the whole beginning. I really liked how relaxed it was and we students could talk to each other yet also gave presentations to people who wanted and it seemed very laid back. An improvement to the symposium would be to shorten the keynote presentation. In the end, it seemed to drag on though it did not hold much information, so I think that the times given for they keynote should be condensed.

  5. The fifth annual Science Research Symposium went off without many problems, and overall was an exciting yet informative experience. Last year, as a first year student the symposium was wonderful, but this year seemed like an even better time.
    Prior to the symposium, I contributed to the planning stage by helping to create Eddie Hochman’s senior collage as well as making the slides for each sophomore science research student. I also brought Snapple Iced Tea, as assigned to me, and I created the awards list of each student that had won a prize throughout the 2010-2011 school year. I invited my parents and my mentor, only of which my parents were able to come. I really enjoyed presenting as the sophomore class representative and that was good experience for future presentations.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the keynote presentation. Professor Scott Graves had presented an interesting topic, and it helped that he related it to students currently in our program. Some points, however, we not so interesting and I felt that he had dragged on at points losong the attention of many in the audience. I really enjoyed the student presentations. Jenny, Zizi, Eeman, and I all presented well I believe and it kept the attention of the audience well. The best and most interesting thing was the senior farewells and the speeches that were given by underclassmen. One improvement would be to possibly advertise for the symposium more and try and get a larger audience.

  6. To me the symposium was very fun. It was my first symposium and it was exactly what I had expected just like the 2010 symposium. I had invited 5 guests, but only one of them was able to come to the symposium. I had enjoyed the topic and the presentation was very good. His presentation was surely delivered much above my standards because he was quite informal with everybody closing their eyes and imagining what they would describe as a perfect place. I think that all of the students’ quality and diversity of projects was very good because everybody had a project that was different in a way. There are many things that I liked best about the symposium but the most important would have to be That we had put up all of the decorations and the jungle theme was perfect. One improvement that would be stated is that there should be no poster presentations just a poster viewing session and socialization period.

  7. Personally, I thought that this year’s symposium was about the same as last year’s symposium. After a few symposiums, things start to get routine and similar to each other. This was my third symposium and I participated more this year in the making of the symposium than previous years. I was a part of the set up committee and stayed after school to help decorate as well as a part of the clean up committee. I invited one guest; however, he was unable to come. I thought Dr. Graves’s presentation was very motivating. His topic was very interesting and I thought that his message about going outside instead of staying in was a great idea. However, sometimes he repeated himself and that got a little boring. However, I did enjoy his slow pace, as I was able to think about some of the things he said. I thought the student presentations were great but boring, but maybe that is because I have heard them many times before. The best part of the symposium was the senior farewells. One improvement that I would like to see happen is to have hot foods at the food table in conjunction with the snacks.

    qi yan

  8. This was my first science research symposium and I had a lot of fun. To me it seemed like it went off without a flaw and everybody had a great time. This was a lot more fun than I expected and my favorite part was hearing the student presenters at the end whose projects I haven’t heard yet. To prepare for the symposium I was on the flyer committee. Izabela and i worked very hard to distribute and put up as many flyers as possible to advertise the advent. We event went as far as putting them up around the Bethany Middle well as that, I wasn’t on the cleanup committee but I helped to break down after we were done in the cafeteria. I got to bring home a delicious pie! I found that to be an enjoyable experience as well. I invited two guests both for who could not attend due to prior commitments. But, towards the end one of my guests made an appearance and said what she saw of it was very impressive.
    My impression of Proff. Scott Graves was that he was very passionate about his work. I did enjoy his presentation as it was not on one specific topic but embodied and entire subject. The presentation was delivered at a little bit below my understanding and comfort level.
    The one thing I liked BEST was the food! I LOVED the pie table! Especially the lemon and Boston cream pie (I dropped mine on the floor after the first bite…)!
    One improvement we could make for next year is more beverages. I say this because there was no water or Snapple left after ten minutes in.
    Other than that I was happy with the experience and liked the speaker.

