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, May 19, 2014

2014 Amity Science Symposium

Our 8th Annual Science Symposium was a fabulous success! Discuss what your personal experience was preparing for and participating in the symposium by answering the following:
1. How did this symposium compare to others in the past? If this was your first Amity Science Symposium, was it what you expected? Explain.
2. What contribution did YOU make towards helping the symposium run smoothly (set up, planning, organizing, tributes, break down, program, certificates, food etc...).
3. How many guests (that you invited) were able to come and what was their impression?
4. If you did NOT attend the symposium, what did you do instead? Explain.
5. Prof. Jason Hancock, UConn Professor of Physics, discussed "Big 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? Would you be interested in pursuing research in this area?
6. What did you think about the quality and diversity of student presentations and topics?
7. 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 first post-symposium class period.

74 comments:

  1. Barak Davidi
    1. I went to the science research symposium during my 8th grade year briefly and I went last year. I was a lot more involved this year than previous years. My contribution to the event improved my overall experience at the events.
    2. I did several things. I printed the invitations for the freshman with Haseeb. Next, I created the cover picture for the program cover. I ended up winning the competition, so I printed around 150 copies. I also contributed helium balloons to the event.
    3. I invited my mentor, Dr. Baptiste Barbot, who was not able to attend.
    4. I attended the symposium.
    5. The Keynote speaker seemed very enthusiastic about his topic. I found that his presentation was too vague and broad. I would have liked more details regarding his research rather than his entire field. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the topic and it was delivered at my understanding level. I would not be interested in conducting research in this field because of the inconvenience of not being able to do local research.
    6. The student presentations where phenomenal. I found that as the night progressed and we got later and later past our expected competition time, the audience became tired and began losing attention.
    7. The thing I liked best about this symposium was the theme of good vs. evil. The collaboration of the emcees with Owasis was very amusing and seemed well rehearsed. One improvement for next year would be sticking to the schedule more, for we ended up finishing 45 minutes late.

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  2. 1. This symposium was very similar to ones in the past. The only real change I noticed was the piñata.
    2. I brought in brownies and did Jen’s tribute.
    3. None of them were able to make it.
    4. N/A
    5. I thought the keynote presentation was okay, but it didn’t really interest me. I could understand what he said, but I was more entertained by his little girl running around. He seemed nice, but physics does not spark my interest in the slightest.
    6. I liked the student presentations. Some were better than others, but all of them were good. Topics varied in such a way that everyone was interested in at least one topic.
    7. I liked the tributes the best. They were funny, creative, and amusing to watch. One improvement would be to cool down the cafeteria during the reception time, because it was way too hot in there.

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  3. Vimratha Teepireddy
    This symposium was just as good as last year’s symposium. However, this year’s symposium had the awesome piñata and the funny side plot of the evil Mr. Khan.
    I helped plan the decorations and did a tribute. I was also able to buy candy for the piñata so that when it was broken it would not be empty.
    Two out of the four guests that I invited were able to come to the symposium. They were impressed by the tributes and the funny interaction between Mr. Khan, K-Zak, and Shaunak (whose stage name I forgot).
    I did attend the symposium. However, I had to leave early—before the guest speaker. Instead my parents took me out to dinner.
    I was not able to stay for the guest speaker or the student presentations.
    What I liked best were the senior tributes, food, and the piñata. It was a fun experience. The decorations turned out good (the glasses at each table). One thing I would improve is the starting time of the symposium. It was a delayed start which pushed the whole schedule back.

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  4. 1. Last years symposium was hard to beat. Andrew and Peter did a fantastic job emceeing. But, I think shuanak and I kept it up to the same standard. I think there were more guests that came to this symposium. But the number of guests was inversely proportional to the amount of food—there was definitely less food this year.

    2. I organized Ms. Day’s tribute, wrote bios for the presenters, and the opening remarks. Then presented all of this as emcee with Shuanak.

    3. 1 of my guests was able to come. Although he didn’t understand all the jokes, he had a good time and was entertained.

    5. His keynote presentation was difficult to understand. I am not interested in physics, so that make it even harder to understand. I was also worried about my job as emceeing, so my stress levels were higher, not allowing me to put my full attention and brain power to the presentation.

    6. Eeman’s presentation brought a tear to my eye. It was the best senior presentation I had seen in all my symposiums. She touched the very essence of the science research project. Then, Danny’s presentation was interesting, as with the sophomore presentation. The freshman presenter surprised me because her project actually had real world application, but was also a home grown experiment.

    7. My favorite part of the symposium was my tribute. Props to Arvene and Matt on a good job. I couldn’t stop laughing. Next year at the symposium, I would like to see a shorter program. The symposium went on for four hours total. Even though it did not feel that long for the science research students, it was very long for parents. Maybe next year we make the keynote presentation shorter. Or even get rid of the keynote speaker entirely, making the senior presenter the main speaker.

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  5. Ryan Oleynik

    1. The symposium was great! I thought it was better than last year’s symposium because of some minor improvements. I enjoyed watching the seniors hit the piñata during the intermission time.

    2. I coordinated the effort of putting everyone’s PowerPoint in the Day folder. I also helped attaching string to the freshmen recipe projects. Along with this, I sorted the mentor certificates and put them in their individual folder. I also helped folding the symposium booklet.

    3. Three of the four people I invited were able to come to the symposium. Overall my guest really enjoyed the symposium.

    4. N/A

    5. I didn’t enjoy the keynote speaker. I thought the topic was boring and he didn’t have the energy needed to deliver a keynote presentation. It was delivered below my understanding. I thought the topic was very self-explanatory and it was not enough for a keynote presentation. I would not be interested in pursuing this area of research.

    6. I thought all of the student presentations were great. Although they were long, I still enjoyed them. I thought the presentations were very diverse.

    7. The one thing I liked best about the symposium was the tribute to Ms. Day. I thought Kristin and Shanuk did a great job on the tribute to her. One improvement could be the keynote presentation. I thought the presentation was slightly boring and the topic could have been better. Overall I thought the symposium was a success.

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  6. 1. This symposium was very similar to others in the past in terms of how it was set up. The only new thing was the piñata.
    2. I contributed towards the symposium by bringing in orange juice and doing Samantha’s tribute.
    3. Six out of the seven guests were able to come and they were very impressed as well as appreciative of the symposium as a whole.
    4. N/A
    5. Overall, the keynote presentation was very informative. However, the topic was not interesting to me. It was good in terms of understanding what he was saying, but the topic itself did not interest me. I would not be interested in pursuing research in this field of science.
    6. The student presentations were of good quality and the diversity in the topics kept me interested.
    7. The best part of the symposium was the senior tributes. One improvement I would like to see is having a keynote speaker that would interest many people.

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  7. 1. This symposium was better compared to last years. Maybe it was because I knew what to expect this year where last year was a mystery. I Also have more science research friends opposed to last year. Although I felt the senior tributes didn’t live up to the ones last year, they were still good. Overall the whole experience was very fun and I can’t wait for next year.
    2. I brought in a couple jars of sugar cookies for food. I also set up the freshman power point slides and stapled the booklets shut the week leading up to symposium.
    3. I had four guests come that had a good time. They wish there was more time to look around at the projects in the beginning though. But, they enjoyed the senior tributes and the presentations. One person had to leave early as the symposium was running late into the night.
    4. N/A. Went to symposium
    5. I did not enjoy the keynote speaker that much. The subject was easy to understand, but just wasn’t from an area of interest for me. I can’t say that I would pursue a project in this field.
    6. The topics were very diverse in the student presentations. I found Daniels extremely amazing and the guests I brought were in aw about the research being done in my class. My dad said afterwards, “You go to school with very smart people.”
    7. I liked Kristen’s senior tribute. It was really funny although based upon an idea from last year. They kept it new and interesting so I didn’t mind if it wasn’t 100% original. The guests I brought wanted more time to look at the projects in the beginning so maybe next year possible put aside more time for parents and other guests to look around before going in for the keynote and other presentations in the Auditorium.

    -Levi Santos

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  8. 1. This symposium is as good as the one in the past. However, I only have one symposium to compare it to. Both events ran very smoothly, but I feel that the food in this year’s symposium lacked variety. Also there were no water bottles by the end of the night!!!!!!!! Since it was so hot and humid in the school, water would have been replenishing. In the future, can we have a science research pasta party? ☺ Other than the food, I think the symposium was fun, as usual.
    2. I edited abstracts, created a senior tribute (yay!) and brought cookies. I also briefly stayed after school to help decorate the cafeteria.
    3. I invited two guests, but none of them were able to attend. :’(
    4. N/A
    5. Overall, I thought the Keynote presentation interesting and insightful. It also provided useful information about various advanced scientific facilities that science research students could possibly use in the future. I somewhat enjoyed the topic, and would consider looking further into physics. It was delivered at my understanding and comfort level. Dr. Hancock kept things sweet and simple, but still interesting.
    6. I think all of the student presentations were impressive and presented a good showcase for the public and parents.
    7. What I liked best about the symposium was the senior tributes. One improvement would be a greater variety of food.

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  9. Although I was not able to make it to the symposium, I did do work behind the scenes. I helped print out invitations for the incoming eighth graders, checked and edited the class’s abstracts, and brought in napkins. During the symposium I was in Washington D.C. On the day of the symposium I went to the Capitol and had a tour and then went to both the National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of American History. I was in D.C. from Wednesday to Sunday and did everything from having a personal tour of the Pentagon to going to the National Zoo.

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  10. Katie Meehan
    1.This symposium was great compared to last year. The guest speaker was much more interesting, the piñata was very fun, the candy raffle was totally rigged, and the food was great as usual.
    2.I did the checklist for my period and brought pecan pie.
    3.How many guests (that you invited) were able to come and what was their impression?
    My grandmother, mother, and my brother were able to come. I invited my mentor but he was not able to attend. My family was very impressed and enjoyed it very much, especially all of the interesting tributes.
    4.I enjoyed the keynote presentation very much and his daughter was very cute. The topic was very interesting and the speaker made it easy enough to understand. I found this topic interesting, but I do not think that I would enjoy pursuing research in this area.
    5.What did you think about the quality and diversity of student presentations and topics?
    6.The student presentations were very good this year. Eeman’s was great and was a lot better than the normal senior presentation. She put a personal touch on it which really made her presentation very memorable. The other presentations were also very good. The students were clear, knew their topics very well, and made their research easy enough to understand for the general public.
    7.The best part of the symposium is always the tributes. They are always extremely creative, funny and is a great way to say goodbye to the seniors. One improvement I would make for next year is to change the way the program is laid out. I think we should have the tributes last instead of the presentations, because I think it is a good way to end the night and it gives everyone something to look forward to.

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  11. Matthew McKenna

    I was not at symposium, but I can answer a few questions.

    #2: For the symposium, I was part of the decoration committee. I did not attend school Friday, so I could not stay after school to help set up. I did contribute to the balloon purchase though.

    #3: None of the guests I invited were able to attend.

    #4: Instead of attending the symposium, I stayed home sick, thinking of what I was missing.

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  12. 1. I loved the symposium and the new additions were very entertaining. It was better than the one we had last year. The piñata was very fun and my guess was one off from the actual answer. The food was very good and the senior tributes were funny and enjoyable.

