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SCIENCE SURVEY “We’ve got the news down to a science!”

Volume 84 Issue 1

The Bronx High School of Science

Introducing the Brunner Awards

November 2016

“HILLARY OR NOTHING!” Bronx Science Poll Shows

Mr. Brunner explains his vision to students and faculty. Calvin Charles Brunner ‘56 has established a Bronx Science student opportunity fund, together with the Bronx Science Alumni Foundation. Known as the Brunner Award, students will now have the opportunity to receive grants that will sponsor their endeavors. With the support of his wife, Claire, and daughter, Jeryl, Brunner has graciously allocated $15,000 this year to kickstart the fund, which is set to increase in following years. The Brunner Award is open to all Bronx Science students. The application was released to the student body on Friday, October 14th, 2016. While it is required that an application be turned in, there is no restrictive deadline date. Applications will first be evaluated by a student committee, and final decisions will be made by school leadership and the Bronx Science Alumni Foundation. There are no limits on what students can utilize the grants for. An individual who

needs financial support to travel to a foreign country to conduct research is eligible to apply for the fund. Members of a club or the Speech & Debate team can apply if they want to travel to an event or competition. Student athletes can even take advantage of the opportunity, if they wish, to travel to a sports camp or a major competition. Brunner, a former student at Bronx Science, when it was located at 184th Street and Morris Avenue, believes that he found his niche during high school. Surrounded by likeminded peers and teachers who made Shakespeare seem “like the guy next door,” Brunner was moved by the exuberant Bronx Science community. Happiness, he believes, is what brought him back to his alma mater sixty years later. Brunner also credits the creation of the fund to his extensive

In July of 2016, New York State officially eliminated the tampon tax. The state has also made efforts to provide free access to sanitary napkins and tampons in public schools and federal prisons. This legislation is far reaching - even hitting Bronx Science bathrooms. On October 21st, 2016, female Bronx Science students were pleasantly surprised when they walked into school bathrooms and saw that tampon and maxi pad dispensers had been installed. Before the installation, students throughout New York City did not have access to tampons and maxi pads in bathrooms. The more inconvenient alternative was to receive a free maxi pad from the school nurse. Students who menstruate resorted to carrying their own stash of feminine products. “If any girl needed a pad or tampon, they would just ask their friends,” said Nicola Lustig ’17. The New York State Assembly has

21 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in 2016

made strides to promote feminine equality, first lifting a tax on feminine hygiene products, then passing the law granting free access to tampons. These changes have many students feeling hopeful about making advances towards greater health and gender equality for women. “It’s great that this law was passed because women should have access to feminine hygiene products in school bathrooms. It’s a basic right,” said Sophie Malki, ’17. “Tampons are a necessity, especially for female student athletes,” said Allegra Berman, ’17. With the new installation, students no longer have to rely on their friends’ supply of feminine products. Before there were tampon dispensers, students were frustrated at Continued on Page 5

Competitor of Common App Launched By WINNI YOU


Continued on Page 5

Administration Remedies Menstruation Woes By ELIANA CHIOVETTA

disparity between nation-wide and school-wide results is likely due to the varying demographics. In efforts to reveal where Bronx Science stuWhen asked whether they believed in clidents stood on the 2016 election, The Science mate change, 184 students chose yes, while 16 Survey polled various homerooms to see which marked no. The four students who chose “othcandidates and policies er” indicated that while the students supported. they believe that climate The results showed Hilchange exists, nothing lary Clinton, the Demcan be done to repair the ocratic candidate, had damage it has caused, garnered the most supgoing as far as to remark port. that, “Yes, the climate Students were first is changing, but people asked to pick which canare making it sound way didate they would elect more severe than it realas president. While in ly is.” Although these renationwide polls, Hilsponses may seem surlary Clinton and Reprising, this opinion is “Who would you vote for?” 204 students polled. publican Donald Trump common amongst many were fairly competitive, remaining within 5-10 conservative voters. In contrast, one student points of each other in the last few months, wrote, “Climate change isn’t something that you Clinton managed to drum up 75% (153) of the believe in, because it’s a fact!” 204 students polled. Trump received only 8% Interestingly, only 58% of the polled stu(17) of the votes, almost tying with Libertari- dents were against Trump’s proposed tempoan Gary Johnson, who received 7% (15) of the rary ban on Muslims entering the country. This votes. Only 4% (8) of students picked Green raises questions as to why Clinton supporters Party candidate Jill Stein, while the remaining wouldn’t oppose this proposal, 6% (12) of students remained undecided. The Continued on Page 4 By ALLEGRA BERMAN and JEANETTE LEE

Alexander Thorp / The Science Survey

Skylar Hunnewell / The Science Survey


The 2016 Bronx Science Semifinalists. Twenty-one Bronx Science seniors have been recognized as semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. More than 1.6 million juniors from about 22,000 high schools entered the competition this year, making it the most competitive year thus far. To enter the 2017 program, the semifinalists took the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) last September as juniors. Each state has different cutoff scores for qualifying candidates. The cutoff score for New York State was 219 for the 2017 program; for the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, the cutoff score was 222, making it the highest of all states. The lowest cutoff score of 209 came from South Dakota, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Semifinalists represent top scorers from their respective state. “I was so happy when I found out. It’s really exciting to hear that I could receive a scholarship through my high score on this exam,” semifinalist Karen Nguyen ’17 said. Bronx Science has maintained a prolific record of producing semifinalists every single year; twenty-four students were semifinalists in 2016 and twenty-two in 2015. In due time, approximately 15,000 semifinalists will advance as finalists. Continued on Page 11

For the first time ever, the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success (CAAS) Application is available to college applicants of the class of 2021 as an alternative to the traditional Common Application. Over 90 colleges and universities, including all Ivies and Stanford University, have collaborated to implement the Coalition Application. The chief goal of this application is to increase college acceptance and to renovate the college application process. To join the Coalition, colleges must have a graduation rate of at least 70% over the past six years. Public coalition schools aim to offer an affordable tuition for in-state residents, and private schools must meet the full need of accepted students. As nice as this sounds, many Bronx Science seniors and counselors are not using the Coalition App this year, as it is not universally accepted by all colleges. “I do not plan on using the Coalition App because all my schools allow the Common App, while some even require it. Thus, instead of doing two apps, I’d rather complete one that is accepted by all colleges,” Shatila Quader ’17 said. The Coalition App is not expected to be widely used during its premier year, mainly because the number of Coalition members pales in comparison to the 700 schools using the Common App. Furthermore, colleges involved in the Coalition are Ivy League schools and their academic equals, and not every student wants to apply to only these schools. However, some colleges require students to utilize the new Coalition platform. Guidance counselor Darby McHugh noted, “Students who are applying to University of Florida this fall must use the Coalition App.” Continued on Page 6





Story 2 for Me and You By GEORGIA VASILOPOUS A new service provides students with free college essay tutoring.

Blame Democrats for Their Loss By RONIN RODKEY Why it’s wrong to blame third parties for Hillary Clinton’s loss.

Bob Dylan Named Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature By KAYA SCHEMAN Bob Dylan is a recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

A Makeover for Physical Education Classes By BRANDY CHEN A debate over whether Ultimate Frisbee should be a PSAL Sport.







Managing Editors Olivia Fair Sinaia Keith Lang Claudia Kitchen Jeanette Lee Jamie Powers Ronin Rodkey Arts and Entertainment Editors Anna Clevenger Afsana Hussain Sophia Xian

2016-17 Editorial Board Front Page Editors Rahnuma Beheshti Fatema Lovely Anton Weintraub Editorial Editors Zara Kabir Skylar Kleinman David Shin Features Editors Raidah Chowdhury Jason Qu Nistha Bade Shrestha News Editors Madiha Alam Bridget Kulcsar Gloria Ngan

Online Editors Emily Bedolis Raisa Chowdhury Elisa Schmidt Sports Editors Rajiv Beepat Ryan Foo Jeffrey Ko Spotlight Editors Tasmia Kabir Mamadi Jallow Anastasia Koutavas Business Managers Alexandria Ang Alexa Asch Brianna Le Ronin Rodkey Maximilien Steiker Faculty Advisor Alexander Thorp

Corrections Policy The Science Survey welcomes all non-anonymous corrections to any published material. Submissions must arrive within two weeks of release date for printed articles, and one week for online articles. Corrections should be e-mailed to the Managing Editors.