  9. Ming Zhao said:

    The 5th annual Amity Science Research Symposium was truly wonderful this year! I very much enjoyed preparing for this event so that it would run smoothly. One of my tasks was the run the candy table. I bought chocolates and other candies and counted the exact number, then placed the pieces into a jar. Then, I made raffles so that guests could guess the amount to possibly win it all! Another one of my tasks was to run the pie table. Eeman and I organized a list of people who were bringing pies and which kind they were going to bring. I also stayed after on Friday afternoon to help decorate.

    In my opinion, this symposium was the best so far because of the food and decorations! I loved the tropical theme and I think we did an awesome job decorating the doors with streamers! Out of the guests that I had invited, my mentor unfortunately could not come but my father and sister did. They thought it was really well organized and very informative!

    I thoroughly enjoyed Professor Scott Graves’s presentation. I thought he really conveyed his message that anybody can be involved in science, even in their own backyards! He taught me that science does not have to be finding the cure to cancer, but simply engaging with what you’re passionate about and being out there in nature to discover it on your own. His presentation was delivered with language suitable for high school students, so I thought I understood it well.

    I thought that out of the student presentations, we had great diversity. We heard one project about robotics, one about epidemiology, one about blood pressure, and one involving biomedical engineering. Out of STEM, I think we covered the majority of these bases (science, technology, and engineering).

    The best part of the symposium was hearing what everyone else researched, especially the people outside of my science research class. I also enjoyed the food every much! If I were to make one suggestion for next year, I would send out invitations to all the alumni in addition to mentors because it was a blast to have so many show up this year, and it would be truly amazing if we can get many alumni again next year!

  10. I did not attend the 5th Annual Science Symposium. Instead, I went to Hershey Park, Pennsylvania for a band adjudication. However, I did contribute to helping the symposium run smoothly by editing and putting together the student abstracts. I had to make sure that every students’ abstract was formatted the same way. This took a very long time and a lot of hard work. At Hershey Park, we participated in the Music at the Parks adjudication. The band was adjudicated in three categories: Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Marching Band. We won 4th place in our class for Concert Band, 2nd place in our class for Jazz Band, and 1st place in our class for Marching Band. Afterwards, we went and enjoyed an afternoon at Hershey Park. On Sunday, we also went to Hershey’s Chocolate World and made our own chocolate bar. I heard the symposium was a ton of fun and it is very unfortunate that I was not able to attend. Apparently, I missed out on some really great pies! I’ll have to attend the symposium next year for sure!

    Helen Zhao

  11. This was my first symposium. It was somewhat what I expected, however, it was a little too long and the guest speaker wasn’t very interesting. I contributed by helping organize all food items and preparing the guest list. I was the one that sent out all the annoying emails for people to bring food and set it all up at the symposium. If I say so myself, the food wasn’t bad. I invited 5 guests including all of my mentors but only my parents attended. Their review of the symposium was two-thumbs up; they thought it was very educational and interesting to see everyone’s research project. I did not think the Keynote speaker was very engaging. Not to be offensive, but I did not think his presentation was very scientific. I didn’t really learn anything and he made it really boring; I almost feel asleep with the entire close your eyes and reflect yoga stuff. I didn’t really get what his topic was on. Besides his background research and what he helped Science Research students study when he was their mentor. It was definitely below my understanding level because there really wasn’t too much on science. The best thing about the symposium was seeing the student presentations. All of them were very interesting and covered a number of diverse topics. It was by favorite part because it’s so interesting to see all the different research topics and I learned a lot. One improvement that I would like to see is if perhaps we can make the symposium a little shorter. It was kind of too long.

    - Jennifer Zhuang

  12. This was my second symposium. I helped by creating the guest speaker list, organized the certificate envelopes, and created certificates for mentors.

    In my opinion, the symposium turned out great. As always, the pie was specatacular, the food was amazing, and the student speakers impressed.