    2. I helped revise and edit the abstracts with my companion Kimberly. I also made a senior tribute for Cindy and brought cookies.

    3. My father came to the symposium around 8:30 since he was busy before. My mentor however was busy and was not able to attend.

    4. I did attend the symposium.

    5. I enjoyed the key note presentation very much. His daughter was very adorable. I liked the topic he talked about and he made it interesting. He made it easy to understand and my previous knowledge about physics also contributed to that.

    6. All the presentation was very good. It was funny to watch George and Eli stress and get nervous before presenting. I also like Eeman’s presentation. She went above and beyond and made it a good experience for everyone at the symposium. I also enjoyed hearing the other projects and what they did and researched.

    7. My favorite thing about the symposium as the senior tributes and the day tribute. They were very creative and gave me some ideas for next year’s tributes if I choose to do another one. One improvement is to have the student awards and tributes at the end because this would leave the night while laughing and having fun.


    Harika Lingareddy

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  13. 1. This was the first year I attended the Amity Science Research Symposium. It was not all I expected, but I enjoyed my time and learned about other people's projects.
    2. I contributed food and also helped with some of the cleanup process.
    3. I invited 3 guests, but unfortunately none of them were able to make it.
    4.
    5. Prof. Jason Hancock, UConn Professor of Physics, did a great job presenting his topic of “Big Science”. Although he presented the topic with a great amount of knowledge, I was not too interested. Next year, I would recommend bringing a speaker whom has knowledge in fields such as cardiology, neurology, etc. Lastly, I would not be interested in pursuing this topic as it isn’t very interesting to me.
    6. Although the student presentations were a bit long, the quality of every single one of them was great. All the students presented well and showed exceptional knowledge of their topic.
    7. One thing I enjoyed about the symposium was the food and also the senior tributes. One thing I would improve for next year’s symposium would be to shorten the amount of time each of the presenters could speak for.

    Aria Mohseni

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  14. 1. I had been to the symposium when I was in 7th grade, and last year when I was in 9th grade. Last year’s was the best I had been to because it was funny, interesting, and didn’t feel long. This symposium was fun but was WAY too long. Some senior tributes were very long. And the student presentations were definitely too long – this was just a showcase, no need to fully explain every aspect of the entire process.

    2. I checked and edited all the mentor bios, baked pumpkin cranberry bread, contributed $5 to Ms. Day’s spa certificate, and assembled 90 programs in class with my classmates.

    3. Both my parents came. They enjoyed looking at all the projects but felt the symposium dragged on way too long.

    5. Professor Jason Hancock was clearly a very intelligent, experienced scientist. His topic was very applicable, but his delivery was not very interesting. While I understood what he said, there was no lasting impression/defining theme. I don’t know if I would be interested in pursuing research in this area because I’m not sure what area of research exactly he was talking about, except that it had something to do with physics and big machines.

    6. The diversity and quality of student presentations were, of course, very well done. However, there needs to be a 5 – 8 minute time limit like in a science fair. After a while, it starts to drag on as the student tries to explain every aspect of his/her scientific experiment.

    7. The thing I liked best about the symposium was the diversity of food. I was expecting the typical cookie-and-pie fare, but I enjoyed vegetables with hummus and pretzels along with some pie. The bagels were a nice touch, especially for the students who came from sports practice and hadn’t eaten dinner yet. I would DEFINITELY advise for a shorter symposium, though. I was exhausted after 10 p.m. The student presentations didn’t even start until 9! There needs to be a time limit on senior tributes and on student presentations.

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  15. 1. I felt that the symposium was different than I expected it to be, as it was rather casual with the senior tributes and it was easy to laugh during the presentation. Overall, I’d say it was more interesting than I thought it would be.
    2. I contributed a few things to the symposium by helping assembling the envelopes with certificates, bringing rice krispie treats, and cleaning up after the symposium ended.
    3. 2 guests I invited came, but they were most likely invited as 8th graders as well. I felt that their impression was rather dull, because they left halfway though the symposium, which was to be expected seeing how late it went.
    5. I was impressed by the keynote presentation by Prof. Jason Hancock, however I did not enjoy very much. Next year, if possible, finding a more interesting speaker like Scisef’s David Pogue would be better. However, I was able to understand the content he presented, as it went rather slowly, but I am not interested in pursuing research in that area.
    6. I felt that the quality and diversity of student presentations and topics were exceptionally good, but I found the senior representative, Eeman’s presentation was supposed to be heartwarming, yet most 1st years probably couldn’t draw connections with it. The others were more serious and posed as interesting topics to me.
    7. The best thing for me about the symposium was the diversity in senior tributes. I thoroughly enjoyed watching or listening to them. They were amusing and years later the increase of students will be able to expand the number of tributes as well.

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  16. 1. This was my first symposium and it wasn’t what I expected at all. I thought that it was going to be more like the fair where we all presented our projects.
    2. I helped organize the certificates by putting the sophomores and freshman with their mentors. I also brought chocolate covered strawberries.
    3. I only invited my parents and they were both out of town Friday night.
    4. N/A
    5. The presentation was very informative and I could understand what he was talking about, however, I am not interested in that field of science, so it was a little boring to me and I wouldn’t see myself pursuing research in that field.
    6. I liked all the diversity. No one project was on the same topic, none of them were even in the same field. And I liked most of the presentations except for the sophomores; they didn’t have much enthusiasm so it didn’t seem that entertaining. And the junior’s presentation went on for a long time and I got bored.
    7. The thing I liked best was the tributes; most of them were comical. One improvement could be to give the guests more time to look around at everyone's poster.

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  17. HARSHA LINGAREDDY

    1. I thought the symposium went well. It’s been more organized than previous years and the event was much better. I was a lot more involved in the symposium, and it was overall a BETTER EXPERIENCE.
    2. I did bens tribute and also brought in juice
    3. And they thought it went better than previous years
    4. I did attended
    5. His keynote presentation was difficult to understand. I am interested in physics, but still it was harder to understand. I think he should of explained more into what he does and what researched he uses. He should have ahd video and maybe an explanation n of each of those centers of technology.
    6. I thought the presentation went well and was funny seeing how nervous elk was up their presenting.
    7. senior tribute

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  18. 1. This symposium was a success overall, although in my opinion, it was not as good as last year’s symposium. I think this, in part, was due to the ethos of last year’s senior class. They were incredibly outgoing and funny. It was also due to the incredibly high expectations set after last year’s symposium. The extent of comedy presented within the symposium last year came a shock to many which added to the splendor.

    2. I, along with Daniel Giebisch, ran the candy raffle and did Lamisa’s senior tribute. I also was the editor of the abstracts for our class.

    3. Two of the people I invited attended the symposium. They were not able to stay for the whole thing, but they found it funny and were impressed with the two student presenters they saw (Eeman and Danny).

    4. N/A

    5. I thought his presentation was quite interesting. Although I have to say, my favorite part was probably his daughter. She was adorable! As for the topic, it was not a topic I am necessarily very familiar with due to my lack of invested interest, but I understood what he was saying. I, personally, am more interested in medical science, so of course I would have preferred a presentation on that. Eemans junior and senior year projects were very interesting; perhaps her mentor would be willing to speak?

    6. The student presentations were interesting. None of the presenters were in my class, so it was cool to see the other students’ presentations that I had heard so much about. One suggestion I have would be to have the senior presentation be last. Eemans speech was incredibly compelling and impactful and would have been much better at the conclusion of all the other presentations. Plus, it was a hard act to follow!

    7. My favorite aspect of the symposium was the lightheartedness of everyone there. Its always fun after a year of hard work, to enjoy science in a fun manner. As I mentioned before, the senior presentation should be last. It was also just a little long.

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  19. 1.This was my second Amity Science Symposium, but I missed half of last year’s symposium, so this year was like my first experience. Last year, I only made it in time for the selected students to present their projects and some of the senior tributes. This year was different because the freshman organized the piñata which was amusing to watch the senior hit it. This year I was expecting almost the same as last year’s symposium, except with the cafeteria part (food, guests, and presentations).

    2. I contributed a lot to help the symposium run smoothly. I didn’t do the tributes but I helped with the program. I submitted an idea for the program cover, designed filler pages with pictures (each year from 2012 to 2014), and designed an invitation. I also helped send out invitations to the 8th graders. In period 4, Tom and I helped organize the invitations but we didn’t get to decorate a lot of the envelopes. ☹ I was also the coordinator for period 4’s food. My job was to get all the students in our period to bring something in. I bought lemon pie!
    3.I invited 3 guests, but none of them came. My parents couldn’t make it because of work. My other guests were my 8th grade science teacher, current biology teacher, and middle school tech teacher. I didn’t have a mentor so I couldn’t invite one.
    4. N/A
    5. I thought the presentation was very informative. It was short and sweet and to the point. He talked more about his experience at several scientific facilities and their use and what would be in it for us. I am not extremely interested in physics, so I didn’t necessarily enjoy the presentation, but I liked the shortness of it and how the speaker didn’t drone on and on about his efforts in physics. I think an improvement would be to describe a study he is currently participating in.
    6. I thought the presentation were great! I thought the first presenter (senior) was very well done as she added a little something about her studies over the years and we could see how difficulty progressed over the years as well. I liked how she added in a little advice for the incoming SRP students. The other presentations were like regular presentations. The diversity was significant as the senior had four studies presented, Dan’s engineering one, the sophomore team’s psychology/behavioral one, and Haya’s environmental presentation.
    7. The best thing about the symposium would have to be the senior tributes and Ms. Day’s tribute. I like how Kristin and Shanuk’s team had to fight against Evil with love for science and Ms. Day. The idea for Kristin’s was similar to last year’s I remember. An improvement to make is to have a better and more entertaining speaker. I know there aren’t a lot of entertaining science speakers in this community. Otherwise, someone who can speak about interesting fields of science?

    Lillian Zhang

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  20. 1. It was a little different than I expected. More time was spent in the auditorium. I thought it would be more time looking at the posters and presenting to parents and friends.
    2. I brought in food for the parents and students. I also did a senior tribute for Shaunuk Pandit
    3. None because they were all busy Friday night
    4. N/A
    5. It was very informative and not above my level of understanding. However, I do not plan to pursuing research in this field
    6. They were all very diverse and covered a multitude of topics such as physics, engineering, environmental, and medical
    7. The best part of the symposium was the food. The only improvement I would suggest is having a limit on how long people can present. That greatly extended the length to the point where it was very long.