To Blame or Praise By ERIC BAKER Following the September 16 release of Snowden, the Oliver Stone thriller based on real events, there has been a revival on the debate about whether or not this 'hacktivist' acted in the United States’ best interests. In addition, there has been controversy regarding whether or not he should be pardoned for disclosing classified information to the public on the

“The positive effects of Snowden’s leaks are far more grounded in reality than subjective claims.” NSA’s surveillance activities. An appeal for a Presidential pardon to Obama on Snowden’s behalf has been met with support from notable individuals from around the world, from actor Daniel Radcliffe, to former CIA officer Barry Eisler, to members of various foreign governments. However, the American government has not been as supportive. According to the House Intelligence Committee, Snowden’s leaked files “could have potentially endangered troops overseas,” although proof of this remains to be seen. Members of The House Intelligence Committee have spoken frequently on the negative impact of Snowden’s actions. Dutch Ruppersberger, a lawmaker on the committee and a defender of the NSA, has claimed that the leaks have informed U.S. enemies, from terrorists to traffickers, on how to counter American cyber defenses. “Snowden handed terrorists a copy of

Test Optional Schools: A Big Mistake By SAMUEL SHAPIRO As it stands today, over 870 American colleges and universities are what have become known as test optional or test flexible, meaning that they don’t require or take into serious consideration scores from the SAT or ACT when admitting applicants. The list now includes numerous elite, small liberal arts colleges, like Bates College and Bowdoin College, many top arts schools, like California Institute of the Arts, and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and a handful of selective universities, like Wake Forest University and

our country’s playbook, and now we are paying the price,” said Ruppersberger to TIME Magazine. Whatever price was paid was unclear at the time of the report in 2014, and as of this publication, remains so. Ruppersberger and his contemporaries’ attacks on Snowden are anecdotal at best, with no sufficient evidence ever provided other than their word. Additionally, the House Intelligence Committee’s claim that the leaks have compromised counterterrorist security is unsound, as there is no direct proof that NSA surveillance has ever thwarted domestic terrorism in the first place. If we are to judge Snowden on any grounds, we must look at what’s tangible. Since the Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting on NSA surveillance, forty six specific reforms have been made by an Obama-approved blue ribbon commission. Edward Snowden has since become a household name for a nationwide debate on the ethics of government surveillance. The positive effects of Snowden’s leaks are far more grounded in reality than subjective claims that he has endangered national security. “We’re weighing what he did and the effects of it all, and Snowden’s actions are justified by the results of those same actions,” said Gabriel Manak ‘17. Mr. Snowden was performing that very civic duty; rather than be branded a traitor, he should be considered a whistleblower and pardoned for his service so that he may return home. What kind of nation would we be, if we were to punish the patriotic values on which we were founded? the University of Rochester. There is a difference between being test optional and test flexible. Test optional schools do not require any form of testing in order to apply, while test flexible schools simply give a wide range of options when it comes to which scores to send.

“Dropping test scores does not improve diversity.” Yet, being purely test optional can be detrimental to the admissions process for a handful of reasons. The SAT is not perfect. The ACT is not perfect. But they’re integral in weighing students from different backgrounds, who attend different schools that have different types of transcripts. Your test scores don’t define you, but they’re a barometer, the only like measure for colleges evaluating

Blame Democrats for Their Loss By RONIN RODKEY On November 9th, 2016, the nation awoke to a startling new reality: President-Elect Donald Trump, who won the election by narrowly flipping once heavily left-leaning states like Michigan and Wisconsin with an appeal to rural, working-class voters. In both Michigan and Wisconsin, however, Hillary Clinton would have won had she simply won over all who voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. In more traditional swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania, Clinton could have won, had she won over all Stein voters and half of those who voted for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. These results have led many to blame third party voters for Trump’s victory. To a degree, they’re right: had these voters, most of whom were disaffected Democrats and former supporters of Bernie Sanders, made the obvious choice, Clinton would have won. And to those familiar with these candidates, the choice really couldn’t have been more obvious. Stein was notorious for putting forward ambitious policies without a feasible plan. She promised that the country would rely solely on renewable energy by 2030. This policy was and still is nearly impossible in a House and Senate comprised of conservatives opposed to such reforms. Moreover, the infrastructure required for enacting such a plan could not feasibly be put into place by 2030. Stein also frequently ignored evidence. She advocated for banning all genetically modified foods until they could be proven safe, when scientific consensus showed that they were, in fact, safe. Johnson, who was marginally better than Stein, spoke of crucial policies that contrast with many of Bernie Sander's reforms. Johnson supported a hands-off economic approach, which would only widen the wealth gap, an issue that Sand-

ers sought to combat. This could have resulted in corporate tyranny and prevented economic mobility. Though third-party voters made a terribly illogical decision this election season, we must not blame them for the outcome of it, because doing so suggests Democrats are not to blame. Hillaryy Clinton was, in hindsight, a very weak candidate, and a poor standard-bearer for the Democratic Party. She failed to drum up enthusiasm among what should have been her base, and this was terrible for voter turnout.She lost states like Michigan and Wisconsin because far fewer Democrats decided to vote in places like Detroit. The answer, then, is not to sit around and simply blame others because Democrats lost, because this effectively ignores the true problem at hand. The answer is to investigate how we can prevent future losses. Those who ended up voting for third parties did so, not because they particularly liked third parties, but rather because they weren’t satisfied with Hillary Clinton Gloria Ngan / The Science Survey

Editors- in- Chief Eric Baker Allegra Berman Kaya Scheman Samuel Shapiro Stella Stephanopoulos Georgia Vasilopoulos

“In 2020...there will still be third parties.” and Democratic leadership. The Democratic Party needs new leadership which can garner more support from the very same voters from whom Trump benefitted. These leaders must be able to effectively address an economy in which the working class feels decreasingly stable, and who understand that these people feel increasingly left behind in Washington. In short, we need to prepare for 2020, when Trump is up for reelection. There will still be most of the elements which hurt Democrats’ chances in 2016. There will still be third parties. But will there be a Democratic Party that still fails to understand a working class that lives in poverty, which hungers deeply for change?

The Survey Strip By EMMA GOMETZ

students from across the nation. Schools that get rid of testing requirements cite the inherent unfairness of tests. They hope that dropping tests will result in more applicants, especially if the applicants are otherwise qualified students whose poor test scores discouraged them from applying. Laurie Koehler, Vice Provost of Enrollment and Retention at George Washington University, explained that their university went test optional because, “The test-optional policy should strengthen and diversify an already outstanding applicant pool and will broaden access for those high-achieving students who have historically been underrepresented at selective colleges and universities, including students of color, first-generation students and students from low-income households.” “Sometimes kids obsess about test scores,” said Evan Enochs '17, “which I

don’t think they should do. But test scores are important for schools to make sure that you’re the caliber of student that they’re looking for.” Dropping test scores does not improve diversity. Bowdoin and Bates are still two of the colleges with the largest Caucasian student body in the Northeast. They were before they became test optional, and they still are. Bowdoin is still 66% Caucasian, while Bates is 77%. Only 59% of college students nationwide are Caucasian. If schools like Bowdoin and Bates really wanted to improve diversity, they would commit more money to financial aid, improve outreach in low-income communities, and decide to weigh test scores more or less depending on the student. Becoming test optional does not mean that your school will become more diverse or have a smarter student body. Rather, it is counterproductive to a school’s ability to judge each applicant fairly.


Editorial A Pipeline for Change

An Advice Column into Native-specific boarding schools that attempted to assimilate them into American culture. Such actions are unfairly purging Native Americans of their identities. This conflict has recently manifested itself in a new platform: social media. Pictures of protesters being locked up in dog kennels have recently surfaced, sparking more public discontent regarding the overtly militant security task force. “This is a violation of basic human rights. It’s borderline illegal,” said Jazzmin Mcmyers ’17. Despite being treated harshly, activists have successfully spread powerful messages through various outlets. Student voices hold powerful potential when it comes to spreading the importance of Native American rights. “We already learn relatively little about Native American history in school, so it’s important that we acknowledge their struggle now,” said Mari Lee ’18. Native American history remains largely undiscussed in many history classes. Nationwide, students should be learning more about Native American history and hardships. A classroom setting also provides students with a way to voice their concerns. The combination of Native American activism and our student voices will form a powerful and necessary pipeline for change.

We Demand Too Much From the MTA By SHANZANA RASHID As Bronx Science students, we live busy lives, traveling from school to extracurricular activities to home on a regular basis. This constant shuffle from borough to borough leaves us heavily reliant on New York City’s public transportation system. Most high school students are given a free New York City metrocard. This gives students access to three free rides from 5:30 A.M. until 8:30 A.M. Students can use the metrocard from Monday to Friday to navigate the city by subway and bus. Yet, these three free rides are simply not enough to accommodate ambitious students with numerous extracurriculars, after school jobs, and long commutes. Realizing this and unhappy with the limited traveling, Eleanor Roosevelt High School student Samantha Fierro ’17 recently started an online petition with a request that the city provide unlimited MetroCards to students so that they may pursue their endeavors without an economic burden. Such change would ensure that NYC students are not limited by a card that only has three rides a day and is inactive during weekends. As great as it may sound to receive a free card that other New Yorkers pay over a hundred dollars per month for, is such a measure necessary, or even feasible? Making student MetroCards unlimited is an unrealistic request for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Instead, a much more moderate change, such as a time extension and a couple of extra rides, has a higher likelihood of being approved. The MTA cannot afford to lose any more money by providing students with free, unrestricted access to their system. According to a study conducted by the Straphanger Campaign, just last year the MTA was short $34.1 billion, meaning that its debt was greater than that of thirty or so smaller countries such as Syria, Cuba, and Costa Rica. This startling statistic has not flipped

around this year. “With metro card fees constantly on the rise, many families are forced to heavily consider the cost of their child participating in outside programs that require commuter travel. The cost of paying for transportation can be very prohibitive, especially when families have multiple kids in multiple activities,“ Fierro writes in her petition. While this statement does hold merit, and while no student should be limited in the programs they engage in due to financial abilities, there is only so much that the city can do. Department of Education statistics show that at the end of 2015, there were 167,410 intermediate/ middle school and 230,669 high school students registered into NYC public schools, with charter school and special education students excluded. Providing the equivalent of an Unlimited MetroCard, which is priced at $116.50 for a mere 30-day version, to all of these students would be quite costly for the MTA. In order to fill the deficit, regular metro-fare would likely receive more price hikes. There is already another price surge scheduled for 2017; are NYC students sure that they want to enjoy a few years of bliss just to enter financial distress once they graduate high school?