    However, I did not like the guest speaker. He was very intelligent, but he was very sluggish in speech and his field of science just did not interest me.

    My favorite part was just getting to hang out with my science research comrades. The symposium is not just a scientific display of our achievements, but a chance to appreciate all the hard work we have done during the year.

  13. I was not able to attend the 5th Annual Science Symposium. Instead, I went to Hershey Park, on a band trip for an adjudication. However, I did contribute to the symposium by doing a senior slide, making the invitation envelopes, and other odd jobs. In Hershey Park, I was in the Music at the Parks adjudication. The band was adjudicated in three categories: Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Marching Band, and I participated in each category. We won 4th place for Concert Band, 2nd place for Jazz Band, and 1st place for Marching Band. After this we went and enjoyed an afternoon at Hershey Park. On Sunday, we also went to Hershey’s Chocolate World and made our own chocolate bars. I heard the symposium was a blast and it frustrates me that I was unable to attend. I would love to still attend next years though.


  14. Discuss what your personal experience was preparing for and participating in the symposium. How did this compare to others in the past? If it was your first Amity Science Symposium, was it what you expected? Explain. Also, what contribution did you make towards helping the symposium run smoothly (set up, break down, food etc...). How many guests (that you invited) were able to come and what was their impression?
    In order to prepare for the symposium, I, with the assistance of my mother, renovated my entire poster board just for the symposium. In order to do this, I edited every single slide that went on my poster and also created another graph showing the averages of my data instead of just showing another way of showing my data table. Then, I printed everything out and painstakingly glued it onto my poster board. The 5th Annual Amity Science Symposium was my first symposium. I expected constant close inspection of my poster board, just like any other science fair, but instead the only inspection I ever received was from the ever-enduring Estelle Fanucci, who worked my board over like any judge would. I really did not expect the relaxed atmosphere, or the abundance of food, drink, and pie. The contribution I made to this symposium was editing the abstracts that went on the invaluable programs. Without the programs and their professionally edited abstracts, the success of the symposium would have been greatly diminished. I invited about 6 guests. Unfortunately, none were able to come to the symposium.
    If you did NOT attend the symposium, what did you do instead? Explain.

    Prof. Scott Graves discussed Citizen Science. What was your overall impression of the Keynote presentation? Did you enjoy the topic? Was it delivered at, above or below your understanding/ability or comfort level? Why or why not?
    I believe the keynote presentation was very informative. The computer presentation was very effective and the keynote speaker himself spoke with passion. I enjoyed the topic, although it was sometimes hard to stay focus since the speaker spoke in a gentle, soothing, lullaby-like, manner. The presentation was delivered at my comfort level since the speaker did not mention any complicated terms that required a lengthy amount of time to explain. Everything in the presentation was easy to understand for students at a high school level.

    What did you think about the quality and diversity of student presentations and topics?
    I thought the quality of the student presentations was very good. All students were well- prepared and the topics were in different fields of science, creating a good amount of diverse presentations.
    Lastly, list one thing you liked BEST about the symposium (be specific) and one IMPROVEMENT that you would like to see for next year.
    One thing I liked BEST about the symposium was that there was a lot of delicious food. One improvement I would like to see next year would a shorter symposium. At one point, the symposium seemed to drag on.
    -Brian Liang

  15. The Amity Science Research symposium was great and excellence. There was not as much food as last year and there was no cake. For preparation, I brought a veggie platter and worked on the main PowerPoint for the presentation in the auditorium. It ran over a little bit in time but overall, the process was faster and set up better than last year. I expected more people to come this year but it was great that some of the Science Research Alumni came back to enjoy the night. The student presenters were good and I liked how Professor Scott Graves gave more of a recruitment speech for his presentation. I enjoyed his presentation and I was able to understand it quite reasonably. I liked how Jenny presented both robot interaction projects. The thing I like the most about the Symposium was everybody’s enthusiasm. One improvement I would make for next year would be even LESS pies and maybe getting more people to come.
    Jared Loewenthal

  16. I was not able to attend the Science Symposium because I had a band field trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania. However, I still helped prepare for the symposium. I made mentor certificates for all of the students' mentors. Also, I worked on a senior slide for the power point and helped set up the cafeteria sixth period on the day of the symposium.