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  21. 1) This was my first Amity Science Symposium, and it was not what I expected. I thought there would be more people there, judging from the number of pamphlet covers we printed. I also didn’t realize that we would be migrating from the cafeteria to the Brady Center. I liked that we did that because it made the event seem more structured and comfortable than if we stayed in the cafeteria.
    2) Other than bringing drinks, I contributed by assembling the programs. Myself and a few other people spent a class period putting them together. In addition, I signed up for decorations, so I helped decide what decorations we would purchase. I also helped set up when we got there early.
    3) Two of my three invited guests came. Because I didn’t have a mentor, I only invited my parents and brother who’s going to be part of the program next year. My mom thought that it was a really nice event, even though it went a little longer than expected. My brother also enjoyed it, especially the senior tributes, but also thought it was too long.
    4) N/A
    5) Personally, I thought Professor Hancock’s presentation was too stretched out. I easily got distracted, especially because the topic he was describing seemed really unentertaining and complex from the beginning. I believe that if a different topic was described, it would have been more entertaining. I think something that we could have applied to our lives would have made more sense, such as environmental science. Overall, I learned that I would most likely not enjoy pursuing a research topic in physics.
    6) I thought that the student presentations were by far the best component to the event!! I thought it was great that we got to listen to such a variety of projects. The students who presented also demonstrated what we actually do in Science Research with their exemplary projects and presentation skills. I was especially impressed with the first speaker who not only described her projects, but her experience in science research as a whole. I think we could have had her present last, to wrap up the event, although I liked how she set the bar high right from the beginning as the first presenter. I believe that all of the student presenters did a phenomenal job and impressed our audience!
    7) As I best described, I believe that the student presenters were the best aspect of the event. The content of their projects was really impressive, and they delivered their information exceptionally well. An improvement that we could institute could be what my mother told me after the symposium; this was that we should have presented the senior tributes as a class instead of with all the parents and mentors. Perhaps if we had a class period or a set time before the symposium, all the science research students could enjoy the tributes together. That would save us a lot of time and I think it would be more appropriate to show just to students. Overall, my first symposium was a success, and I’m looking forward to next year’s.

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  22. Felicia Thomas
    1. This year’s symposium was the first science research symposium that I have attended. It was what I expected to be, although I thought that there would have been a better turn out of people in attendance. I enjoyed the snacking session in the beginning and the transition over to the Brady Center for the presentations.
    2. To prepare for the symposium, I brought in blueberry muffins. On Friday afternoon during eighth period, I also helped to set up for the symposium, by setting up tables and organizing the eating utensils. During science research class, I also helped by putting together the programs.
    3. I invited three guests which were both of my parents and my younger sister, all of which did attend the symposium. They all enjoyed the symposium and thought that all of the presenters did a good job.
    4. N/A
    5. The keynote presentation was ok; I did not enjoy the topic he discussed. I thought that he was a great speaker, but the topic was too complex for me to personally understand and I didn’t think that it was entertaining for me. I think that if I had understood the topic at hand, then I would have paid better attention. I would not want to pursue research in this area because for the most part I didn’t fully comprehend what he was talking about clearly.
    6. I thought that the student presenters did a wonderful job and was the most interesting part of night. Being able to see what the other students have done throughout the year and accomplished was nice to see. Each of the four projects presented were very different which was also nice. Each of the presenters had great speaking skills and was able to speak to us about their project without reading directly from the PowerPoint.
    7. My favorite part during the symposium was the student presenters and the certificates for each member of science research. I thought that recognizing each student was a nice touch which was unexpected. I also think that the student presenters’ speaking was a nice part of the symposium. One improvement that I would recommend is to stay on schedule, going a few minutes later is to be expected, but running 45 minutes late is way too long. I would also recommend that the senior tributes should be kept in the classroom. Based on the feedback from my family they would have rather skipped those due to the inside jokes and such that they didn’t understand and that they were more for the students pleasure anyway. Overall, I enjoyed the symposium and thought it was a great experience.

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  23. 1. As this was my first symposium, I cannot compare it to others in the past. It was not entirely what I expected, but the general setup of it was what I had imagined. I had expected it to be a setup similar to SCSEF, where we all go to the auditorium and listen to various speakers. I also expected the keynote speaker to talk about what he does for a living, just like when David Pogue spoke to us in February. While I expected these things, I did not expect Dr. Hancock to be that much smarter than the rest of us. I hardly understood what he was talking about. In addition, I did not expect our senior tribute to be the only serious one. Some were funny, but others made little sense.
    2. I brought the apple pie to the symposium. Also, I made the senior tribute for Ben.
    3. Both of my parents were able to go to the symposium on Friday. They thought the symposium was good, and that Dr. Hancock was really smart. However, they couldn’t understand some of the senior tributes.
    4. N/A
    5. Prof. Jason Hancock discussed “Big Science” in his Keynote presentation. I thought this was very interesting. He talked about the industry of science, and how certain devices can and can’t be used by kids like us. Overall, his presentation was very complex, yet I was able to follow it because of his simple explanations for extremely advanced equipment and experiments; that is, he transposed certain things from physicist terms to normal people terms. Ultimately, this is an area that I would consider, however I don’t see how a lot of the things he discussed would be feasible.
    6. I thought the student presentations were very good. Dan’s presentation about his heart device was very intriguing. When all is said and done, that device he made truly demonstrates how Science Research affects the real world. The underclassmens’ were good, too, but I thought Eeman’s was extraordinary. The approach she took with hers was very good. Didn’t just talk about her project, but took a broader perspective of science research as a whole. Ultimately, these presentations were great.
    7. To be honest, I liked the food and Eeman’s presentation the best. Both of these were great. However, next year, we should try to stick to the itinerary a little more so we don’t run late. Lastly, there should also be tortilla chips for the salsa. All in all, it was fantastic.

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  24. 1. The symposium is actually not what I expected. I expected it to be a little more formal and more like the previous science fairs we went to. No one really stood by their posters and presented, it was majority just mingling with our peers and parents.
    2. To prepare for the symposium, Gabby and I edited the period 4 abstracts and I also brought in whipped cream for the pies.
    3. I invited 6 guests to the symposium but only 2 were able to come. The others had previous commitments to attend to. My mom and my brother were the ones that attended the symposium. My mom thought that the entire night was very interesting and she especially loved Dan’s project. My little brother liked the Sikorsky project a lot.
    4. N/A
    5. I didn’t really enjoy the keynote presentation because it was a little dull and lifeless. The topic was interesting but I wish he would have stayed in one general area instead of jumping around a lot. Also the topic was way above my head which I think is because I have no previous knowledge of the topic whatsoever. I don’t have any interest in pursuing this area, I am more into neurology and engineering.
    6. I think that the diversity of student presentation was great; they all studied very different areas. They all had very interesting and amazing research. The presenters also all had a kept the listeners engaged and made their finding very comprehensible.
    1.7. I really liked the senior tributes. All of them were very funny and entertaining. They showed all those who attended that SRP is almost like a little community within Amity and I thought that was nice. Next year I think that the first half hour when we were supposed to be with our posters should be a little more organized. It was kind of hectic and my parents didn’t even know that the symposium had started until the announcement was made that we were to start heading to the auditorium.
    By Olivia Castro

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  25. 1. How did this symposium compare to others in the past? If this was your first Amity Science Symposium, was it what you expected? Explain.
    This was my first symposium while enrolled in science research. It was better than I expected. I had a lot of fun. I was not expecting the atmosphere to be so relaxed.
    2. What contribution did YOU make towards helping the symposium run smoothly (set up, planning, organizing, tributes, break down, program, certificates, food etc...).
    I helped set up in the cafeteria after school by taping down balloons and laying out tablecloths.. I set up the balloons and streamers in the auditorium with Clare.
    3. How many guests (that you invited) were able to come and what was their impression?
    My brother and father came. They enjoyed it very much. They were impressed by the organization. They also enjoyed the presentations and posters.
    45. Prof. Jason Hancock, UConn Professor of Physics, discussed "Big 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? Would you be interested in pursuing research in this area?
    The presentation was very hard to understand, which is unfortunate because I was really interested in this topic. I think it was scattered and I’m not really certain what the focus was. However, I did understand the part about the telescope. That was very interesting. I really liked how he focused on the point that all the countries collaborated in order to develop certain machines/ projects.
    6. What did you think about the quality and diversity of student presentations and topics?
    I thought it was phenomenal (especially Eeman). We had a good diversity of project from the following fields: medical , behavioral, environmental. Everyone did a great job presenting. I think everyone was really moved by eeman’s presentation, and enlightened by everyone else’s.
    7. 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 first post-symposium class period.
    The senior tributes were the best part of the night. One improvement is probably using space more efficiently. The whole right side of the cafeteria was not being used and everything was crowded on one side. Maybe this would make it less crowded.

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  26. 1. This was the first Amity Science Symposium I attended as a student, but I attended last year’s as an incoming freshman. It was a bit strange to be with all of the Science Research students on the side instead of in the middle with my family, but it was definitely really fun.
    2. I was on the decoration crew. We decided what to get and went to Party City to buy decorations. I also stayed after school on Friday to help set up all of the decorations in the cafeteria and in the auditorium.
    3. Only my mom was able to come, and she enjoyed it. It did run a bit long, but otherwise, it was fun for her.
    5. I was expecting the presentation to focus more on his specific research, not “Big Science,” so I did not enjoy the topic as much as I expected. It was delivered pretty much at my comfort level (or a bit below) except for one or two parts where he went really in-depth into a topic and lost me. I would be interested in pursuing research in the areas he mentioned, but (since many areas were mentioned) I’m not exactly sure which one.
    6. The student presentations were amazing! I really liked Eeman’s, because it combined all of her years in the program, and showed that she made mistakes, but she still is where she is today. I also really liked Haya’s, because I saw how much she stressed about the presentation and I saw how well she did.
    7. My favorite part of the symposium was the excellent performance done by the emcees. It was hilarious, and kept everyone entertained and cheerful. One improvement for next year would be to shorten the whole thing, or at least have a more accurate estimate of when it was going to end. I know a lot of people (including myself) that needed to leave earlier than 10:00.

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  27. Kelsey McCormack

    1. This symposium was more fun than the last one. I don't remember much of the last symposium because I came in eighth grade and wasn't as involved as I was this year, but I liked this one better. I liked seeing people from other science research classes that I don't see much and all of the food that was there.
    2. I was on the decorations committee. I bought some things and stayed after school to set up in the cafeteria and auditorium.
    3. I invited three people and two were able to come. They both enjoyed it.
    5. I thought that the keynote presentation was okay. I thought it was a okay topic, but I would have preferred if he talked about his research because it looked very interesting. I think that the way he presented seemed a little scattered and hard to follow, so I didn't understand it as well as I could have.
    6. I thought the student presentations were very good and covered a lot if topics. I liked all of the presentations, but especially Eeman's.
    7. The thing I liked best about the symposium was the senior tributes. However, they were very long and I think the order of what goes before and after the intermission should be switched. That way people who want to see the student and keynote presentations could leave during the intermission and students could stay later to see the senior tributes.

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  28. 1. N/A
    2. My parents and I made cupcakes, and my mom brought them to the symposium. I also helped sort certificates before the symposium.
    3. 3/4 my mentor was unable to attend. One guest only stayed for part of it, but all of them reslly enjoyed it. They said that the food was good, the projects were amazing, and the trubutes were entertaining.
    4. I was unable to attend because I had a 24 hour bug. I would really have liked to go, but I did not feel up for it and I did not havw the strength
    5. N/A
    6. N/A
    7. N/A
    Helen Ruckes
    Didn't attend due to a fever

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  29. 1. This year was my first symposium, so I am unable to compare it to past years. Overall, I felt that the symposium was very nice, fun and what I expected. I enjoyed seeing how all of the work we did was combined and resulted in a nice presentation.
    2. For the symposium, Katie and I took lead on the food committee. We had to ensure that every science research student brought in at least one food item/refreshment. I personally brought in bagels, and Katie and I picked out a rocket pinata. I also helped set up decorations on Friday afternoon.
    3. I invited 3 people to the symposium, and all of them were able to come. Unfortunately, none of them were able to stay for the entire symposium because it ran late. Overall, it think they enjoyed the symposium and felt that the science research program was beneficial.
    5. Overall, I enjoyed the keynote presentation, but I thought it could have been more entertaining. I enjoyed when the keynote speaker mentioned his actual research, but much of the presentation was focused on the different available resources to conduct research. I enjoyed the Keynote speakers power point, and thought it was nicely put together.
    6. I enjoyed all of the student presentations. I felt that all of the presenters were very well rehearsed and had a strong understanding of their topic. I enjoyed Eeman's presentation, in that it was not just focused on one research project.
    7. I think that during the symposium I enjoyed the beginning session the most. I liked the wide variety of food, and I also enjoyed being able to explain my own research and look at other students.