“The MTA cannot afford to lose any more money by providing students with free, unrestricted access to their system.” Transport to and from school is not enough to build the extracurricular activities and achievements that admissions officers at elite colleges are looking for in an applicant. It is not the fault of the student when the programs they enroll in require weekend travel. The current card severely restraints the high-achieving students who want to do more unless they can afford to pay for


additional rides out of their own pocket. “It seems to me that in limiting the number of rides available to kids around the city, the MTA can only be hurting the very best students NYC schools have to offer: the kids who are trekking across multiple boroughs just to attend a good school, the kids who want to be able to pursue extracurriculars like sports teams, the kids who are taking advantage of the resources available to New Yorkers to get jobs or internships,” says Raviv Sarch, ’17. NYC students and the MTA should meet in the middle. Why not just slightly increase the ride and time limit of the card for now? An online poll conducted on the issue displays that an overwhelming 82% of Bronx Science student responders would also prefer this moderate approach to making the card unlimited at 17% or keeping the card the way it is at 1%. Bronx Science students are the epitome of ambitious teenagers who travel throughout the city on a daily basis in order to juggle their demanding extracurriculars; if they are content with smaller changes, others are likely to be as well. Such a change goes above and beyond addressing the simple points of conflict with the current system: three rides is not enough for students who have to travel to an extra location after school. A couple of extra rides, time duration extension, and weekend activation can easily solve all of these problems. Of course, there would be a cost factor to this route as well, but not one nearly as imposing as what is paired with the unlimited option. In the long run, an unlimited student MetroCard poses more problems than it fixes. In addition to fiscal concerns, such a privilege would also be easily susceptible to abuse by students who don’t have many extracurricular activities and would instead engage in recreational trips that should not be the responsibilities of the MTA, the DOE, and the taxpayers. Thus, making accommodating additions to rides and time is more reasonable than abolishing limits entirely.


Melina Asteriadis / The Science Survey

Rising in the heartland of the United States is a powerful movement aimed at settling a historic dispute. The construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline is but a new spark in the ongoing territorial disagreements between the federal government and various domestic dependent nations. For generations, the United States has deprioritized Native American needs and limited the power of Native American voices. The construction of the access pipeline, which would stretch 1,172 miles across the United States, has many economically appealing aspects. This pipeline would carry around half a million of barrels of crude oil from oil rich fields in North Dakota to markets in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the project’s contractor, the construction would have provided roughly 8,000 to 12,000 new jobs upon completion. Some of these positions would even be permanent. The project itself would bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Approximately 40 banks, including Wells Fargo, are also backing the construction. Jeanne Davis, a member of the Executive office team at Wells Fargo, said, “Wells Fargo is fully committed to our clients, the employees, and their livelihoods. We are a great, great company to work for.” Such economic benefits and security may be particularly enticing, yet the irreversible environmental devastation cata-

By Jeffrey Ko lyzed by such construction is problematic for both constructors and locals. Oil leaks may contaminate nearby rivers and the soil and devastate many communities. Such a colossal risk should be enough to stop the construction. “The pipeline shouldn’t be built. It will pollute water for thousands of people and make the environment uninhabitable,” said Brian Katanov ’19. Native American tribes have gathered in large numbers to protect sacred land and to prevent the potential of leak and destruction to their territory. The destruction of the Native land is yet another concern. Though the media has just recently begun talking about these protests, public dissent has been evident for generations. Native Americans have been protesting and advocating for increased representation since the eighteenth century. It is time that the Feds respect these voices. It is no secret that the Feds are traditionally overly hostile toward Native Americans. Innumerable atrocious acts such as forceful removals and unjustified executions of entire tribes have targeted Native Americans. Nowadays, the federal government still controls many aspects of Native American life. They forcefully take their land and make it nearly impossible for Native Americans to start their own businesses or mortgage their assets. They are being unfairly targeted. In the past, Native American children were removed from their homes and put

We know there are ups and downs to being a student at Bronx Science. We are here to guide you through your years here. This issue’s column is primarily directed toward freshmen. Do not worry, we will be addressing all of you this year. For all the freshmen out there, you are already more than two months into the school year. You may be wondering how to navigate the lonely halls of the Bronx during your lunch and free periods, or which spots are popular amongst Bronx Science students. The most popular ones, if you have not noticed already, are right at your fingertips! Jay’s truck provides the necessities: warm drinks and hot foods. Grab a tea on the go for only a dollar. From one caffeine-dependent human to another, this is the best way to stay awake (besides getting enough sleep). When you exit from the cafeteria, walk straight down the courtyard, turn left and up the ramp. You have probably noticed a green truck. That is Ned’s truck, and we have a few pro tips for you. If you order fries, explore all possible toppings: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, marinaria sauce and cheese (just say pizza fries!) are all personal favorites. If you are nice, you might receive a free banana as well. Most trucks will also give you free food on your birthday. All you need to do is show your school ID and they will be delighted to give you your order on the house. Make sure to not lose your ID card; otherwise you might miss out on a free order of fries! Another birthday perk comes first thing in the morning. When you swipe into school on your big day, a birthday tune is bound to blast from the computer system. Be sure to savor every moment before the next person swipes in and the music goes away. Feeling adventurous after school, on your way home? You might want to walk quickly. Halal food is arguably the most delicious option for students, but is quite the walk from West 205th street. The most controversial subject amongst students is the debate over whether Tony’s or Jermone’s offers more delicious food, after school. Both halal trucks provide savory lamb over rice, accompied by an array of delectable sauces (we still think Jerome’s wins). The best advice that we can give you is to explore everything that Bronx Science has to offer. Take a look around at clubs, teams, and athletics that surround you. Your time at Bronx Science goes by in a blink of the eye. Before you know it, you will be well-seasoned students like us. Until next month,



Ryan &

P.S. Avoid the main staircase! P.P.S. Make Facebook groups for your classes. It works more efficiently than posting homework questions everywhere.

News The SHSAT is Changing

Sofie Levine / The Science Survey

By SOFIE LEVINE The SHSAT, or the thus receive lower test where students have to Specialized High School scores. Last year, fewer reassemble sentences that Admissions Test, is the than ten percent of the Afare out of order and make one and only thing that rican-American and Histhem form a coherent determines acceptance to panic students taking the paragraph. It’s a portion Specialized High Schools test scored high enough to that’s considered espesuch as Bronx Scicially tricky ence, Brooklyn because it’s Tech, and Stuyvenot normalsant. For years, the ly taught format and content in the pubof the test has relic schools. mained fairly conL a u r a stant, which has Zingmond, allowed test prep the SHSAT companies to prep a n e l ’ s pare prospective Manhattan students the same representaway each year. tive, noted Shazidur Talukder ’17 and Janvi Choudhary ’17 For the potenthat the sport their ‘Put Bronx Science 1st’ t-shirts at the tial class of 2021, scramBronx Science Open House a few days before the that’s changing. bled paraSHSAT. The main graphs problem that weren’t many people have with receive a qualifying score. aligned with state stanthe SHSAT is that New Bill DeBlasio, New dards and said it’s worth Yorkers from minority York City’s mayor, has revising them after thirty groups are often placed listened to the complaints years. This section will at a huge disadvantage. of New Yorkers and has be replaced with multiMost students who realtered the test in hopes ple-choice reading comceive a score that qualifies of improving minority prehension questions them to attend a specialperformance. The changdrawn from different ized school have been tues are not drastic; howevtypes of literature, which tored privately or in group er, they will certainly be are aligned with state sessions. Consequently, very noticeable. The mastandards and are similar those who cannot afford jor change on the SHSAT to what students encounthe extra help may then affects the logic portion ter in school with the new be behind their wealthier of the test known as Common Core curriculum. peers in terms of prep and “scrambled paragraphs,”

By GEORGIA VASILOPOLOUS The Bronx Science Alumni Foundation was successfully awarded a grant by the Summerfield Foundation to support Bronx Science students during the college application process. After careful research and consideration, the Bronx Science Story 2 features an EssayBuilder option on its website. Alumni Foundation partthe EDDIE Award for Best with a ‘glow’,” she continnered with Story2 as a College Admissions Essay ued. way for providing students Seniors who would Website, Story2 prides itwith additional personalized help with college es- self on providing insight- have usually flocked to ful feedback to essays and SGI in order to receive say writing. Through Story2, Bronx serving as a timesaver for additional help from their Science is able to offer ev- students as they “tap into English teachers now opted to submit a copy of ery senior one round of the power of storytelling.” their latest college essay While use of the profeedback and unlimited drafts online through Stogram is not required, seuse of the site as well as three workshops for stu- nior English teachers who ry2 and waited for correchave already planned on tions, following the 24-48 dents. “The College Office is spending the first unit of hour revision process. “The feedback was realtrying to expand and im- the year on writing the prove the services it of- college essay have highly ly comprehensive because fers through programs encouraged their students it came in three parts: a like Story2 and Project to submit to Story2 by the letter from the woman Accepted. In this way it first deadline, October 5th, who evaluated my essay, a can help level the playing 2016. Teachers are able to copy of my essay with comfield, considering the pri- see which of their students ments and annotations in vate and costly college es- have logged on and which the margins, and a rubric say help services that are stage of the writing pro- with their criteria. Overall, it was helpful feedback bebeing used by many stu- cess they are in. “We believe in avoid- cause it did point out what dents,” said Ellen Fisher, Co-Director of the Bronx ing a formulaic approach needed to be improved, to writing college essays, and it gave suggestions Science College Office. Story2 Founder and and in having several on how to fix it. At the CEO Carol Barash, Ph.D., readers give feedback, so same time it’s worth notwho graduated summa we thought the Story2 ap- ing that they’re using a cum laude from Yale Uni- proach, which allows for rubric which attempts to versity, has counseled the individual’s character objectively grade a subjecstudents in college ad- and unique qualities to tive piece of writing,” said missions for over twen- shine through, would be Sharif Hamidi ’17. Depending on how ty years. Barash started helpful,” said Marci Mann, Story2 “to create a future the Assistant Principal of successful the program is at Bronx Science, Stowhere everyone, from ev- the English Department. “The site asks students ry2 may potentially be ery background, can tell their stories and pursue to focus on details, de- offered to juniors as scription and dialogue, well as seniors during their boldest dreams.” As the 2015 winner of and to leave the reader future academic years.