  17. Tanay Lathia
    I think the symposium was overall a success. The guests were very entertained by the food and the projects in the cafeteria. There could have been more guests, however thankfully both of the guests I invited were able to attend. Everything in the program ran smoothly, and personally I believe this was the most memorable of the 3 symposiums I have been to. (Thankfully, there was no problem with Snapple bottles!) To prepare for the symposium I helped with two aspects. During class I spent a fair amount of time helping to create the symposium information packets. This included helping with abstracts and the time line. I also helped to choose pictures for the powerpoint presentation. The keynote present Dr. Scott Graves was very interesting. I thought the way he introduced his topic was very down to earth. This was in stark contrast to other presenters we have had this year. Other presenters, whose topics were also interesting, used much technical jargon that made it hard to understand the topics. However, this presenter introduced his topic by explaining how he loves nature and that it should be protected. All of the student presentations were excellent. They were diverse in their nature, however many related in some way to health and medicine. Also, because Jenny Liu went first, the other projects seemed diminished and it made it harder to concentrate on them. The best part of the symposium was the food and the part that could be improved is the fact that many people didn’t present their posters in the cafeteria.

  18. The Symposium was definitely a success. I feel that many of the guests were constantly interested with all the projects and food found in the symposium. Last year, I went as a guest to the symposium. This year I feel more people came and overall seemed that this was the more memorable of the two. Even though many people didn’t look at some posters, they still paid attention to others and the guest speaker. I was on the setup, cleanup, and organizing committees. For the organizing committee, I made the alphabetized list of all the students’ names and their abstract titles. All this made it run smoothly. I very much enjoyed the keynote presentation. I found the topic of Citizen Science quite interesting. I liked the presentation overall, as it was both interesting and informational. My favorite thing about the symposium was that so many people showed up and it ran smoothly. One thing, that can be improved, is that people weren’t around their posters very much. Overall, I am quite pleased on how smoothly the symposium ran.
    -Ben Staniewicz

  19. As a whole I believe the symposium went very well and I had a very good experience preparing for the symposium. Personally, I helped print the abstracts, staple the booklets, create the invitation list, edit the abstracts, and clean up after the symposium. Compared to others in the past I felt that this was one of the best yet. It seemed like there were a lot of people and also the symposium didn’t end too late. The symposium was exactly what I expected if not better. The set up committee did a great job decorating. This year I invited three guests and all three came. They all felt that it was a really good experience and they were very impressed at the level of research students conducted.
    As for the key note speaker, I really enjoyed the presentation. I think I enjoyed it so much because it was presented at a level that everyone could easily understand and the topic was very interesting.
    I also greatly enjoyed student presentations. There was a great diversity and the presenters did a great job. The one thing I liked best about the symposium was the first refreshment/ presentation period. It was fun to present to parents and guest of other students but I think that the refreshment period should be slightly longer.
    -David Powers

  20. My experience preparing for and participating in the symposium was enjoyable. This was my first year participating in the symposium, though I came as a guest last year. I felt like this year more people presented and engaged the guests more this year than last year. This year I made three collages for the program, helped set up for the event, and helped clean up afterwards. Only three of my guests that I invited were able to come and some became interested in science research. They even asked if they can still join science research next year. I felt like Professor Scott Graves was very interesting especially because he went into detail about the topic he discussed. It was delivered in between my comfort level. I really enjoyed the presentations that were given from the students. They were diverse in their topics and were presented very well. One thing I liked about the symposium was the refreshments because it kept me energized while presenting and greeting guests. One thing I thought could improve is the organization of the event. For instance, while we were giving speeches for the graduating seniors, we did not know what order we were giving our speeches. Overall, I think the symposium was successful.