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  30. 1. I went last year and it was very good. I liked them both and did not have a favorite. It was similar to the ones in the past in that it was very interesting and I liked all of the presentations.

    2. I helped with the abstracts. I did the master list of them making sure that they were all there and that they were all good. I also organized them in alphabetical order.

    3. Only 1 of my guest was able to come, but he liked it a lot. He thought that the presentations were excellent and enjoyed all of the accommodations.

    4. I attended the symposium.

    5. It was an interesting presentation, but I did not really enjoy the topic. I understood most of it but it was not my cup of tea. It was a little confusing when he really got into what he was talking about. I would not like to pursue this research area because it is not too interesting to me.

    6. I thought that the quality and diversity of the student presentations and topic were great. They all varied from an over view to health to oil spills. They were all interesting and I really enjoyed them.

    7. I think the best part of the symposium (other than Owais’s laughs) was the student presentations. These were very interesting and I really enjoyed them. One improvement that I would like to see for next year would be to have a better keynote speaker, and have a survey asking the students who they want.

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  31. 1.I went to the symposium last year and it was very fun and interesting. I liked the senior tributes and the keynote speaker, Ishan, had a great presentation. This year wasn’t what I expected. I expected it to be a bit better, but I thought it was very organized overall.
    2.I helped with the organizing of mentor bios. I helped Helen with the editing of them and making sure that everyone had completed them.
    3. The guests I invited were my parents, but they were not able to come.
    4. I attended the symposium.
    5. I enjoyed the topic. I understood most of the presentation, but when he got in depth into the topic, I got a bit lost. The part of science seemed interesting, but I don’t want to pursue further research in this field.
    6. I thought the quality and diversity was great. They varied from environmental, to advanced medicine, to simple pysch projects.
    7.I like the senior tributes the best. They all ranged from simple ones, to funny ones. I really enjoyed watching them. One improvement for the symposium would be to get a keynote speaker that can relate to the students. If he/she can do this, then all the students will have a better experience.

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  32. Dana Chung

    1. This year’s Symposium was the best one yet. Even though I’ve been to two symposiums prior to this year, the event continues to surprise me. The activities that were planned for this year’s symposium were fun and exciting (I loved the Piñata idea!). Everyone had fun and it was a memorable night.
    2. I organized the mentor certificates. In class, I created the template for the certificate and eventually printed the certificates and organized them.
    3. Unfortunately, only my parents were able to come to the symposium. They thought the event was the best one yet. They were impressed with all the students and their projects.
    4. I was at the Symposium.
    5. I thought the Keynote speaker was interesting. However, I did not particularly enjoy the topic. I thought that we should have had the presentation before the break and that it ought to have been shorter. Overall, the presentation was well done.
    6. All the student presentations were phenomenal. They expertly presented their research. I particularly enjoyed Eeman’s presentation. It was a great way to share her experience throughout science research. It was touching and bittersweet.
    7. The best part of the symposium was watching all the senior tributes. They were all funny and bittersweet. We will all miss the seniors next year. One improvement to make for next years symposium would be the length. We went overtime by 40 mins. I suggest that we start earlier.

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  33. 1. It was a great symposium. There was a great turnout, great food, great organization, and a great emcee. Compared to last year, I felt like the presentations and overall attitude was a lot more enthusiastic and lively.

    2. I organized the entire abstract booklet, combining all periods’ abstracts for a final format. I also brought snapple.

    3. Both of my parents came. They really enjoyed the symposium, as it was entertaining but also interesting.

    4. N/A

    5. I think that the keynote was not as engaging as it should have been. While the presentation was great on its own, I do not think it was presented in such a way to grasp the attention of the entire audience (which is an extremely difficult task). The information was a little above my understanding, as the speaker occasionally mentioned technologies and ideas that I had never heard of before. I will not be pursuing similar research. I suggest that next year’s keynote speaker work on developing a presentation that is more engaging and interesting to a large audience (kind of like something David Pogue would do).

    6. I thought they were great. Eeman had a very “different” presentation. I liked how she described her entire experience in scires. The other presentations were engaging and easy to follow, which I feel is very important when explaining complex and complicated scientific ideas.

    7. The best: Owais’s evil character. Specifically the loud laughter
    Improvement: Perhaps having the keynote and student presenters speak before awards and tributes to sustain the viewers’ attention

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  34. 1. How did this symposium compare to others in the past? If this was your first Amity Science Symposium, was it what you expected? Explain.
    This was my first symposium. It was similar to what I was expecting, except it was a bit more fun/engaging. Even though I don’t know the seniors very well, their tributes were one of my favorite parts, along with student presentations.
    2. What contribution did YOU make towards helping the symposium run smoothly (set up, planning, organizing, tributes, break down, program, certificates, food etc...).
    I helped to make and organize student certificates, as well as placed them in folders.
    3. How many guests (that you invited) were able to come and what was their impression?
    Three of the four guests I invited were able to come (two parents and one friend). My friend, who is interested in science, enjoyed the symposium. He really liked the guest speaker, and really wished he had been a part of science research. My parents also enjoyed the symposium, and were really impressed with all of the different student’s projects. They enjoyed the student presentations the most.
    5. Prof. Jason Hancock, UConn Professor of Physics, discussed "Big 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? Would you be interested in pursuing research in this area?
    I didn’t particularly like the keynote presentation, largely because I’m interested in different fields then he is. While I understood the presentation, it was a little boring for me at times. I would have liked something a little more interactive feeling and higher energy.
    6. What did you think about the quality and diversity of student presentations and topics?
    All of the student presentations were extremely well put together and fun to watch. There was a wide enough variety to catch the interest of most if not all symposium guests. I also think all the student presenters did an excellent job talking to and engaging the audience.
    7. 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 first post-symposium class period.
    I enjoyed the senior tributes the most. I think it was really sweet, but also fun to watch, all of the tributes. I liked how different and personal each tribute was. An improvement for next year would be to change the layout a bit. I thank it’d be better to start with the presentations and do awards and tributes at the end. That way the symposium can end at a kind of sweet point. Also, my Dad pointed out that it might also be nice for the guest speaker, so we won’t have to keep them waiting if they need to go somewhere after the symposium.

    Anna Ryack

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  35. 1. This symposium I found had a more interesting speaker, however, the symposium overall last year was a bit more fun. The emcees and the abundance of senior tributes were funnier last year. I loved the piñata. The food seemed to be less organized than last year, but it was still good and overall, it was a great experience.
    2. I was the lead in charge of the mentor bios. I also was in charge of the checklist, and made sure all the mentors had their certificates and respective students. I also helped with the powerpoint checklist and came in last period on Friday to help set up the tables.
    3. My mentor was able to come. He was amazed at the high level of student projects and enjoyed looking at everyone’s poster.
    My overall understanding of “big science” is that some science needs to be conducted not at a personal level, but a massive scale which requires the need of connections to large laboratories. I thought it was personally a little boring since it was information I knew beforehand. It was at my comfort level. I liked when he talked about particles and atoms and research the best because it was new information, a bit complicated, but it was more enjoyable to learn something new. I don't think I'd wish to pursue an interest, but I'd definitely like to learn more about particles and physics.
    6. I thought the student presentations were fantastic. I loved Eeman’s and how hers told of her journey through SRP. I’m glad that each presenter talked about a different field of science, it made the projects more unique and interesting.
    7. What I liked best was Eeman’s presentation. It was heartfelt and provided great advice to future SRP, allowing for the audience to connect to her presentation. It reminded me of Jen’s last year, which I loved. One improvement would be if we could end at the arranged hour, going till 10 made the symposium drag a bit, it was great overall, but I think a lot of guests only wanted to hear the presentations and supposed it to end at 9. I know that it’s hard to pack everything in it, there’s a lot to share, but maybe the senior tributes/presentations/poster session can be shortened a bit, or have the presentations stick to an assigned time frame.

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  36. 1. This was my first symposium. It was very enjoyable and, for the most part, what I expected. The food was great and it was fun to hear the presenters, tributes, and keynote speaker. However, there was limited amount of poster presenting. I only presented once, to a group of eighth graders.

    2. I helped with the decoration committee. I helped with the theme and figuring out how to set up the pinata. I also help put together the programs for the symposium.

    3. I invited three guests and they were able to attend. They all had to leave early, but they enjoyed seeing the other students’ projects and learning about them.

    4. I did attend the symposium.

    5. I thought the topic he was discussing was interesting. It was cool to hear about all the interesting machines and information he works with. However, it was delivered above my understanding ability because the topics he covered were confusing and not explained at all. Also, I do not think I would be interested in pursuing research in this area because I do not understand it.

    6. I think that the quality of the student presentations were very good, especially Eman’s. I thought her choice to present her journey through science research was a very good idea and it was very engaging. Also, I got to hear George and Eli’s presentation which I had not heard before. Their topic was very interesting as were their results. I thought there was great diversity because a lot of topics were covered.

    7. The one thing I liked best about the symposium was the senior tributes. I thought they were very fun, but heartfelt at the same time. On the other hand, one improvement I would like to see for next year is the order of the student presenters. I think the order should go freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior last.

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  37. 1. This symposium was more interesting than symposiums in the past. The storyline was extremely entertaining and the tributes were very thorough and well put-together. The keynote was a little dull and the symposium ran a little long, but otherwise it was pretty enjoyable.
    2. I helped organize the powerpoint, edit the abstracts and set up the tables for the actual event,
    3. I was able to get 3 people to come, they thought it was funny but long and boring towards the end.
    4. N/A
    5. I did not enjoy the keynote presentation. I did not like the topic. It was delivered a little bit above my comfort level at times and a little too far below at other points. I felt he spoke in extreme generalities about topics he didn't really explain or cover well in the first place.
    6. I thought the presentations could have been brushed up a bit, though, Eeman's presentation was spectacular and I think the students in next year's symposium should try to emulate her work.
    7.The BEST thing was the presentation given by Eeman, the one improvement I see is making sure the symposium follows schedule.

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  38. Owais Khan

    1) This year's symposium, like last year's, had a good balance between entertainment and formalities. The audience was engaged enough to be interested during the time-consuming events and most people had a good time. It ran smoothly, as I expected.

    2) I contributed by being the main source of entertainment, the evil genius Owais. I also contributed to a number of tributes and brought in truffles.

    3) Although my mentors could not attend the symposium, me family came and seemed to have a a fun time.

    5) I think that the presentation had a surplus of information that could be useful to science research students. Although I didn't quite enjoy the topic, Professor Hancock was genuinely interested in what he was presenting and I understood most of what he was saying. However, I can't say I'm interested in pursuing a career of science in that specific field.