Story2 website

Story 2 For Me and You

Math Department Introduces New Grading Policy By NISTHA BADE SHRESTHA sponse to the new policy In past years, the words on tests.” “Math test” have been “Tests are the summit of has been highly positive. enough to trigger a tre- an assessment. If students For instance, Unwana Abamendous amount of stress work hard, the tests will siurua ’17 said, “It is a good and anxiety in many Bronx take care of themselves,” policy that allows students Science students. Exams said Mr. Arora. He also to increase their grades. alone had accounted for emphasized the idea that, The old policy made it 70% of students’ math seems as though poor test takgrades, making each and every one seem ers didn’t try in class, even if like an “end all, be all,” in the words of the they did their homework and new Assistant Principal of the Mathematics participated in class 100% of Department, Vikram Arora. This means that the time.” Abasiurua one test has the potential to lower not only also expressed her wish that students’ math grades Shamira Talukder ’17 and Keena Wong ’17 completing math homework in the library. but also their GPAs. the new poliHowever, with the cy had taken introduction of a new grad- “Math is about learning effect even earlier, given ing policy, students can concepts; it’s a marathon, students’ enthusiastic rebreathe a little more easily, not a sprint.” sponse to it. as tests will now account As a result, the new Similarly, Zermeen for 60% of students’ math grading policy seeks to Akhtar ’18 said, “The new grades, whereas home- reward perseverance and policy means that a single work and class participa- consistency, by increasing test won’t make or break tion have increased to 15% the emphasis on areas like students’ grades, and stuhomework and class par- dents will have higher of the total math average. grades and less stress.” Math teacher Randi Le- ticipation. Furthermore, the Math rohl, called the new policy Peter Alegre ’19 agreed. helpful, remarking, “It mo- Department has released “The decreased emphasis tivates teachers to encour- a new rubric for class par- on tests motivates students age more participation, ticipation, which will grade to do well in other aspects and it rewards students students’ class participa- of class,” he said. who work hard but aren’t tion based on five major The changes don’t stop criterias: perseverance, there, as expectations the greatest test-takers.” Additionally, Mr. Aro- behavior, thinking and from Bronx Science stura, who called the previous sharing, class notes, and dents, other teachers, and grading policy “test heavy,” application of teacher’s parents are always high, but the Mathematics Desaid, “It’s very easy to get feedback. According to Ms. Le- partment hopes to conlost, give up, and move on in math, and students of- rohl, this new focus on tinue providing students ten give up after one bad participation will require with a quality education students to put more effort as well. And now, Bronx math test.” Similarly, Zach Dela- into asking questions and Science students have a no-Nagle ’17 criticized the leading discussions. She more relaxed atmosphere old policy for “putting so also hopes to help the rel- in Mathematics classes in much emphasis on testing atively quiet students pres- which to grow and learn. and [pushing students] to ent their ideas in class. only care about doing well Thus far, student reNistha Bade Shrestha / The Science Survey


(“Hillary or Noth- tional,” going on to state showed that the majority of ing!” Bronx Science that all immigrants should the students were Clinton Poll Shows) continued be thoroughly vetted. This supporters, many of the from page 1... opinion was shared with students had written on an unconstitutional other students, many of the sides of their papers, “I limit on immigration pro- them calling for extensive <3 D.T.” and other similar posed by a Republican. background checks. How- statements. This is also surprising ever, considering that 119 A similar poll was conbecause 62% of our stu- students did not support ducted last November 2015 dent body is of Asian her- the ban on Muslims en- by The Science Survey staff itage, and many are first tering the United States, in which Bernie Sanders or second generreceived 48.7% of the ation Americans. student vote, Clinton Of the 205 stu21.5%, and Trump dents polled, only 19.5%. It seems that 43% (89) were most of Bernie Sandable to correcters’ supporters bely match four or gan to back Clinton more positions after she won the with the candiDemocratic Party’s dates who held nomination. On the them. This drastiother hand, Donald cally low number Trump’s voters have indicates that Student response concerning their support halved in numbers the student body on Trump’s controversial policy: banning and are now divided Muslim entrance to the United States may not be all among those who that informed regarding it can be concluded that support Stein, Johnson, the candidates’ platforms. a majority of the student and the undecided. While filling out the body wishes for America In light of the election survey, students were al- to remain a safe haven for results on Nobvember 8th, lowed to leave comments. refugees and people of all 2016,one can only wonder In the margin of the sec- backgrounds. regarding how student Some students took opinions will continue to ond question, one student wrote, “I understand that playful jabs at the candi- shift in the months to come. most of the recent terrorist dates, writing slogans and attacks have been caused phrases such as: “HILby people who identify as LARY OR NOTHING,” Muslims, but temporarily “#NeverTrump,” and “All banning them from enter- I know is that Hillary is ing the U.S. is unconstitu- better.” Although the polls

News Senior Prom Changes By KRISTINA ANG The class of 2017 will not be having its senior prom at the Waldorf-Astoria, where it has traditionally been held for over ten years, since the hotel has been closed for extensive renovations. Prom, undoubtedly one of the most magical and unforgettable night of any student’s high school experience, gives students the opportunity to connect amongst their peers outside of an academic setting.

ed to renovate the landmark hotel, bringing changes that necessitate its closure for at least three years. There’s been word among the student body, suggesting that this year’s senior prom will be held at Pier 60. When asked about the validity of this statement, Senior Class Advisor Mr. McNickle confirmed that it was indeed true. “The new venue is a venue called Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers. Pier 60 is an event space that is dedicated to large fancy parties, like the Bronx Science Prom...The Waldorf was old and grand and very elegant in an 1930’s art deco sort of way. Pier 60 is new and grand and very elegant in a 21st century sort of way. The windows in the space face west and north, so during the 7-8 o’clock hour, students will be able to watch the sunset setting over New Jersey, over the Hudson River...It’s a really stunning space. It’s a very special place,” said Mr. McNickle.

“ It’s a very special place.”

Photo: Legacy Studios

Senior Prom at the Waldorf-Astoria last June 18th, 2015. “Prom is the last real hoorah we have in this school. I believe that it’s one of the most memorable nights of most people’s lives, because it’s the night that we realize that the last four years of our lives, that all the people we’ve come to know and love, that the bond we’ve shared, is coming to an end,” said Senior Council President Jonmichael Arcena ’17. Since 1972, the Waldorf-Astoria luxury hotel has been owned and managed by the Hilton Hotels Corporation. However, in 2014, China’s Anbang Insurance Group purchased the Waldorf Astoria for $1.95 billion, putting it on record as one of the most expensive hotels ever sold. The new owners decid-

Despite some initial disappointment from the senior class, many students are relieved that the cost of attending prom will decrease with the change in venue. According to Mr. McNickle, “We’re not sure exactly how much we’re going to be able to reduce the price this year, but preliminary estimates suggest that we may be reducing the price by as much as $20 a ticket this year.” Over the years, the cost of prom has been on the increase, due to increased costs charged by the Waldorf-Astoria. Affordability of prom has certainly come up as an issue for some seniors. “I think the price of prom has historically been high, and that definitely makes it harder to convince some parents to let us go, especially considering that we’re entering college and some of us are going to take on student debt to finance our college education,” said Jessica Gugulski ’17. Seniors will have a new prom venue to look forward to, at a price that is more affordable. Sometimes, change is good.


(Science Alumnus Kicks off Student Opportunity Fund) continued from page 1... engineering background. His success in the engineering field allowed him to establish the Brunner Awards. Despite being deeply invested in his humanities courses as a high schooler, he graduated from The City College of New York as an engineer. He then entered the workforce as a mechanical engineer. After several short lived jobs, he settled into the field of incineration engineering, the process of handling hazardous waste treatment, eventually earning the nickname “Incinerator Guy” from coworkers and friends. Brunner is an expert in his field; he has written fourteen books on incineration. His wife even proclaims one to be the ‘Incineration Bible.’ He is an avid traveler, having visited and lectured in almost fifty countries throughout

his lifetime. Just last year, Brunner spoke about incineration methods in Thailand. Applicants chosen for the Brunner Awards will also receive Brunner’s autobiography, Under The Sycamore Tree, which he co-authored with his wife. Co-chairs of the Brunner Award, Timnah Rosenshine ‘17 and Konstantinos Voiklis ’17, will work closely with members of the Bronx Science Alumni Foundation. “Kosta and I will be reviewing every student application and presenting them to the administration,” Rosenshine explained. “We plan on working alongside a student council comprised of three underclassman to look over all applications.” Rosenshine was selected as co-chair due to her myriad interests; photography, philosophy, autism related research, and hiking make her a diversified leader. Brunner is thrilled to give

(Administration Remedies Menstruation Woes) continued from page 1...

afford to pay for lunch received free or reduced lunch, and students who can’t afford to pay for standardized tests receive fee waivers. These things are seen as necessities, and there should be no difference with tampons, so I was delighted to see that the New York State Assembly took action on this issue” said Alexis Williams, ’17. Students are delighted that the Bronx Science administration has heard and acknowledged the frustrations of its female student body. With the installation of tampon dispensers in the restrooms, female students now have quick and easy access to feminine hygiene products. With the new installation of tampon dispensers in each of its girls’ bathrooms, Bronx Science is now contributing to gender equality.

not being able to get these items within school bathrooms. “Students who can’t

Jeanette Lee / The Science Survey

Like many female students, Nicole Lustig ’17 is pleased by the New York State Assembly’s strides to promote women’s equality.

students the opportunity to make what once may have seemed out of reach, attainable. “Growing up at 181st Street and Morris Avenue,” Brunner recalled, “I should have been going to every Yankee’s game with the kids in my neighborhood.” Instead, because of his experiences at The Bronx High School of Science, he found that reading books and completing mathematical equations were his true passions. Now, Mr. Brunner will work to erase financial obstacles that Bronx Science students may encounter while pursuing their passions.