  21. Ben Feola
    Unfortunately I was unable to attend the annual amity Science Symposium this year. Because of a rescheduled S.C.C. Novice meet many people on our team would not be able to attend because of many field trips and other events. Because of how our team would already be short on players I chose to attend the meet along with some others who gave up trips to six flags to come. They showed great dedication to the team which paid off. At the meet I did fairly well considering it wasn’t a freshman meet and there were many other people that are older and more experienced. I placed 2nd in our 4X1 relay, second in my heat for the open 100, and almost cleared the high jump. We don’t know if we have one the meet yet but the results should be coming out soon. This was a very important meet to me and it was a major inconvenience that I couldn’t attend all of my events that I had planed on. Although I did not attend the symposium I did help set it up and get it ready for everyone else. I brought some food and other essentials such as table covers. My mother showed up to the symposium even though I could not go and she told me a lot about it. She said how there was plenty of food and that the speakers were all very good. She could not stay for too long and also made time to see my meet. I also did other things to help the symposium like everyone else did and I can imagine that the work payed off.

  22. The 2011 Amity Science Symposium was definitely the best symposium that the Amity Science Research Program has every held. To prepare for this science symposium, I wrote a poem for senior, William Dixon, who will be living us in the summer to go study at Michigan University. I also prepared for the symposium by decorating the cafeteria during my seventh period science research class. Ehsan, Andrew, and I hung up streamers and put together the science research brochures in order for the symposium to run smoothly. I invited my entire family to come, however, due to my sisters’ violin concert and my father’s overtime job, my mother and my grandmother were the only two people that were able to attend the symposium. Both my mother and grandmother enjoyed the symposium and both of them wish that they were able to stay long enough to see the student presentations. Due to an illness that my grandfather had obtained, my mother, grandmother, and I were unable to stay to hear the Keynote presentation by Professor Scott Graves. I am sure that each of my family members, as well as myself, would have greatly enjoyed the keynote speaker and the student presentations. I really enjoyed the entire symposium. There was amazing food, speakers, and the senior tributes were outstanding. However, if I could make one improvement, I feel that the symposium should get more publicity, simply by advertising the science symposium over the Amity loudspeaker during the morning announcements, as well as, throughout the entire Amity community.

    - Peter Satonick

  23. Jen Maruna
    I had a lot of fun preparing and participating in the symposium. It was not what I expected. I thought it was going to be really boring and long. But I was wrong, it was great. I helped by making the board with the information and I also helped decorate. I had invited guests, but none of them came.
    I thought that Prof. Scott Graves did a good job presenting. It wasn’t my favorite presentation this year, but I like it and found it to be interesting. That applies to the topic too. It wasn’t my favorite, but I did find it interesting and would like to learn more about it. One of the reasons of why I liked the presentation was that I could understand everything he was saying. Being able to understand it made the presentation more enjoyable.
    I thought that all of the student presentations were great. Everyone did a good job. I found all of the presentations to be very interesting and I like the diversity of the projects too.
    I liked being able to listen to other people’s projects and being able to compare their projects with mine to make some improvements for my further research. An improvement could be to take more breaks between the presentations because after a while, the presenting got to be a little overwhelming. I think I’d be able to appreciate the presentations more if I had the chance to take a break and think

  24. Preparing for this Symposium was an overall better experience than last year. This time, I actually actively participated in helping set up the presentation. Participating in the actual Symposium was bittersweet; while I thoroughly enjoyed introducing Jen, I didn’t like having to stay up a half hour after the Symposium cleaning, although this was actually my fault for not responding in time. I helped set up the event, presented during it, and cleaned up afterwards. My mom and brother were able to come; overall they were pleased with the event, however they didn’t really enjoy listening to the keynote speaker because they thought he was boring. They said that they would have rather listened to more student presentations. This brings me to my next point, the keynote presentation. I’ll be honest and say that I found it horribly boring and dull, and I admit that I did doze off several times during it. The same thing happened last year, so I feel that instead of having a keynote presenter, we should do more student presentations instead. The student presentations were well done, and I enjoyed them much more than the keynote presenter. The one thing that I liked best about the Symposium was the food and the break time in the cafeteria. It was nice to socialize with my friends and teachers. My least favorite part of the event was definitely the keynote presentation, as I said before. Next year I’dlike to get rid of the keynote presenter and do something else, such as having more student presentations.