    6) All the student presentations were quite good. However, Eeman's presentation was b far the most moving and influential. The quality of each presentation was high.

    7) I enjoyed the intro to the Evil Genius Owais :). It provided a little bit of fun to a formal event. In the future, I'd like the symposium to be held later. Having it during the week of AP testing was stressful and the situation lent itself to having students not prepare enough.

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  39. Vinnie Silverman
    1.This science symposium seemed better than previous ones because of the change in involvement between the two different years. Freshman year, I wasn’t very involved in the weeks of preparation for the symposium. I didn’t really remember that year’s symposium because it just took up the one day at the end of the year. However, this year, I helped a lot more with the preparation for the symposium, specifically with printing out the students’ certificates. This made the end result of the symposium more memorable and a better experience overall.
    2.I helped prepare for the symposium by creating and printing the individual student certificates to be given out at the symposium. This included making, printing and putting the certificates into envelopes that were also made specific to each student.
    3.Unfortunately, none of the guests that I invited were able to attend.
    4.I attended the symposium.
    5.I felt like the Keynote presentation wasn’t about a topic I was specifically interested in, but one element of his presentation which I enjoyed was the way he related his field of work to what was capable for high school students. He discussed the process to use the facilities necessary for his work, and described what they all were used for. This made the presentation more relatable and easier to understand.
    6.I enjoyed the student presentations that were selected. They were all very informative, even the ones which I had seen multiple times before. They showed an excellent sample of the presentations the program has created as a whole and were enjoyable. However, they were relatively long in general- almost double the time they were expected to take.
    7.My favorite part of the symposium was the first half hour in the cafeteria. It was a great way to unwind and see all the work that had been done finally come together in the end. The only improvement I would like to see in the symposium next year is a possibly more interactive Keynote presentation to fit with the general feeling of the rest of the symposium.

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  40. I think that this year’s symposium was a little bit better than that of last year. The entire presentation--the keynote speaker, the student presenters, the tributes, and the emcees--seemed overall more polished and engaging.
    I was the lead for the senior tributes, and thus sent out information via email regarding the tributes. I also did Jen Zhu’s senior tribute along with Dana Perry.
    Unfortunately, none of my guests were able to come. However, I met my mentor the following Sunday and gave her the mentor certificate. From what I told her of the symposium she seemed to think it was really interesting!
    I did attend the symposium.
    I enjoyed Professor Hancock’s presentation. He had a good stage presence, and thus provided an entertaining and engaging presentation. It was definitely much better than last year. However, while the topic was relevant to one of the overarching themes of science research--collaboration--and while Professor Hancock did a good job of explaining it in a way that everyone could understand, I thought it was a bit too broad. I think it would have been more interesting if he had presented a specific aspect of his research. Even though I am not as interested in physics as I am in biology, I think that would have had greater relevance to the science research program because it would show us what our presentations might be like if we decide to pursue a career in research.
    The student presentations were very varied and diverse, which was great. They incorporated many aspects of science research, ranging from real world challenges to social behaviors, science to engineering. For the most part they were presented very cogently and coherently, as well.
    Eeman’s presentation was my favorite part of the symposium. Obviously, it was interesting and informative, but it was also heart-warming, engaging, and impassioned. It was probably one of the best presentations I’ve ever seen from science research. In terms of improvements, I think that the sophomore student presentation could have been slightly more practiced and captivating.

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  41. 1. This was my first annual Science Symposium. It was a very good experience and about what I expected. If anything, I thought there would be more poster presenting with more one-on-one discussions about our projects, but I only talked to one group of people about my project. The food was excellent though I did not get to try any pies off of the pie table. I thought the tributes were amusing to listen to, and overall the symposium was really fun.

    2. I was the co-lead for the food committee along with Julia Nadelmann. We got together the list of food needed and communicated with the other food members to get them to walk around their classes and have people sign up for food items. I also emailed Mr. Lazzaro to build a connection between his period one class and the rest of the science research students under Ms. Day’s instructions. We organized the piñata set up including which one to get, how to hang it up, who should hit it, and who should hold it.

    3. I invited my biology teacher, Ms. Reeves, and my parents to the symposium and only my parents were able to come. They really enjoyed the symposium, although my mom had to leave early. My dad told me afterwards that he really enjoyed the keynote speaker because he spoke to the science research students about things that could be done. He thought it was a really good option to pick as a keynote speaker.

    4. (I did attend the symposium.)

    5. Overall I thought the keynote speaker was very interesting. I liked his point about how great science can only be achieved through international support, and I thought this was a good message to send. I liked the way he organized his presentation slides because he used up all of the space in a very organized matter. However, I did not completely understand what the point of his presentation was. I was able to understand for the most part each individual thing he was saying (at times he would try to explain some chemistry thing without giving any background information) but I did not understand what he wanted us to take away from the presentation. He just spoke on different subjects and didn’t really relate it all together. Because of this I don’t really know if I would like to pursue his subject of research because I didn’t really understand what he does.

    6. The student presentations were very good individually however I think the order of presentations should be changed. Next year, instead of starting with a senior and ending with a freshman, I believe it should start with a freshman and work its way up to a senior. This way, as the research gets more advanced, the audience is more engaged. However, in the order they were presented this year, it started with an excellent presentation by Eeman, however each time the presentations were knocked down a notch as the complexity of each project was lowered. Because of this, it was very hard for all of the presenters to follow the previous project and the audience was disengaged. On the other hand, the presentations were good because of the wide variety of topics they covered. I liked how there was a behavioral project, an environmental project, and a medical project. But I do believe it would have been better if we ended with Eeman and her message to the underclassmen.

    7. The best thing about the symposium was the piñata celebration, and I think this should be made an annual tradition. One improvement for next year would be to change the order of the student presentations.

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  42. Arvene Golbazi
    1. This symposium was similar to others. I have only been to one in the past, yet the only difference with this one was the piñata and use of Owais as a dastardly villain.
    2. I brought in forks and also helped set up the program in the cafeteria during my class period and after school. I also made Kristin’s tribute with Matt.
    3. Both my parents and my brother showed up, and enjoyed it very much, especially the student’s projects.
    4. –
    5. I enjoyed the topic of Big Science and I thought he did well to deliver it at my and the other parents’ comfort levels through his breaking down of the topics. I would be interested in the areas he discussed.
    6. I thought the student presentations were extremely well put together and each explored a new aspect of science that was both informative and useful.
    7. I liked the food best (oreos with cream cheese are delivered from the heavens) and I think for next year we should work more on improving the quality of our MC’s with involving the audience.

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  43. I could not attend the 8th Annual Amity Science Symposium because I had to attend my sister's college graduation for Bryn Mawr College, near Philadelphia. I had to leave my house around 9 am Friday morning, and arrived at the college around 230 in the afternoon. It was raining pretty heavily and the Convocation was in a tent outside. The ground was very muddy and slushy. During the Convocation, the class president, the college president, some faculty, and some alumnae spoke to the soon-to-be graduates. It lasted about 45 minutes. The next day was the graduation itself, where NPR's Terry Cross spoke about her life experiences and dealing with failure. I had to help set up for my sister's garden party, which is a small gathering outside in the college garden for family and friends of the graduates and is a Bryn Mawr tradition. The next day, I had to help my sister pack up her apartment and move her things into the car and drive home, which took over 5 hours.

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  44. 1. This symposium was so much better than any of the past amity science research symposiums. The best part was the Emcee’s they really got the audience engaged and excited.
    2. I was the Emcee and helped keep the program going smoothly.
    3. I invited 4 guests my parents sister and a family friend who comes ever y year names Dr. Khire. They all loved it.
    4. .
    5. I really liked the presentation because he talked about what was relevant at the moment.
    6. I really liked the presentations especially Eeman’s which was more about life skills instead of her adctual project.
    7. The one thing I liked best was the Ms. Day tribute made by Shaunak and Kristin and one improvement that I saw was the organization on our part before the symposium. When you were absent for a period of time it was harder for us to know exactly what all of us had to do.

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  45. Victoria Liu

    1. This symposium was very good and seemed similar to past years. I liked the decorations (although there was no set theme ☹ ), and they were definitely a lot better than the ones from the past two years. The emcees really spiced up the show with the whole superhero theme (albeit Dr. Evil Khan did unexpectedly scare me with that loud laughter sometimes). The tributes were all fun to watch and the presentations were very good. The food was great as usual, but I really wish we could bring the sandwiches/wraps back!

    2. Most of my contributions came from the PowerPoint and tribute. During class, I helped organize the PowerPoint and save it from disaster when there was some technological issue that deleted all the photos. I wrote Eeman a nice little poem as her tribute, and helped set up for the event during class.

    3. I invited my whole family, mentor, and a few family friends to go, but unfortunately my family had to go to another event and my mentor and family friends were also busy.

    4. N/A

    5. Prof. Hancock was very into his presentation, which really kept the audience attentive. I thought the concepts he brought up were very interesting and novel, but I would not do a project in that field (I’m definitely more of a bio person for sure). Even when Prof Hancock described a complex topic, he adequately broke it up into terms we would understand, which I really appreciated.

    6. I really enjoyed the presentations. Eeman’s presentation was so sentimental and taught us underclassmen a useful lesson. Danny’s, George’s, Eli’s, and Haya’s presentations were all also very interesting (especially George and Eli’s!!!!). The topics were definitely diverse; there was a project from each category.

    7. Best thing: Senior tributes. It’s also fun and sentimental to reflect on each senior’s journey/ listen to the creative minds of the underclassman and see how they design their tribute. I was very surprised at how productive we were at handing out student certificates; it seemed a lot faster than past years.

    Improvement: The whole setting up of the symposium felt very rushed. There were some classes before Norwalk that we had some free time and I think we could have started symposium preparation then. Also the symposium started late and also took too long. I think we should cut down the times of the student presentations.

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  46. Joe N

    1. This symposium went pretty well. It ran without any interruption, like the other 3 I’ve seen in the past. Overall, this one was slightly worse than last year’s because of this symposium was longer and had less creative senior tributes. This is all subjective based on my mood, though, and my opinion may not be valid because I how I perceive things varies on my mood a lot more than most others.
    2. I organized and regulated some of the abstracts for our class for the symposium booklet and helped decorate the pie table. I also indirectly provided the keynote speaker for the presentation and by extension the theme of the symposium booklet as a whole.
    3. Only my mentor was able to make it. He was very impressed by our school and the presentation. He enjoyed the projects and the tributes as well. Unfortunately I couldn’t talk to him after the intermission because he has to leave.
    4. I had a decoy robot Joseph (it prefers the name Joseph NeuMech) at the presentation while I was home. All my answers are based of its observations. I was watching a display of bootleg fireworks imported from Honduras in my backyard during the symposium.
    5. Off the bat, don’t count my answer for this. I’m obviously biased. However, it is worth saying that I enjoyed some elements of the presentation. His tangent into the mechanics of particle accelerators was a bit unnecessary and I imagine that was a turnoff for some of them. It was also technical (though there is no easy way to simplify the subject of particle accelerators) in a few areas. I am interested in the field, but this presentation probably wouldn’t do much to interest someone outside the field. Overall I liked it, but I imagine the majority didn’t.
    6. The student presentations were mostly good. Personally I think Eeman saying that “you can find art in anything” is extremely pretentious, but if others like that type of motivational speech, that’s fine. Danny, George and Eli (especially), and the freshman (sorry but I’m terrible with names) all seemed uninterested. I get that they’re probably tired after sitting for 2 hours, but it still could be better. I know that I’m probably one of the few who’d notice (even fewer would care), but it’s still a problem.
    7. I liked the time before the presentation where people could just view projects or talk, and I think there should be more time for that. In the future, I’d like to see more people work on senior tributes over a greater period of time. If we prepared for the symposium earlier, the overall quality would be significantly higher.