Eliana Chiovetta / The Science Survey

A student uses the new machine in the second floor girls’ bathroom.

Enlightened Minds with Effective Solutions:Community AWARE By ISMAIL MUSTAFA and RYAN FOO Community AWARE is a newly formed committee at Bronx Science in the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, chaired by Mr. Robert Massimi of the Social Studies Department. The goals of the committee are to help students become aware of not only situations in the school but also those around the world dealing with the issues of race and diversity. Students came up with the committee’s name, “Community AWARE.” AWARE is an acronym that stands for “Acceptance With Appreciation Renders Empathy.” The committee is comprised of students, teachers, counselors, a dean (Ms. Latisha Boone), administrators, and parents. “Community AWARE aims to combat racism and bullying, and to help students have more empathy towards one another,” said Mr. Massimi. Students, both in the Student Organization and from the general student body, were invited to be a part of the group. One of these students is the class president of the school, Adam Shaham ’17. He joined Community AWARE to spread awareness

that what students say, especially teach students how important it dents have brought up is affirin regards to the sensitive topic is to be sensitive, and to be able mative action. In particular, the of race, can have a huge impact to understand and share the feel- group discusses how some mion others, despite the original ings of one another,” he added. nority students feel that their acintentions of their statements. A few months into its inception, ceptance into colleges are often “There is a lack of awareness in and after meetings with staff, discounted by other students, the student body about how rac- parents, and school leaders the who feel like they only received ism manifests itself in our school, initiative has already begun to acceptance based on their race. and the goal of this program is make changes in social studies Shaham voiced his opinion when hopefully to address that and to classes through the use of histo- he started thinking ahead about mitigate the issue to the best of ry and current events, as well as the effect of affirmative action on our ability,” said Shaham. the future of Bronx Science. “Some students have hon“In the near future, we estly become desensitized hope to increase the discourse when it has come to racial on affirmative action, its comments and insults in role in admissions, and how general,” said fellow memtalking about other people’s ber Lakshmi Palchuri ’17. acceptances through that However, Palchuri feels single lens can border on iglike Community AWARE norance,” explained Shaham. is a step in the right diIn addition to raSamuel Shapiro / The Science Survey rection to bringing change Science students and faculty participating in cial problems, Community Community AWARE. and wants to be an active AWARE also discusses the member of the movement. issue of teenage bullying. Mr. Massimi oversees all com- promoting social and emotion“We want to create a better enmittee meetings and promotes al learning into the curriculum. vironment between students, and The committee meets once a to provide them with solutions active participation, listening to what the students have to say. months, and it takes place after and assistance if they are bullied “Community AWARE is a stu- 10th period in Room 308. During or feel uncomfortable at school,” dent-driven initiative. We support the meetings, the members dis- said member Andrew Ma ’17. and encourage our students to be- cuss issues of race, specifically as Ma feels particularly passionate come leaders in combating racism they apply to Bronx Science, and about this topic, and he believes and bullying,” said Mr. Massimi. members then attempt to formu- the existence of the safe space “We see what has been going late steps to resolve these issues. of the group and the opportunion in our country, and we need to One of the main topics that stu- ty that both administrators and

parents have to become involved, has the potential to make Bronx Science better for all students. Palchuri also feels that the inclusion of more adults in the group helps the cause tremendously. “The teachers and administrative staff are really making an effort to make this student driven, and they are giving us their authority as a foundation and allowing us to lead this initiative,” she said. Fahad Nabi ’19 enjoys raising awareness through posters and bringing change into the curriculum, such as bringing more diverse authors into English classrooms. “It allows us to both listen to the perspectives of others as well as to share our opinions and how we feel about certain issues,” he said. Shaham also cites the various viewpoints of the groups represented in Community AWARE and how that leads to creating effective solutions. “I’ve really enjoyed how people on the board all bring such frank perspectives to an issue that many people are often afraid to discuss.” Shaham and the rest of the board are eager to make Bronx Science a welcoming melting pot for students of all races, nationalities, and ethnicities.


Feature Science Changes STEM Curriculum

By MELINA ASTERIADIS Bronx Science has introduced changes to the STEM curriculum, in the hopes of strengthening it and providing a wider variety of STEM classes for students. Previously, freshmen took one semester of Research Literacy, a class geared towards scientific investigation and writing, and Writing Seminar, which focused on text interpretations and compositions. However, starting this year, Writing Seminar has been replaced with Elements of Engineering Design, which teaches introductory engineering concepts and uses physical modeling to solve various problems. “I think it’s nice that we have to take the course as freshmen, because it is more of a hands-on class and involves a lot of group work, so we get to know our classmates better than we might in other classes,” said Jenny Brown, ’20. The course also teaches many fundamental engineering concepts, which can be instrumental for freshmen interested in pursuing this path. “The topics have played a tremendous role in society, and will have lasting effects on our futures. As a freshman, looking into all of these advanced topics is really exciting,” Elena

Morgan, ’20 said. Overall, the new freshman required minor is opening up many students’ minds to classes outside of their core subjects. “I was never given the chance to take an engineering class before, so it’s exciting going into class and not knowing entirely what to expect,” Morgan added. Topics in Modern Physics, a class now

Jamie Powers / The Science Survey

Freshmen work on a project in the new Elements of Engineering class. offered to students who have completed AP Physics 1, has been added to the curriculum. This class delves into physics concepts up to the 1900s, and teaches

students about modern developments in physics. The introduction of this class into the Physical Science curriculum provides another option for students with strong interests in the STEM fields. Other schools are also seeing changes in their science curriculum. Hunter College High School, located in Manhattan, is offering ninth graders the option to take a computer science course starting this year, and a forensics course was also introduced to the curriculum. Compared to Bronx Science, Hunter is a more humanities-based school, but it is still advancing its STEM curriculum, and exhibiting a stronger push towards science. At Stuyvesant High School, several science electives are offered to students; in biology, students can take human pathophysiology, human diseases, forensics, and a research class relating to molecular biology. Stuyvesant also has strong computer science electives, including software development and system programming/ graphics, with the prerequisite of AP Computer Science. The new additions to our school’s curriculum are steps in strengthening the STEM programs, and give more options to students looking to expand their knowledge of the STEM field.

Freshmen Faces

The major difference between the two rival apps is the diversity of the Common App as compared to the uniformity of the Coalition App. While all members of the Common App are not-for-profit and are not necessarily successfully distinguished, Coalition members consist of mostly private institutions and are required to have a high graduation rate. Simply put, it’s an application used by almost 700 general colleges versus an application used by only 90 highly selective colleges. The Coalition tools allow students to start college preparation early in their high school years. The platform has created a locker, which students can use to store information and achievements, share with their counselor, and attach to their college application. However, the downside of this is that the locker was just released in May of 2016, giving the class of 2017 insufficient time to establish a locker depicting their development freshman through junior year. On the other hand, prepping early may also contribute stress to Bronx Science’s already pressured students. On top of new classes and homework,

underclassmen would also feel pressured about uploading essays, projects, and recommendations, tasks they otherwise would not have spent time worrying about at least until junior year. Coalition gives students the option to come up with their own unique topic, which many students may find beneficial, especially those who are passionate about creative writing. This may help students affirm their decision regarding the application they want to use. Students may believe that the Coalition App allows them to stand out to colleges, but really, the process may end up being more complicated than they expect. In reality, neither application wins students extra points with college admission officers, so students are encouraged to choose depending on the college they apply to and how they want to portray themselves.

Raisa Chowdhury / The Science Survey

Akash Nayer ’20

Raisa Chowdhury / The Science Survey

(Competitor of Common App Launched) continued from page 1... Bronx Science has used Naviance for the past few years, so it isn’t suitable for students to turn to the Coalition App, especially since it isn’t as technically secure as the Common App, as of yet. “We’re advising students to stick with the Common Application because the Coalition is not yet synced with Naviance,” McHugh stated. “Since we are a Naviance school, it is not practical for our students this year. Also, the Coalition Application was just launched, so technical glitches could possibly arise.” The obscurity of the Coalition App further contributes to its narrow use. Launched in mid-summer, many students are either unaware of the Coalition App or have just discovered it a mere month ago. “What is the Coalition App?” asked Bobby Ng, Class of ‘17. “I’ve honestly never heard of it, until you brought it up to me just now.” Now the big question is: Should students turn to the Coalition App or use the Common App like in previous years?

This year, Bronx Science is welcoming 773 new faces in the freshman class, the largest of all four of our grade levels. Hailing from the usual four boroughs (Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx), each freshman is unique and will bring something new to the Bronx Science community.