  25. The symposium was a lot more fun this year and did not seem as long as it had in previous years. This year I worked on compiling the mentor bios. It was a lot less work than I thought, most of the work was just copying and pasting things. Last year I stapled together the programs and I felt that this was a lot better job.

    I invited my parents, sister, and mentor, but my mentor could not attend. My sister just sat there reading a book but my parents seemed to enjoy the symposium, especially the senior tributes.

    My parents and I thought Peter’s poem for my senior tribute was great. It was hilarious and I liked it a lot. The pictures he put on my slide were ridiculous but entertaining (mostly embarrassing) and I like how he made the W in my name from an upside down Michigan M. It’s hard to believe that I am a senior and this was my 5th (I went to the original one as an 8th grader) symposium.

    I thought that the quality of the student presentations was great this year. Every single one kept my interest and I did not feel bored once during the entire student presentation section. I liked the senior tributes part of the symposium because many of them had entertaining speeches and pictures. The one improvement could be having the keynote speaker do a dry run in the auditorium to give him a sense of timing and give him more practice. I thought that it was interesting but he seemed to have trouble starting out and I ended up spacing out for a good 15 minutes.

    In the end it was a great symposium and I will come back next year.

  26. Zelun Wang

    This year's symposium was great. Good job Ms. Day!

    I helped to put together the mentor list for the packets. Although some students were slow in submitting their mentor bios, in the end all was good. I also revised the keynote bio that Danielle wrote, since the keynote speaker Dr. Graves is our mentor. Lastly, I presented the senior tribute for Ed Hochman.

    I really enjoyed Dr. Graves' presentation, especially how interactive it was. The visualizing of ourselves in each of the "spheres" was great.

    The student presentations were overall good. They were concise and to the point, making them easy to understand and follow.

    liked BEST: decoration and food and the video
    IMPROVEMENT: start and end a bit earlier?

  27. Emily Feng:
    This SRP Symposium was my last ever, making it an especially sad occasion. I have to say that this was one of the first years where I did not obsess over the details and set up for the symposium, but instead entrusted it into the care of others. However, the entire operation was extremely well planned and well organized. There was considerably less stress and work when compared to other symposiums because everyone did their share of assigned work.

    I did the emceeing and helped make the mentor certificates. The emceeing was a divergence from the responsibilities I usually have at the science symposium, but it was a very enjoyable one at the same time. I had large shoes to fill after the masterful emceeing of Thomas Mattessich last year.

    Unfortunately, my mentor could not come but three members of my family did. They shared my opinions that this year’s symposium was one of the best run and timely organized symposiums that they had attended during the four years that I have been in SRP.

    I was disappointed with the keynote speaker. Professor Scott Graves did not present on an interesting topic, though it was certainly relevant. However, his tendency to ramble and go in verbal circles made his presentation overly long and tedious. Instead of focusing on a concept like “citizen science,” I wish he had focused on a more research or fact-based topic as most of our keynote speakers have done in the past.

    The student presentations however, were chosen very well. I think there was a good variety of topics (anywhere from epidemiology to computer science to chemistry/biology) and were both impressive and interesting to the audience. Each of the four presentations was well chosen to best represent the work that is done every year in the SRP program. I think that the presentations might have gotten a bit boring as the students could only stand at the podium without moving and the size of the auditorium meant that very little eye contact could be made. However, this is no fault of the students and I think they did a very good job.