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  47. Eli Silvert

    1. I remember enjoying last year’s symposium more than this year—probably because it was a new experience for me and I didn’t know what to expect. Everything that I specifically remember from last year seemed to match up with this year though. I contributed more to this year’s symposium, so that also made me gain an appreciation for all the work that goes into making it run smoothly.
    2. I helped set up the cafeteria in our eighth period science research class. Also I brought water bottles and made sure everyone in our class was signed up to bring something.
    3. Three people that I invited came—my mentor, mom, and Dad. My parents said they thought the student presenters in particular were very interesting. They also liked the beginning when they could walk around and look at the projects/eat food.
    4. I did attend.
    5. I thought Prof. Jason Hancock was very interested about science and seemed like a nice guy. I thought the presentation was a little broad and I feel like I didn’t really learn about anything in particular but rather just about science in general. I enjoyed hearing about some of the specific locations at which science research occurred; in fact I would have liked hearing more about these specific places. I think it was largely delivered at my level of understanding because I understood what he was saying. He seemed to talk about a lot of fields of science, so I would certainly be interested in working in at least one of them.
    6. I thought the student presentations were great. I really enjoyed hearing Eeman’s experience in science research and the advice that she gave. I thought she presented it all very well. Daniel’s presentation I also thought was very interesting and advanced. The diversity of the presentations also kept it interesting I think.
    7. The thing I liked most about the symposium was the senior tributes section. They were all unique, entertaining, and interesting. One improvement that I think could be made would be to make the keynote speaker have a more specific topic of focus. I would have liked to hear more about his specific research.

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  48. Ben Staniewicz
    1. This symposium went well but others in the past have been better. The presentations were nice but the whole Evil Owais thing seemed pointless to me. Last year’s was the best but this year, out of the five I’ve been to, is probably the second best. It could have been a bit funnier but aside from that, was very good.
    2. I contributed by being a part of the Ms. Day tribute video for 3 whole seconds.
    3. Of the ones I invited, 2 guests came. They seemed to have enjoyed it although I didn’t ask for a comparison to previous years.
    4. I attended the symposium.
    5. I enjoyed the keynote presentation. It was mostly on physics (which I personally enjoy) which is always a plus. My only issue with it is that I thought it was too simple (but that’s because I already know a lot on the subject). I also know that it was too much for some people so overall, it was very appropriate for the audience.
    6. The different student presentations were good. Although it doesn’t apply to me, I would imagine it would have helped some underclassmen to see Eeman’s presentation. It also helped me view some good, interesting projects that I was not able to see earlier because those students were not in my class.
    7. My favorite part of the symposium was probably the keynote speaker. As said before, I enjoyed it and I think it was appropriate for the average person there. One thing that I think could be improved is the fact that the symposium was a bit too long. I started to get bored towards the end (although I had a presentation the following day and also a very runny nose which doesn’t help me feel comfortable). It ended at around 10 which, if I remember correctly, is later than past symposiums had been.

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  49. Jacob Gibbons-Morales

    1. The symposium was very similar to the only other one I attended in full, last years. The differences were really the tributes and the way it was MC. I thought Owais did a great job as the evil villain. He really played the part and provided some great comic relief.
    2. I was part of the planning and setup. I made sure people signed up for food and signed the card. I also made the absolute last slide although sadly it was skipped over.
    3. I invited 5 people not including my parents and only my dad was able to attend. He had a good time.
    4. N.A.
    5. I think that the keynote speaker did a fine job I would have just liked to have heard more about what he actually does. His presentation was done and was on my level of intelligences. Even though he did a good job presenting I am not that interested in his topic
    6. I think that the student presentations were done well and covered a wide variety of topics. I just wish that they were shorter I got hard to pay attention sitting for so long. Another intermission could maybe have helped.
    7. The best think about the symposium were the tributes. In order to improve it I would shorten it a bit we went an hour over the scheduled time.

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  50. Victoria Li

    1. I think that this year's symposium was just as good as last year's, if not better. The senior tributes were very entertaining, and the student presentations were interesting as well.
    2. I helped set up the cafeteria before the symposium and as well as organize the abstracts in alphabetical order. I was also in charge of editing mentor bios for my period.
    3. I invited my mentor and my parents. My mentor was able to attend, and was impressed with the program and with what we were doing. She took a few extra programs to take back to her office.
    4. N/A
    5. I thought that his presentation did a very good job of highlighting why teamwork in science was important, and how going out of your comfort zone was sometimes necessary in order to achieve a goal. He explained this concept in a manner that was easy to understand, but I did have a little trouble understanding what he did as a physicist. Maybe I just won't work physics...
    6. I thought all of the presentations were interesting, especially Daniel's and Haya's. They all were very well done, and the transitions between went smoothly. Eeman's presentation did a really good job of showing everyone what science research was about.
    7. I liked the senior tributes. One thing I think could be improved is the overall run time of the symposium. We spent a little too long hanging out in the cafeteria, and that may have pushed back the other events.

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  51. 1. I think that the symposium this year went pretty well. I was upset with some certain aspects though. The symposium started at dinner time for most people, yet there was only sugary sweets. There needs to be a better selection of food. We can’t have that much junk food. Also, it ran very long. There are some tweaks to the schedule that I would certainly make.

    2. I mostly focused on Senior Tributes and putting together the Student and Mentor Certificates.


    3. My parents were the only ones that were able to come. They were not happy with the length of the Symposium. They felt that it was too long.



    5. Personally, I did not like the guest speaker. I did not feel like his presentation was interactive. I don’t really like the idea of having a guest speaker at the symposium.

    6. I thought there was a lot of diversity of interesting topics presented.

    7. Best- I liked the senior tributes the best. They were personal but fun, and gave that bittersweet moment to the ceremony.

    I think a major improvement needed is time. We ran an hour over the proposed ending time, and I feel like people were starting to get really bored. To cut down time, I would say cut the guest speaker presentations. I felt like it didn’t really fit into the flow of the night.

    MattWhitehill

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  52. Thomas Boutros

    2. Some contributions I made included making the teacher powerpoint slides, the teacher bios, and I worked on inviting the 8th graders to the symposium.

    3. I invited all of my mentors, Dr. Jason Tracy, Dr. John DeFrancesco, and Dr. William Sherman. However, all three of them could not attend.

    4. Sadly, I was not able to attend the symposium, as I was away in the Bahamas. I stayed at Paradise Island/Atlantis. It was a really fun time. For example, I visited and shopped at the Marina Village, lounged by the pool, went to the waterpark, beach, etc. The highlight of the trip was probably the waterslide at the Mayan Temple at Aquaventure Park in Atlantis. I did two out of the three slides, one with a tube and one without, called the "Leap of Faith." It was very appropriately named. Now, I really wish I prepared myself more for the Leap of Faith, because I was not really ready for it at all. Even though it was a lot of fun, I made some sort of really awkward noise on the way down. It was along the lines of "uhhhhhhghhhhhhhgghhhfhhhhh." It was still the best waterslide I've ever been on. If I had to do anything other than attend the Symposium (which I'm still very upset that I missed), I'm glad it was this.

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  54. Kate Alvarado

    1. This was my first science symposium. It was about what I had expected, taking pictures and eating and listening to a bunch of people speak. However, I did think that the keynote speaker would be a little more interesting, and I was disappointed with the fact that I was somewhat bored while he talked. However, the good food made up for that and the senior tributes were really funny.
    2. I got to the symposium early to help a little bit with the set-up. I also brought a chocolate pie to share with everyone.
    3. None of my family members were able to attend, I just brought myself.
    4. I attended the symposium.
    5. I thought that Jason Hancock was very knowledgeable in his subject area, and he had a lot of good insight to share with us. However, I thought his presentation was a little dry and it was hard to understand, so it was a bit below my expectations. Unfortunately I have never been much interested in physics (my dad’s a chemist, I’ve always liked chemistry for that reason), and I thought that Hancock should’ve simplified his lecture a bit to fit everyone’s needs.
    6. I thought all of the student presentations were really good; they all did a great job. I admired those who gave their presentations in front of so many people, because that takes a lot of courage and confidence to stand up in front of that many people and present your project. It was also great to see what students in other classes had come up with, and the upperclassmen were able to almost “inspire” us and set the bar high for our projects next year.
    7. The best thing about the symposium for me was the food and getting to hang out with my friends. One improvement for the symposium would be to have a more interesting speaker. The event also went a little late.

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  55. 1. This symposium was my second symposium because I went to my sister's for a short while, but I wasn't able to stay the whole time. This symposium was pretty much what I expected, even though it was very long.
    2. I contributed to the symposium by bringing muffins.
    3. I invited my mother who was able to make it and she enjoyed it even though she agreed that it was very long.
    5. I was not able to understand much of the key note speaker's presentation.
    6. I thought that the student presenter's had very good presentation skills and their projects were in depth.
    7. The best part about the symposium was the food and Kristen's tribute video. I think that the symposium could be improved by just shortening the time a little.

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  56. 1. It was not what I had expected. I was anticipating a larger audience with no storyline behind the MC’s.

    2. Set up my spot, brought my parents, and cleaned up some before I left (even though I left early)

    3. Two were able to come, my mother and father, and they did not enjoy the symposium

    5. I thought the keynote speaker was obviously quite intelligent, but that “Big Science” is a hard topic to present excitingly. I understood much of the presentation, but it was hard to pay attention. I do not wish to research this area

    6. The quality and diversity were good, but I did not have the attention span to sit through them, as they were generally about things I had no interest in

    7. The part of the symposium I enjoyed most was being able to culminate all of the hard work put in by myself, as well as others, throughout this year. The improvement I would make would be to have more engaging speakers and presentations, as much of the crowd seemed lost or bored.

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  57. Kathleen Walsh
    1) This symposium was my first, and it was not at all what I expected. The beginning had a great atmosphere, but during the keynote speaker the atmosphere was super boring. The senior tributes were a little “out there” and made me almost uncomfortable in my seat.
    2) I was supposed to help with decorations but Mr. Lazzaro’s class was just thrown on “clean up”. I would of liked for Ms. Day to give us different task so we could help more. I also brought food to the share with the participants in the Science Research Program.
    3) None of the guest I invited could come, but from what I heard from others they enjoyed it.
    4) I attended the symposium.
    5) Professor Jason Hancock’s presentation was so confusing. It was hard to follow, and I believe only the seniors really understood and grasped his concepts. I would not be interested in following his research; it was not an interesting topic to me.
    6) The 4 presentations were like any other presentation at a science fair. They were all sharing their project; all the ideas were very interesting and clever.
    7) Overall, I didn’t enjoy the symposium the only positive was the food. If you want any improvements I would say stay on time. Mr. L said it would go until 9:00 so for clean up it was pick up at 9:15. This was not the case, freshman can’t drive and when our parents came to pick us up at 9:30 I had to leave. I could not stay until 10:30 to clean up a mess I didn’t make!