Harper Learmonth ’20

school and now,” Velarde said. As well as this, Velarde is a very ambitious person. “I want to to beat my highest average in middle school,” which was a 97.6. Lastly there is Sima Nisenbaum ’20 who is from Delta Middle School in Manhattan. Her first and only choice was Bronx Science. “I had a motto,” Nisenbaum said. “It was ‘Bronx Science or Bust.’” She wanted to come to this school because she really enjoyed attending open house. “It was the third school that I toured, and I liked how everyone was really happy and always smiling. It’s also a STEM oriented school.” Although Nisenbaum came here for the STEM programs, she has affiliated herself with the arts. She is also a part of the school’s fall play, The Importance of Being Earnest, in which she plays Miss

One of these freshmen is Kieran Aug ’20. He enrolled at Bronx Science because it was similar to his middle school, Wagner Middle School, in Manhattan. Bronx Science is well known, so he had high expectations for the school. Although Aug is really excited to be a part of the school’s community, he is nervous about doing well on some upcoming exams. So far, he likes the school but he finds it a challenge to navigate, given its size. Many freshmen initially face difficulties in navigating the capacious halls of Bronx

Science. For Harper Learmonth ’20, it was no different. “Now I understand the school’s layout better. I have not become lost in more than four days,” said Learmonth. Learmonth came from Speyer Legacy school in Manhattan. Speyer Legacy school is physically small, so it took some time for her to get used to Bronx Science. “It was sort of overwhelming at first, but after a few weeks, I started to know some faces, and then I started getting the hang of it,” Learmonth said. Rebecca Zhang ’20 came from M.S. 74 in Manhattan. The first day of school was difficult for her since she didn’t know anyone. She still misses her middle school, especially her friends. “I have one friend whom I still keep in touch with. I lost touch with most of them, or they completely changed,” Zhang said. Her middle school friend with whom she remains close goes to Frank Sinatra. They don’t see each other in person often, but they always videochat. Although the first day of school was difficult for her, it has gotten easier. “Now there are more familiar faces and people whom I’m friends with,” said Zhang. Kate Velarde ‘20 went to I.S. 238, in Queens. She likes high school better than middle school. “I enjoy how the teachers are more open to ideas and easier to talk to,” Velarde said. On the first day of school Velarde wasn’t nervous. She didn’t think there was a big difference between middle school and high school. “Nothing [has] really changed between the first day of


Prism. “I went to support a friend but I ended up doing it myself.” There are so many new faces to our school, all with their own story.

Grading System Changed to an Annualized System By RAIDAH CHOWDHURY Discussion has ensued amongst the Bronx Science student body regarding recent changes in the grading system. Prior to the 20162017 school year, students’ grades Raidah Chowdhury / The Science were reported Survey each semester, Shamira Talukder ’17 and students were checks her grades and given a clean slate assignments on PupilPath. to start off their second semester. It was announced late last year, however, that grades were going to be annualized starting in September of 2016, meaning that students would have continuous grades throughout the year. Students have been expecting this administrative change for a few months. Schools like Stuyvesant High School have a semester based grading system, but this is beause students have different teachers every semester. Other schools have an annualized grading system with the same teachers year-round. This change is entirely due to a new DOE policy, which mandates that schools can have a semester-based teaching system only if the teachers are changed every semester. In order to keep the current policy of students remaining with the same teachers throughout their academic year, Bronx Science needed to change the grading system to an annualized system, to comply with the new DOE policy. According to the official school policy, as reflected in the Student Handbook, “Bronx Science is an annualized school where most courses’ syllabi, scope and sequence, lesson plans, assessments, and grading policy reflect a year-long learning cycle...Although we are annualized, grades and credits will go on the transcript at the end of each term, in January and June.” There has been one way, however, that students have been able to compromise with their desire for a semester based grading system and the school’s need for an annualized grading system. During the start of the school year, students were informed that over the summer, Assistant Principal of Organization, Ms. Cooper, and Principal Dr. Donahue worked so that students would be allowed to keep two grades per year on their transcript. “The only change in September 2016 was that the administration, following Department of Education policy, agreed to keep two grades on the transcript in this system versus only one,” said Adam Shaham ’17, S.O. President. “After this summer, we are now technically on an ‘annualized’ system, but the grading system has remained virtually intact.” Department of Education rules allow for schools to record grades and credits in January and June, which Bronx Science has chosen to do. This change has caused a majority of students to be overjoyed. Shamira Talukder ’17 said, “I’m glad to have the grading system changed back. Like many students, I was uncomfortable with the new system. It was something that I wasn’t used to.” Additionally, Trinh Nguyen ’17 stated, “Two grades per semester is more appealing. It gives you a chance to redo your first semester grades. Your mindset would change after seeing your grades reset rather than just have to always build up and improve the same grade. I feel that it’s psychologically more satisfying to have two grades per semester.” Overall, the change to the new annualized grading system seems to be widely accepted. Now that this change is implemented for this school year, students are content, and New York City DOE policy is met.


Feature Best of Senior Shirts By CLAUDIA KITCHEN One of the most well known traditions at Bronx Science is Senior Appreciation Day, which falls on the first Friday of every October. A huge part of this day is wearing “Senior Shirts,” which different groups of friends spend weeks preparing to celebrate their moving on from high school. “This year's senior shirts were noticeably more creative than they've been in recent memory,” said Daniel McNickle, the senior class advisor at Bronx Science. Here are some of the best from the class of 2017.

New York Comic Con takes Bronx Science by Storm By GLORIA NGAN

Photos: Claudia Kitchen / The Science Survey

Early in October, you might have noticed a large amount of costumes, capes, and spandex around New York City. Either everyone was celebrating Halloween early, or they were headed to New York Comic Con (NYCC), which fell on October 6th - 9th this year. Since 2006, NYCC, organized by ReedPOP, has been an annual pop culture phenomenon centered around comics, anime, movies, and television. It attracted over 170,000 attendees in 2015, surpassing the West Coast’s San Diego Comic Con. This year, on a sunny Thursday, NYCC opened for the first time at multiple venues: the Jacob Javits Center, Madison Square Garden, the Hudson Mercantile, and the Hammerstein Ballroom. Over 180,000 people swarmed in and out of NYCC over the course of four days. The majority of the con-goers attend NYCC to “cosplay” (otherwise known as dressing up Ella Caine ’17 and Emily Yu ’17 brand both sides of their revolutionary apparel. “I as their favorite characters), attend panels, or a really enjoyed seeing some iconography from American history for the first time,” combination of both. Panels give fans a chance said Mr. McNickle. to listen to a live discussion with celebrities, often culminating in a Q&A session. This year, NYCC boasted a lineup of guests ranging from Neil DeGrasse Tyson to the cast of Doctor Who, and even Stan Lee, the creator of dozens of Marvel heroes, himself. As a result, stepping onto NYCC’s famous “red carpet,” which covers the floor of the convention, can feel overwhelming. “There was so much to see,” said Sophie Malki ’17, a first time NYCC attendee. “I have a couple of fandoms I’m really devoted to, but I probably didn’t know 90% of the booths there.” Many NYCC veterans use the convention’s app, which lists all the events, or even make Michael Ferrari ’17 displays a shirt featuring one of the Deans, Mr. Rainford, placed into the album cover of Frank Ocean’s new release. spreadsheets to arrange their schedules. “Depending on how the popular the panel is going to be, I'll get there anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours early,” said Cayla Einstein ’17. When the hundreds of attendees are clamoring around a popular booth, trying to get into a popular panel, or just trying to get to a bathroom, the show floor can feel suffocating. This year, attendees waiting for Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty Virtual Reality booth, reported waiting in lines for as long as four hours. Being in costume is extremely hot, and when half the attendees are cosplaying, the building becomes unbearably warm. Yet, a large portion of attendees put up with the warmth and cosFrancie Keeler ’17 wears a shirt imitating Kanye West’s play, myself included. The Life of Pablo merchandise. Emma Gometz ’17, who attended NYCC for her third time, was there for this tradition. “My favorite part of NYCC is seeing all the insane cosplays. All that I can do is to By SOPHIA XIAN respect the lengths that people go to in orAcross 2. When the sun crosses the celestial equator 4. Cupcake’s cousin 5. Popular boots brand 6. Convenient source of coffee, BLT, candy, and more 9. Water around land 11. A tall cup to hold liquids 12. College readiness website 14. Type of hat that detectives wear 16. New Director of Speech and Debate 17. Nocturnal bird 21. A seasonal round vegetable with smooth, ribbed skin 22. Popular American coffee chain 24. Our northern neighbor 25. Fictional animals with unique names 28. A test that seniors don’t have to take

November Crossword

Down 1. When eating turducken is acceptable 3. City where Amazon and Microsoft headquarters are located 4. Plural of moose 7. Something that smells good when burned 8. The school principal 10. Motion you do when you enter the school/MTA 11. The new journalism advisor 13. One word for “Come for the bull” 15. Item that squirrels store 16. Put this in a bucket to make it lighter 18. A flat hinged pin you might be wearing 19. Term to describe a mass of leaves 20. Essential autumn spice 22. Part of bird that's not in the sky 23. What you should do if you’re eighteen 25. The life of __ (2016) 26. Halloween is on a 27. Aromatic minty herb

der to recreate their favorite characters.” “Even cosplays that aren't really amazing or are being done by everyone, are recognized, and people are genuinely excited to see cosplays,” said Angelina Downs ’17. “It's a really positive, creative, and accepting atmosphere most of the time.” “I’ve dressed up for Halloween before, but being at NYCC with so many other cosplayers was amazing,” said Malki, who was dressed as Barb from the Netflix series Stranger Things. NYCC also hosts an Artists’ Alley, a section of the convention where professional artists set up booths to showcase their work. “I save up all year to buy prints by the comic artists,” said Einstein. “I'm kind of obsessed. My walls are filled with posters that I buy every year.” Unlike panels, the Alley gives fans a chance to interact directly with artists and purchase prints of their work on the spot. For some Wolverines, this is the highlight of the convention. “Seeing the art and talking to the artist in person is really interesting, and I enjoy seeing how amazing all of the different art styles are,” said Downs. “I have some favorite booths that I've visited every year so far, and I look forward to visiting this year.” It’s without a doubt that NYCC is full of excitement, attracting people from all walks of life. But NYCC isn’t without drawbacks. Across the board, there’s one thing that both first-timers and veterans dread: the crowds. Sure, the Javits Center is big, but even it has trouble holding the sheer number of NYCC attendees. “[The crowds] leave you immobile in lines for panels, at this point it's getting so crowded you have to get to popular panels three or four hours early,” said Gometz. “Half your day is wasted waiting in line!” Downs agreed. “Sometimes it’s hard to really appreciate all the things going on at NYCC, because you're being pushed forward by a huge crowd of people.” “NYCC is a crowded commercial mess,” said Gometz. “But digging through all the trash reaps intense rewards of unparalleled unique and nerdy experiences.” “It was my first time, so it was crazy, but I would totally go back again,” said Malki. “If I were to give one tip to a first time con-goer, it would be to go with friends.” At the end of the day, NYCC has grown into a convention we all know and love. It’s become the largest pop culture convention in the United States, and fans will be returning year after year, whether it’s for panels, cosplay, or for Artists’ Alley.