    The best thing about the symposium was the way it was organized. The program was nice and simple, including only the most important events, instead of highlighting extraneous material like what field trips we went on. However, I think we lost a lot of time by reading off every student’s name and project title. Instead, only reading their name and mentor very quickly would have been sufficient.

  28. My personal role in preparing for the Science Symposium was to develop a theme for the symposium. Thus, I was responsible for finding out where the needed supplies were available, as well as buying some supplies myself. Ming and I were also responsible for the pie table, in which it was necessary for us to ask, rather harass, people into bringing pies. We set up the table with cutouts of pie and pictures of the mathematical formula, pie.
    In addition to these tasks, I was also the freshman speaker at the symposium. Thus, I had to give an 8-10 minute presentation of my study.
    The symposium, for the most part, was exactly what I had anticipated. Invited guests came in, had something to eat, then went to the auditorium to listen to the speakers present their work. The only thing that confused me a bit was that the students did not present their posters at the event. I was under the impression that all of the students would be presenting their posters and research. It seems as though I was mistaken about this fact. I loved hearing the student present, Jenny was awesome! My only complaint would be that I, as well as my family and friends, agreed that it would have been better to have the students present before Prof. Graves gave his presentation. The reasoning behind this is that we felt as though the spotlight of the night should be on the students, as both family and friends had come to the symposium for them, and for their presentations.
    I invited about 15 people, of which 3 came. They really enjoyed the symposium, although they did feel as though the key note presentation was extremely lengthy. Professor Scott Graves was clearly extremely about his work, and because of this I felt as though he wanted to share as much of his work as possible. At times I felt as if his presentation was a bit dull, as it was about a science in which I have no interest. As some of my friends realized during our trek in the woods, during the Norwalk Science Fair, I do not like nature nor animals nor trees, leaves, bugs, etc. Thus it was extremely difficult for me to understand/ become interested in his presentation.
    I thoroughly enjoyed all of the presentations. I finally got to learn, in depth, about Jenny’s famous project. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed Zizi’s presentation because I have food allergies myself, thus it was easy for me to understand and relate to her research.

  29. My first Science Symposium was a blast! :D I thought that everything was going to dull, and not as exciting. However, there were some comedic moments throughout the symposium that I liked. Also, the beginning was very exciting, as I got to meet people and inform them of my project, and also enjoy the food. All I contributed to the symposium was the guest list, which told everyone who were coming and the people who were not. Out of the guests I had invited and came, they found the whole symposium interesting and fun.

    The presentation Professor Scott Graves gave was definitely interesting! The topic was intriguing. He presented very clearly and I followed along with every step of his presentation. I think the visualization he had us come up with helped with his presentation and I was able to understand the whole presentation at a lot more.
    I think the diversity of student presentations really showed the variety we have in Science Research, and how we have a range of health projects to human behavior. Every presenter was detailed and helped the audience follow along with their projects.
    The symposium was an interesting event, and I really enjoyed the senior farewells! A lot of people took the time to come up with something sweet to say to their given senior, and their work was well appreciated. The underclassmen came up with creative farewells, and others wrote up an honest speech about their senior. The variety showed how much everyone loved their seniors. One improvement I’d like to see is a way to engage the audience during the symposium. Halfway through the symposium, I saw a couple people leave during the intermission, so I think we should be able to lure them back with something interesting.
    ZHU J.