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  58. James He

    1. I went to the symposium briefly during 8th grade during the senior tributes, which I think were the best part. Thus, going into this year's symposium, I had high expectations for the tributes at the very least. Though many were funny, they were not up to the same degree as last year. I would say this year's was slightly worse than what I had seen last year entertainment-wise.
    2. I brought my own Milano cookies, and helped to edit the abstracts a little for the program.
    3. I invited two guests and half of them came. I didn't speak with them much throughout the symposium, so I'm not quite sure what he felt about it.
    4. I attended the symposium.
    5. The keynote presentation conducted by John Hancock was a bit too serious for my liking. Overall, it came right after the senior tributes, which really provided a lively and funny atmosphere. His presentation toned it down quite a lot and was hard to pay attention to. What I did grasp from what he was saying was actually rather interesting as I had really no knowledge of the topic at hand. Right now, it's too early to say whether this topic will be pursued by me in the future.
    6. The junior, sophomore, and freshman presentations were all resembling the ones you would hear at a science fair. I believed the freshman and junior presentations did a good job while the sophomore one was a little unprepared and choppy, making it hard to understand the concept at times. Eeman's senior presentation was very well thought out and unlike the other ones. I must say, however, it was a little sappy towards the end. But that did give personal experience to it.
    7. This year, I liked the senior tributes the most. They contained the most entertainment value and gave some different vibe to the overall event. However, I think less time should be devoted to the presentations. They really stretched out the symposium to a later time than expected.

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  59. Marissa Della-GiustinaMay 21, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    1.This was my first Amity Science Symposium, and it was some of what I expected. I knew the basic outline of the symposium, hand out certificates, senior tributes, and everything else. However, I didn’t expect it to be so long. I actually though it might end before the ending time, 9:00 PM, but it ended up going over an hour later.
    2.To help the symposium run smoothly, I helped by bringing in food for the food planning committee. I also stayed after for a bit and helped clean up by throwing away empty bags and containers from the food, and removing some of the tablecloths from the tables.
    3.Two of the guests, my parents, came to the symposium that I invited. They really loved the keynote speaker and the presentation by the junior speaker, however they both thought it was getting a bit long after a while. They also though that some of the senior tributes were much too long and should’ve been cut shorter in order to save time because they were quite repetitive.
    4.I did attend the symposium.
    5.I thought the keynote speaker was good public speaker, but I had trouble understanding some of the things he was discussing. As a freshman in high school, I don’t have a very high level of education in the field of science, and have not taken a chemistry or physics course that is the level of difficulty that he was speaking about. Furthermore, I honestly didn’t really know a lot about what he was talking about, so I do not have much of an opinion towards his speech.
    6.I thought all the student presentations were excellent and everyone did a great job. The way Eeman put together her presentation sort of like a story stood out a lot. She, along with the junior speaker, both did a fantastic job explaining aspects of their projects that may not be understood by someone with a lot of knowledge in the science field to that extent. I though both the freshman and sophomore presentations were very good too. The only thing I think could be improved upon is for the other presentations, to explain a little bit more because there were some holes in the project that weren’t necessarily explained. Also, the ending of speeches could’ve been better rather than just saying “I’m done” or “That’s it” some of the speakers could’ve briefly summarized their projects. Overall, all five speakers did very well.
    7.The thing I liked best about the symposium was the senior tribute that used a song to “California Girls” being played to a cello. I thought this was very entertaining and well put together, and it didn’t seem super long. A lot of the other senior tributes were good, but this one stood out the most to me. I thought that sticking to the allotted time would help improve the symposium a lot. This could be done by shortening the time at the beginning when we are in the cafeteria, having a time limit for the senior tributes (this part seemed to take the longest) and making a time limit for all other speeches done.

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  60. 1. This was my first science research symposium, and honestly, it wasn’t what I expected. The keynote speaker was very interesting, but since I’ve never learned physics or chemistry, it was very hard to understand. Also, some of the senior tributes were not entertaining and I feel that those, pulled down the quality of the others. It also wasn’t organized very well; I didn’t even know I would be getting up to receive a certificate. If it was planned better, all the grades could have sat in alphabetical order and simply stood up in a line to receive their certificates. It would have looked better and flowed better.
    2. I contributed by bringing food, cookies. I was supposed to stay after to help clean up, but I had originally made plans after the symposium, and since it ran so late, I had to leave as soon as I could. I did pick up some trash as I left though.
    3. Initially, I didn’t invite anyone, but at the symposium I invited by mom. She came for an hour or so. She liked the senior presentation a lot, she thought Eeman presented very well and taught very useful life lessons. She did enjoy the other presentations, but they were a lot more straightforward.
    4. I attended the symposium.
    5. The Keynote presentation was hard to understand. As a freshman, I’ve only learned biology and the speaker was way above my understanding level. He should’ve simplified everything. I will not be pursuing this type of research. I also felt terribly on how the audience reacted. Many, many kids were on their phones, which was rude to the speaker.
    6. The quality and diversity of the student presentations was wide-ranged. Some of the videos were not-the-best quality, so many kids didn’t even understand what was happening. Some of the videos were hilarious and top-quality. There was a range presentations, for example, musical, through videos, speeches, etc. I think that after the videos and music presentations, the speeches were very boring for the kids to listen to.
    7. I enjoyed the senior presentation because she was so interesting and truthful. Not only did she bring us through her four years of science research, but she informed us on the lessons she learned on the way there. I think, for next year, we can improve the keynote speaker to someone who the students relate to more. Maybe a young college student, or a wise old professor, who has learned so many lessons throughout his life and learned so much science too. Also, try to cut down on time!

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  61. Joseph Antaya
    1.) The symposium was not what I was expecting. It was more casual than any science fair I have attended in the past, and this was my first one that I attended. The variety of food was a pleasant surprise. I would also like to add that it ran longer than expected, and I would have liked for a shorter intermission.
    2.) To contribute to this year’s science symposium, I bought juice boxes and snapple for the event, and was one of the few that stayed after to clear the smaller tables of leftover snacks, sunglasses, and tablecloths.
    3) I did not invite any guests to the symposium due to conflicting family matters.
    4.) I attended the symposium this year.
    5.) The overall presentation was mildly interesting, due to the fact that the keynote speaker presented many complex things in a list format.
    6.) I thought that the quality of the presentations were extremely high. I was very intrigued in particular with the artificial heart project, and the fact that the device that the student produced actually worked was incredible.
    7.) One improvement I would make for the symposium would be to recruit a keynote speaker who is more intriguing, even though I think that the recent keynote speaker did a good job anyway. My favorite part of the science symposium was the presentations from the students. This is because I did not have a previous opportunity to view these magnificent experiments.

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  62. 1. This was my first symposium, and it was somewhat of what I expected. Although, I had not personally attended any past symposiums, I had heard various stories about them. I had been informed of the symposium’s humorous atmosphere, and this year did not disappoint.
    2. For the symposium, I originally helped the lead of the decorations committee plan out the design for decorations on paper and create a general shopping list for decorations. Also, after the symposium I stayed to help clean up a little bit by discarding of empty food trays and tablecloths.
    3. My father was also able to attend the symposium. He thoroughly enjoyed the keynote speaker and the four student presentations.
    4. I did attend the symposium.
    5. I believe that the keynote speaker presented very well; however, I did not enjoy the topic. Being a freshman in high school, I felt that the material was extremely unrelatable, and thus boring to me. Also, as a freshman, I have not had an extremely extensive formal science education. I truly did not understand a large portion of what the keynote speaker was discussing. The information was delivered above my understanding and comfort level. If he had simplified his speech a little bit, and somehow related the material to one’s everyday life, then I believe that his presentation would have been extremely enjoyable.
    6. I felt that each student presentation truly represented the best that science research has to offer. Personally, I enjoyed Eeman Abbasi’s senior presentation due to its structure. The overview of Eeman’s four years in the science research program was relatable, and showed me what to expect for the future. It was interesting, and Eeman’s ability to simplify her brief explanations of her complex projects allowed me to understand her presentation. The junior, sophomore, and freshman presentations were also extremely interesting to listen to.
    7. The best thing about the symposium was the senior tributes and Ms. Day’s tribute. They were all extremely heartwarming or humorous. I enjoyed Eeman Abbasi’s tribute and Lamisa Mannan’s tribute the most because they were humorous yet short. Some tributes dragged on a little too long, causing the symposium to end rather late. For future symposiums, I recommend putting a time limit on tributes, or on the student presentations. This would prevent the program from running late, as it was difficult to sit through the entire program.

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  63. Jasmine Moon
    1. The first time I went to a science research symposium was last year in eighth grade. I had to leave early, so I only got to see the senior tributes. This year was my first full science research symposium, and like last year, the senior tributes were very funny. I really enjoyed them! The presentations were interesting too.

    2. I personally helped the science symposium by bringing some of the refreshments. I arrived a little early, so I also helped set up the food. After the presentations, I then stayed later to help clean the cafeteria and throw out the empty cans/bottles/food trays.

    3. I invited one guest, and he did come. He only stayed for the first half, so he was not able to see the presentations. However, he said the jokes were entertaining and that the science research program as a whole seemed like a positive atmosphere and a really good program.

    4. I attended the symposium.

    5. The keynote speaker seemed to have a lot of knowledge on his area of expertise. Although, I understood parts of his presentation, I did not understand most of it because I never learned the subjects of science that his presentation was pertaining to. However, I liked that when he introduced something new, he would sometimes explain what it is first. I do not think I will be interested in researching this topic.

    6. I thought the quality and diversity of the students’ presentations were really good! Everyone delivered their research understandably, and they explained each step of their project with great detail. I thoroughly enjoyed all the presentations.

    7. One thing I liked best about the symposium were the student presentations at the end. This is because it was a chance to see what other students did and to understand their level of thinking. Also, each presentation was delivered so everyone can understand, so all were listening. Also, there was a wide diversity throughout the presentations. Therefore, this opened up students’ eyes to more subjects of science, and a little more understanding about a specific project in that topic. One improvement that could be made is the timing. The schedule was messed up, and everything ran later than it was supposed to. The symposium ended a whole hour later than it was supposed to! Therefore, I think the timing needs to be paid attention to.

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  64. George Zhang
    1.I’ve been to the Amity Science Symposium twice before. I thought that this year was pretty similar to the previous two. The guest speaker was a little lackluster but I thought the emcees were good, and overall, I enjoyed the symposium.
    2.I brought spoons to the symposium, worked on the symposium powerpoint, helped decorate, and was one of the student presenters.
    3.Both of my parents and my little brother came and they enjoyed the experience although they said it ran for a long time. Our mentor came as well although I am not sure how he felt about the symposium.
    4.n/a
    5.To be honest, I did not really listen to the guest speaker because I was distracted by the people around me. I sincerely tried to listen to him, but I couldn’t really understand what he was saying and it did not sound very exciting. I caught a few things about what he was saying, such as the particle collider which discovered the Higgs Boson, but overall I did not really get much out of his presentation.
    6.I really enjoyed the other students’ presentations and I thought they were interesting because I knew very little about the topics they were presenting. Eeman’s presentation was very touching as well.
    7.I really enjoyed the emcees and evil Owais. They were very entertaining and lightened the mood of the evening. But the symposium took a little too long for my liking and it would have been better if it could have been shortened a little.