Arts & Entertainment Blair Witch Sequel Fails to Impress

By RAHNUMA BEHESHTI In 1999, an indie film that took place in a small town of Burkittsville, Maryland, with a mere budget of $60,000, raked in more than 250 million dollars at the box office. What made The Blair Witch Project so unique was that its publicity campaign was beyond creative and possibly the most successful in film history. Seventeen years later, the legend of the Blair Witch continues as a sequel to the original in Adam Wingard’s new movie entitled Blair Witch.

“Often considered to be the first and most popular of the found footage genre.” The Blair Witch Project is often considered to be the first and most popular of the found-footage genre, which are movies based on the actor’s point of view. What made the movie so incredibly successful was not the film itself but rather the development behind it. Directors Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick created the legend of the Blair Witch years before they started

filming, spreading rumors about a witch in riled up the public to the point where Blair, Maryland, who was responsible for people could not distinguish whether the the recent deaths and missing persons in footage “found” was real or just fictional the town. horror. Almost two decades later, Adam As a technique to further the tale, they Wingard directed the sequel to the psyfabricated a mock website featuring fake chological horror film with a budget of police reports, $5 million, but it documents, and wasn’t anywhere interviews. At near the hit that college camfans were expectpuses and fesing. It premiered tivals, “missing on September persons” flyers 16th, 2016, and were distributed the movie manwith the faces of aged to acquire the actors in the only $10 million film. If they were during its opensearched up on ing weekend, the Internet, they and a total $35 would show up as million both do“presumed dead” mestically and or “missing.” On internationally. the bottom, a This is perhaps phone number due to poor ratof the Frederick ings from popuRahnuma Behesthi / The Science Survey County Sheriff ’s lar critics such as Arifa Abid ’17 holds a missing persons flier that was Office was listed distributed before The Blair Witch Project Premiere. Rotten Tomatoes for any informa(36%) and IMDb tion on them. (5.5/10). The marketing and campaigning team “I definitely expected a lot more from

Bob Dylan Named Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature By KAYA SCHEMAN Bob Dylan has officially accepted the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature after being awarded it on October 13, 2016. Many fans were concerned after Dylan received the award, but remained silent for several weeks afterward, but Dylan claims he was “speechless” after hearing the news. Robert Allen Zimmerman, who goes by the stage name Bob Dylan, is arguably one of the most influential singers and songwriters in American history. Dylan, born in 1941 in Minnesota, was raised by his two parents in a small Jewish community. As a child, Dylan clung tightly to his radio - listening to the blues, country, and ultimately rock and roll. He explored his musical side in both high school and college in several bands. Dylan soon dropped out of college and moved to New York to pursue his musical career. After signing a contract with Albert Grossman, his musical career truly was launched. Dylan began producing music with powerful historical and societal messages. He was not afraid to speak out through his powerful musical rhetoric during controversial times. His 1962 anthem ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ speaks volumes on his and other citizens’ antiwar sentiments. Dylan’s 1964 recording ‘The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll’ accounts for the killing of African-American barmaid Hattie Carroll, further presenting Dylan’s viewpoints on extreme racism and segregation prevalent throughout the mid twentieth century. Dylan also dominated the genre of Rock and Roll. His hit single ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ was arguably what caused Dylan to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone magazine even named the song the greatest of all time. Though the height of Dylan’s career was considered by many to be in the twentieth century, many Bronx Science students are true fans of his music. “I think it’s great that he’s getting recognized for his lyricism within the mainstream,” said Ted Reiner ’17. “Most people think of Dylan as a folk-hero or an American-rebel-representation kind of figure, when in reality, the best part of his music was in the lyrics.” Many fans often hear Dylan’s lyrics as more than pleasing or well-written. He is applauded for his poetic tendencies,

which only serves to affirm his Nobel Prize in literature. Yet, a few critics have found Dylan to be undeserving of such an honor. The New York Times editorialist Anna North wrote, “by awarding the prize to him, the Nobel committee is choosing not to award it to a writer, and that is a dissapointing choice.” Awarding the Nobel Prize in literature to someone who falls outside of the traditional category simply allows for greater opportunity and recognition of accomplishment within that field. Not all literature must come solely through the written form. Dylan’s poetic lyrics make him a perfect candidate for this category. Dylan’s acceptance of the Nobel Prize should be an accomplishment that all Americans celebrate and cherish. The far reaching implications encompassed within all of his musical creations remain unique.

Ticket from a 1962 Bob Dylan concert at San Diego State University.

the new movie, considering how big The Blair Witch Project was,” said Motiur Rahman ’19. “I wasn’t even born when it came out, but I definitely enjoyed how unusual it was compared to other horror films, which is why I was so excited to buy a ticket when I heard they were making a sequel. But Blair Witch was just too simple compared to the hype behind the original.” The recent movie centers around a young man (James Allen McCune) who sets out to the Black Hills Forest where his sister disappeared when he was just a little boy. Certain that her disappearance had to do with the legend of the Blair Witch, his friends join him to unravel the mystery behind the strange occurrences in the area. The group quickly finds out that the dark woods hold many surprises, and the night holds many terrors. By the time they come to terms with the fact that the Blair Witch is more than just a legend, it’s too late to escape. The movie is still showing in numerous theaters but is likely to be pulled soon, due to low profits. Although the technology for film and effects have certainly modernized and are improved, most viewers of both films agree that the originality of the The Blair Witch Project was unbeatable.

Woody Allen Surprises Us With Cafe Society and gives his cast artistic freedom,” said Rosenshine. This risk-taking quality of Allen’s diThe glitz, the glamour, and the elegance of 1930s Hollywood is authentically recting style is prevalent in his casting captured by Woody Allen in Cafe Society. choices for Cafe Society, where Kristen Released in the summer of 2016, Allen’s Stewart plays the role of Vonnie, the naive new film follows the journey of a young and dainty secretary of Dorfman’s humorman, Bobby Dorfman, as he moves from ous and power-driven uncle who is played the Bronx to Los Angeles with the hopes by Steve Carell. “Stewart had an exotic appeal; I liked of excelling in the film industry under his famous uncle’s guidance. Upon his arriv- how she wasn’t just some pretty face, and al in L.A., his uncle, played by Steve Car- she wasn’t just a gold digger. There was a rel, is first reluctant, but eventually takes complexity to her,” said Ms. Robinson, English teachhim under er. his wing and Cafe Sodraws him into the alciety may have acted lure of powas a fun exer, parties, periment brunches for Allen; and fame, most peoamong othple romaner extravaticize the gance. Soon, 30’s, and he Dorfman is did a great acquaintjob in pored with the traying that demeaning in his film. mechanisms Stella Stephanopolous / The Science Survey However, of HollyHillel Rosenshine ’17 discusses Cafe Society. certain aswood, yet is diligent in his work and determined to cre- pects of the plot, such as the love ate a name for himself, and along the way, triangle, were not realistic. “It seemed as if his heart is continuously antagonized as too many things were going on, creating a he is captured between two, passionately hectic scene,” Dannah Seecoomar ’17 said. twisted romances. “Allen draws from elements that are Woody Allen directs movies annual- very personal, such as his Jewish identity, ly and is known for his creative style and and weaves them into the movie. He bridgunique eye for filmmaking. However, many es the gap between generations, and draws people have mixed opinions on the quality universal parallels that make the audience of his films; some may think most are hits, feel as if they can relate to what the characwhile others deem a lot of them as misses. ters are discussing and how they are feel“I didn’t think that Cafe Society was a ing,” said Rosenshine. great Woody Allen film. He gets carried away with concepts instead of focusing on “Allen gets carried making ideas that are clear and cohesive. away with concepts Instead, he falls in love with certain ideas instead of clear ideas.” and aesthetic figures and doesn’t find a way to control them in a way that the audience would like,” Hillel Rosenshine ’17 The verdict? Cafe Society is worth your said. However, in general, Rosenshine and time, as Allen yet again manages to capture many others believe that there are certain universal feelings. “Woody Allen underqualities that distinguish Allen from many stands the ‘damned if we do and damned other filmmakers, and that is his bravery. if we don’t’ inevitable fate of the human “He is a pretty incredible filmmaker, and condition; however, he presents his films it’s admirable that he is not afraid to try in a light and humorous way that allows us something new. Some directors are hes- to laugh at the absurdity of the existential itant to make new films because they’re nature of the human condition,” said Ms. afraid of messing up, but Allen takes risks Robinson. By STELLA STEPHANOPOULOS

Arts & Entertainment


Political Satire Takes the Stage By SINAIA KEITH LANG After a grueling week of school, Bronx Science students enjoy nothing more than sitting themselves in front of their televisions and computers. They eagerly look forward to catching up on all of their favorite shows that they sacrificed for homework and for (some) sleep. In an election year, political analyses as well as satires are becoming an all time favorite of Science students. The 2016 presidential election has resulted in an immense amount of media attention on mainly Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Prior to March 2016, Trump had received more than two million dollars worth of free media, a shocking amount for a candidate who had not even won the Republican primary at that point in time. While a lot of media coverage for both candidates has been centered around their policies and scandals, a large portion has been highly satirical. One of the many programs to satirize this election is Saturday Night Live (SNL), which frequently features political skits that poke fun at major party candidates. Airing almost every Saturday night at 11:30 on NBC, SNL often opens with a skit about the most relevant political event of the week. On the show, several political figures are satirized and their defining characteristics are exaggerated by comedians. Most recently, Donald Trump has been portrayed by Darrell Hammond and Alec Baldwin, Hillary Clinton by Kate McKinnon, Bernie Sanders by Larry David, and Chris Christie by Bobby Moynihan. Many Bronx Science students look forward to watching Saturday Night Live. It allows them to become more involved in current events in an enjoyable manner.