  30. While signing up I decided to do decorations, flyers, and senior farewel. This required me to create a list of possible things we would need. Iworked onthis list with Eemon Abbasi. At first, we wantedto do a kind of red and gold theme. Then, however, we decided it would be fun to have a more laid-back theme, so we chose tropical. With help from Ms.Day and, some parents, and other students onthe decoration comitee, the cafeteria turned out looking fantastic. It was colorfull, creative, yet still kept seriousness needed for the symposium. As for the flyers, my friend and I printed out an ENOURMOUS amount of copies, while recieving odd stares from everyone in the library. We pasted them around the school as well as the middle school. We also put them in teacher's mailboxes and handed them out during the lunch waves. The afternoon prior to he symposium, I helped set up the cafeteria with some other students. Afterthe keynote speaker, I was a little surprised. Mr. Graves' presentation wasn't bad, it was just different. I'll probably remember it for a long time just because we did some meditation type thing during it. It was relaxing, understandable, and a nice change from your average, ridiculously advanced presentation that no one understands. As for the presentations, I think we have a strong SRP class this year. Everyone's project was amazing. They were thourough, intriguing, and definite award-winners. The best thing about the symposium was the set-up. The decoration and food comitee did an amazing job at preparing the cafeteria. If I could make one improvement, it would be having more than 1 speaker.
    -Izabela Banka =D

  31. I thought the symposium was a great success. Personally I prepared by organizing the list of food that was being brought to the symposium and even brought some myself. I also helped with the candy jar. While I was more interested by past guest speakers I thought this symposium was just as great as the ones in years past. During the symposium I helped collect Snapple bottles for recycling, also making sure that we avoided another Snapple incident like last year. Only my immediate family was able to attend this year but even my dad, who is inexperienced in science was very impressed, especially when Satish presented with his iPad. Even though the presenters topic wasn’t one of my favorites, I still found his message very interesting. I share his appreciation for the outdoors so I appreciated his message, even though it was definitely targeted towards a general audience like my parents. However the keynote presentation itself was very well done and his enthusiasm with illustrating concepts really shows. The student presentations were excellent. I think I liked the senior tributes the most, especially Peter’s. For improvements I’d like to see everyone helping to clean up instead of some people picking their stuff up and leaving everyone else to clean up.

  32. My preparation for this symposium consisted of preparing the master Powerpoint as well as my own abstract and mentor bio for the program. I also came to set up and put up decorations during 6th period. Overall, I thought this year’s symposium was just as successful as those of years past. My parents, who have attended the past three symposiums, agreed. Unfortunately, my mentors were unable to attend but I will mail the certificates to them.
    I thought Professor Scott Graves gave an interesting presentation. His passion for the environment and for science research came across extremely well, and I liked how he incorporated his own life experiences and what led him to his particular field. The presentation was also delivered at a very comprehendible level, which is always good for engaging an audience.
    The student presentations were high quality and the topics were somewhat diverse. Although there were three medicine or health-related projects, they each had a different perspective (biomedical engineering, epidemiology, etc.) All four presentations were extremely well-delivered, and many believed they were the highlight of the symposium.
    The best part of the symposium was probably the student presentations because it was really interesting to hear about the research of my peers. This was probably also the most valuable part for the incoming freshmen to get a sense of what a typical research project consists of. I have a friend who will be a freshman in the program next year, and she has already complimented me on my allergy project and asked me how I conducted my study. One improvement might be to find a way to not lose any audience throughout the night. Maybe we can get rid of the 7th-inning stretch and not have food in between. Instead, we can have a brief pause for people to stand up without leaving the auditorium.


  33. To prepare for the Symposium, I wrote a mentor bio (which also happened to be the keynote speaker bio), put together student certificate packets and a keynote speaker page for the program, and printed out mentor certificates. In past years, I don’t remember there being such well-organized committee groups. This made the preparation process run much more smoothly. Since I was not able to help set up or clean up at the event, I made sure to bring food beforehand. I was not able to attend the Symposium since it unfortunately coincided with a concert band adjudication trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania that had been planned about two years ago, and it was a one-time opportunity for many of us. Even though I wasn’t able to actually hear the keynote presentation, I had talked to Dr. Graves about it previously, and I thought it was an excellent topic that would be inspirational to everyone in the program, as well as to those not in the program. I think it was his goal to show that anyone can be involved in the kind of work we do, and therefore nobody should have felt as though they didn’t understand.
    -Danielle Eldracher