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  65. 1) This symposium was a very successful one in my view – though its emceeing was of a slightly lower level than last year, it was still top notch, and the guest speaker was quite engaging. Food supply/variety was very good and the presentations were interesting to watch as well.

    2) I contributed to the symposium by being the task leader for the powerpoint – including designing the default slide, checking the individual sciresser’s slides, and adding in miscellaneous slides to the presentation – in essence, ensuring the powerpoint flowed smoothly and that glitches did not come up. I also helped set up the cafeteria during period 8 and brought 100 scrumptious mini-samosas to the symposium.

    3) One guest who I invited was able to come to the symposium: Dr. Pittenger, my official mentor. I caught up with him about my work with another professor, and he was generally pleased with the symposium’s quality.

    4) I attended the symposium.

    5) Overall, the Keynote speaker was engaging and professional. His broad presentation in science at large and small scales was quite interesting and sparked some thought in how collaboration in science can achieve great discoveries. The presentation level was easy enough to understand and I would be interested in pursuing research in this field due to my interest in physical science.

    6) The student presentations were delivered well, even though the audience was beginning to lose interest at that point, the presenters kept it together. The topics were picked very well – all four were in different and interesting subject material: overview of four years, biomedical engineering, psychology, and materials science.

    7) I enjoyed Kristen’s overarching theme for the symposium the best, of the evil Owais trying to take over the symposium – it was pulled off way better than I expected, though it faded towards the end of the symposium. One improvement for next year would be to have a more realistic time schedule for the symposium – over the past few years, we have run late consistently, due to longer than expected student awards/senior tributes especially.

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  66. 1. This was my very first symposium and wasn't entirely what I expected. I definitely didn't think that the symposium would be so light-hearted, especially with the senior tributes and the whole evil Dr. Khan thing that Kristin and Shaunak did.

    2. Josh and I created Shaunak's senior tribute and I also stayed to help clean up after the symposium ended.

    3. I invited my parents however they were not able to attend.

    4. I attended the symposium

    5. I didn't really enjoy the Keynote presentation all that much. I thought what he was saying was hard to understand especially since I don't know a lot about physics and it doesn't interest me that much. I wouldn't be interested in pursuing research in this field.

    6. I thought the student presentations were excellent and very diverse. All of them were delivered well and I enjoyed listening to them.

    7. I really liked the senior tributes because they were so funny and creative. However I think one improvement that could be made is to follow the schedule more closely. The symposium ended a lot later than expected.

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  67. Leah Miller
    1. I was more involved in the fruition of this symposium and thus I enjoyed it more as I knew all the effort that went into it. Compared to previous years, this was a lot longer but just as nice.
    2. I edited all junior symposium slides. I aided in the senior tribute for Jen. I edited and checked off all mentor certificates. I stuffed all of the student certificates into envelopes to be paired with mentor certificates. I began to match student envelopes with mentor envelopes, getting through about half. I brought brownies to the symposium, which were soon devoured.
    3. I invited about 4 to come, and of the single person that came, the impression was good however it was expressed that the program was waaaaay too long.
    4. N/A
    5. While the topic was interesting and the understanding level was fine, it was a rather broad presentation and the speaker did not seem like he was well-practiced in his presentation.
    6. The students presentations were good and the topics were interesting.
    7. I enjoyed the fact that the symposium was a time for all the students to get together as one group. With it being 4 hours long, I felt the symposium was waaaaay too long and needs to be cut down especially as we will have a way large amount of seniors next year and thus would not have the time to do senior tributes for everyone. An idea would be to still do them but just for the students at a different date.

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  68. 1. This symposium was very similar to the ones that I attended in the past. First, there were refreshments, followed by the picture, and then we headed toward the auditorium. The new addition that I enjoyed was the piñata. I thought this was a fun activity to participate in during the intermission.
    2. I designed my own program, brought in Snapples, and helped plan gifts for the teachers.
    3. Only one of the guests I invited was able top attend. I think she enjoyed how lively the symposium was during refreshments and during the senior tributes. She thought that the speaker and the presentations were well chosen.
    4. N/A
    5. I thought Jason Hancock was a pleasant speaker. However, I don’t think I got a hold of his main point. It was hard to follow along. I don’t know if I would be interested in this area of research.
    6. I thought the students’ research projects were outstanding. I think this group of presenters was able to show the diversity and success of the science research program.
    7. I think the best thing about the symposium was the Senior tributes. However, there was not enough food this year. I think we should aim towards more refreshments in the future.
    Cindy Guo

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  69. Haseeb Khan


    1. This past symposium was very good. I thought that it holds up well against last year’s, the only other one I have been to. The most unexpected and fun part of the symposium was the overarching theme of superheroes vs. super villains. That was very creative and original.
    2. I brought in fifteen balloons and edited the invitations sent out to the incoming freshman that will be in Science Research next year. After the program, I briefly helped to clean up.
    3. Two of the three guests I invited were able to come. They both immensely enjoyed the symposium.
    4. I attended the symposium.
    5. Prof. Jason Hancock, UConn Professor of Physics, discussed "Big 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? Would you be interested in pursuing research in this area?
    I thought that the presentation on Big Science was very well done. I enjoyed listening to the topics Prof. Hancock was talking about. The presentation was delivered at my comfort level (although sometimes I felt as if he was over-simplifying some things). I would definitely be interested in pursuing a career in physics because I am fascinated by the topic.
    6. I thought that all the presentations were done very well. Eeman’s presentation was the best I have ever heard. It was original and inspiring and really showed what Science Research represents.
    Dan’s research was interesting and showed what is right around the corner technology-wise. His explanations were concise, clear and he made it easy to understand. George and Eli’s presentations were good too. They kept it at a level that was easy to understand for the whole audience. The freshman presentation was surprising. It had a very applicable implication on many levels (economy, environment) and seemed to be very well researched.
    7. The best thing in the symposium was Eeman’s presentation. As I mentioned before, her speech was inspiring and is one of the things that truly stuck with me. The second best thing in the symposium was the evil Dr, Khan. Not even I knew that my brother was going to do what he did and that experience was enjoyable.
    One improvement is to extend the time. Either start the symposium 30 minutes earlier or state it to end 30 minutes later. This year we ended at 9:50, almost an hour later than stated on the pamphlets. To make sure that the audience understands how long the symposium will last, the time stated on the pamphlets definitely should be extended.

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  70. Jen Zhu
    1. I had a fun time at this symposium. I thought the piñata was an interesting addition. It seems as though every year the tributes seem to get better and better. :)
    2. Well, I mostly was in charge of collecting money for Ms. Day's gift and getting everyone to sign her card. Then again, I was the only one in charge of it with a little help from Izabella Banka and Sarah Sax, so I feel as though it was difficult enough keeping track of everything.
    3. Unfortunately, none of them were able to attend.
    4. I attended the symposium.
    5. Well, I think the presentation was fairly interesting, though it now seems difficult to recall. I know I had difficulty keeping myself interested at some points but it was just because of the rough transition from being so busy to just sitting still.
    6. I thought there was a great diversity of topics.
    7. The one thing I liked best about the symposium were the tributes, and the one suggestion I have for the future is to maybe spread out the activity. I know that tributes are very funny, but spending time listening to the keynote speaker and then student presentations is a little difficult on the mind in terms of comprehension.

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  71. 1. Although last year’s symposium was difficult to follow (Andrew and Peter were fantastic), this year’s symposium was all around enjoyable. I do wish, however, that it had not gone so far over time.
    2. I brought tortilla chips and helped decorate the cafeteria during my SciRes period. I also created the presentation that I delivered during the symposium about my journey in SciRes.
    3. My entire family was in attendance. They enjoyed themselves overall, with a special appreciation for the senior tributes. My father liked the keynote presentation, while my sister loved the piñata (btw, a great idea that I think we should continue!).
    4. N/A
    5. Dr. Hancock’s presentation was understandable and at my comfort level. However, I do think it appealed more to people who are interested in physics and engineering. I would recommend that in the future we should encourage keynote presenters to talk more about scientific process and how they got to where they are, instead of focusing on what they are currently researching. Dr. Hancock had a good balance of the two, unlike previous keynote speakers. I must say, however, that his daughter was my favorite part of his presentation. She definitely stole the show!
    6. I appreciated the diversity of topics the students presented. Danny is a great presenter so no surprises there. I must say the freshman presenter, Haya, blew me (and my parents) away. She was extremely composed and articulate, two skills that are rare in freshmen. I look forward to learning about her progression in SciRes, as even her freshman year project had a high level of sophistication.
    7. I was honored to have had the privilege to present my senior year, so that was by far my favorite part of the symposium (despite how nervous I was leading up to it!) I also loved the senior tributes. I would suggest a time limit to the senior tributes. Sam Austin’s tribute, for example, was needlessly long. If students would like to make a tribute, you may want to tell them that it must be under 1:30-ish. This way we can avoid going over time. I also think the tributes should be after the break while the keynote should be before, so that if people would like to stay to watch them they can, without having to miss the keynote. I also think the order of presentations should be changed, so that the freshman begins and senior ends.

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  72. 1. How did this symposium compare to others in the past? If this was your first Amity Science Symposium, was it what you expected? Explain.

    I thought that this year’s symposium was by far the best I’ve ever been to. The ceremony/presentation went a lot quicker compared to previous years. The guest presenter also had an interesting and SIMPLE presentation with a very clear message.

    2. What contribution did YOU make towards helping the symposium run smoothly (set up, planning, organizing, tributes, break down, program, certificates, food etc...).

    I worked on Mentor Certificates (Writing them out, printing, putting them in folders, labeling the folders). I also assisted with putting together the student programs and mentor programs.

    3. How many guests (that you invited) were able to come and what was their impression?

    Two guests that I invited were able to attend. They have been to symposiums in the past and they liked this one the most because it moved (or seem to have moved) a lot faster than others in the past.

    4. Prof. David Bernstein discussed "The Importance of the Scientific Process in Forensic Psychology". 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? Would you be interested in pursuing research in this area?

    I thought the guest presentation was really cool. It was sort of hands on and covered an actual crime scene. It was fun to puzzle everything together and to actually think like a Forensic Scientist and Psychologist. The presentation was delivered in simple terms, which made it very easy for everyone to understand. I can see myself pursuing research in Forensics.

    5. What did you think about the quality and diversity of student presentations and topics? Be specific.

    I thought the student presentations were really good. They covered a diversity of topics and most importantly were short, which kept people’s attentions. I liked the RWDC presentation especially because they were brief but they used their time well.

    6. List one thing you liked BEST about the symposium and one IMPROVEMENT that you would like to see for next year.

    Time management is definitely something that needs to be improved. We always run over the time slots every year, though this year it was better, things were closer to their allotted times. I liked the senior tributes best. These were formatted very well and moved very quickly. They kept the “show” running.

    7. On a scale of 0 (low) to 5 (high), rate this year's symposium.

    I would say a 4. This year’s symposium was really good, but there are still improvements here and there that need more attention.

    Matt Whitehill

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