“SNL does not affect my political position, but it does bring viewpoints to my attention that I then go and research to form my own opinions,” Donia Ballan ’19 said. Saturday Night Live also features ‘The Weekend Update.’ During this segment, comedian anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che discuss the news of the past week with sarcastic interjections. With the upcoming presidential elections, Jost and Che have allocated a large portion of ‘The Weekend Update’ to tease presidential candidates. Sometimes, though, their jokes air on the side of insulting.

“Saturday Night Live does not affect my political position, but it does bring viewpoints to my attention.” “The skits definitely target the Republican politicians more, as the mainstream media generally does,” said Sophie Zinberg ’19. While some analytical television programs try to remain unbiased when covering political events or presidential candidates, many satirical shows tend to be more accommodating of left-wing politicians and more harsh towards right-wing politicians. Despite this, Hillary Clinton, who leans left on the political spectrum, has certainly received her fair share of criticism and teasing. Students have also pegged Real Time with Bill Maher as a favorite for political satire. Real Time airs Friday

Mania at the Meadows By CALEB BERMAN

Kanye West performing at the Meadows Music Festival. Whether it’s in your friends’ Instagram photos, ads all over the internet, or billboards in NYC, one thing is clear: music festivals in New York are impossible to ignore. On October 1st and 2nd, 2016, thousands of New Yorkers and residents from the tri-state area attended the inaugural Meadows Music Festival, otherwise known as The Meadows. New-York based Founders Entertainment, the longtime organizer of the popular NYC festival, GovBall, has created a first: a hip hop, rap, and alternative music fall festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The Meadows broke the barrier as the first festival to not take place in the summer, expanding new opportunities to make money from these events. For more and more high school students, festivals represent an opportunity to see many of their favorite artists in one weekend. Tickets were set at a reasonable price, approximately one-hundred dollars. This is relatively inexpensive in comparison to the price of seeing separate concerts for each individual performer. “They’re fun, they bring artists to the area, they make it possible to see more artists for less money,” Joseph Moser ’19 said, reflecting on the positive aspects of the increased number of festivals. The festival featured many well-known artists such as Chance the Rapper, Kanye West, The Weeknd, Kygo, Cage the Elephant, and many more from a myriad of music genres. A majority of people were most excited to see the headliners for Sunday’s show: Chance the Rapper and

Kanye West. Despite the hype surrounding the fall festival, there were many complaints. One of the most common faults people found was the large crowd present during Sunday’s performances. Having a large crowd in such a small space affected people’s cellphone service, lines for food and the bathroom, and overall enjoyment of the concert. In order to get a view of their favorite artists, fans spent hours in line, waiting patiently. “To get a good view of Chance the Rapper and Kanye West, my friends and I had to stand in the same spot in the crowd Caleb Berman / The Science Survey for seven hours. During this time, we couldn’t get food or leave to go to the bathroom,” Charlie Robinson ’17 said.

“The Meadows broke the barrier as the first festival to not take place during the summer, expanding opoprtunities to make money.” The biggest surprise of the weekend came thirty seconds into Kanye West’s famous song, ‘Heartless.’ Suddenly, the music cut, the lights shut off and the audience heard, “I’m sorry. There’s a family emergency. I have to stop the show,” before West abruptly left the stage. “I thought it was justified. If anyone in his or her right mind has a family member in jeopardy, they should come to their aid immediately. On the other hand, it would have been really nice for someone like Kygo to replace him,” Aidan Gibbons ’17 said. Hopefully, The Meadows will return next year with several improvements in organization and communication, but with a similar line-up of stellar musicians.

nights on HBO. Maher has spent the past several months focusing on the election in a jocular manner. During the show, Maher recaps the news of the week and comments sarcastically on each news item. Later in the show, he goes to a table with three to four other people who hold different political viewpoints to discuss political news and predictions with them. A very vocal critic of Donald Trump, Maher often interjects and insults any Republicans sitting at the table. Maher offers a unique take on politics within his program. Many viewers are often captivated by the respectable blend of analytical and satirical discussion that encompasses multiple viewpoints Maher promotes. It is easy to enjoy his show while learning all sides of a political argument. Students also enjoy watching other satiricle programs. Jason Qu ’17, a public supporter of Hillary Clinton, watches several left-leaning shows for political entertainment. In addition to Real Time with Bill Maher, Qu watches Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. “The shows I watch don’t really influence my political opinions, because I’ve held these beliefs before watching the shows. However, they do reinforce my principles and are in line with what I believe in. I think that watching only liberal shows isn’t the best thing to do, because I’m placing myself in a media bubble, where I am exposed to statements with which I already agree,” Qu said. This Friday, as you drop your backpack on the floor to be left untouched until you start your homework on Sunday, consider watching a political show. You might just get a laugh - and a new policy - out of it.

Stunning Production from Drama Department By ALEXANDRA ANG Save the date because the Bronx Science Drama Department is back at it again with yet another stunning production. On December 7th, 8th, and 9th, 2016, they will present a production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Originally a play by Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest has received multiple adaptations, from its 1952 film to the most recent 2002 film. Now, this acclaimed classic play is getting its own Bronx Science spin!

“We are surrounded by people who love being here and working on the drama production.” “The Importance of Being Earnest is different from anything we’ve ever done before. It is a British comedy that one needs to listen to carefully and attentively; otherwise, you might miss the joke. The play is silly and easy to follow, but, at the same time, there are satirical comments about upper class British Society,” said Robert Brown, the Drama Department moderator. The chosen play isn’t the only thing that’s different this year. After news of Mr. Simpson’s absence from this year’s productions befell the stage crew, many members wondered how they would build this year’s sets without him. As the technical set designer, Mr. Simpson played a vital part in creating the sets and backdrops for the plays and musicals for the past few years. Over the summer, he left Bronx Science to teach in the suburbs. “He put so much into the show, so it’s going to be different without him,” Noa Berman ’17 said. Despite his absence, however, the cast and crew are determined to put on on yet another astonishing production. They are assisted greatly by Mr. Mendoza, a technology teacher of great skill and consummate knowlege of his craft. “We are getting by, and we are crossing many hurdles, because we are able to work so well together,” Alejandro Torres ’19 said. Although Mr. Simpson can no longer physically be there to aid the stage crew, the knowledge that he has passed on has put many members at ease. He still frequently replies to inquiry e-mails from students with helpful tips. In fact, returning and new members of the crew are faring far better than they expected. Through his absence, they have learned a lot on their own about light, sound production and set designing. “We are surrounded by people who love being here and working on the drama production,” Berman added.


10 Introducing the Hackathon Travel Team By ANNA CLEVENGER With a new school year comes new clubs, sports, and teams. This year, that includes the brand new hackathon travel team. The hackathon team is part of Bronx Science’s new program, Bronx Science Hackers, and it will be assembled from selected students who have completed all aspects of Bronx Science Hackers, previously known as the Programming Academy. The idea for the team, and the other new STEM activ-

ities, was created by the Alumni Foundation and continues to be funded by them. “I think hackathons offer a unique epistemology when it comes to computer programming, as opposed to learning from an computer science class,” explained Brian Lee ’18, a student who regularly attends hackathons in his free time. “Really, it’s the community brought together as a result of the hackathon that counts. A hundred or so people are dedicating twenty-four hours of their day to program, and they are willingly meeting random people from across the country to create something beneficial to the community, or in many cases just to have fun,” Lee said. Bronx Science already hosts an annual hackathon, AtomHacks, so a hackathon

team is the next step in continuing the school’s STEM progression. Bronx Science Hackers will also host small challenges throughout the year that will test students’ skills and allow them to compete against each other. “There are many benefits to having a team. From a competition perspective, we can put ourselves out there more as a school. From a school perspective, we can grow an interest in computer science and in programming,” said Claire Glendening ’18, the co-president of Bronx Science Hackers. “One thing that students can learn about at hackathons is intellectual stamina,” said Ms. Marieke Thomas, the advisor of Bronx Science Hackers, explaining the benefits of hackathons compared to regular high school computer science lessons. “At a

hackathon, everyone has to work consistently for a much longer time period than just the regular forty-one minute class period. During that time, everyone gets stuck or encounters problems, but they’re forced to keep trying new solutions to work through those problems,” Thomas said. Jack Cook ’18, the co-president of the Bronx Science Hackers explains, “Hackathons provide an environment that fosters creativity. They expose people to a culture that they don’t traditionally learn about during high school.”

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Spotlight Ava Kaufman Wins Big in Essay Contest Yuna Komiyama / The Science Survey


The High School Heroes Essay Contest was one of the fiercest competitions held this year, with hundreds of students vying for a spot of recognition. Ava Kaufman ’17 came out triumphantly in third place. Upon writing about her experience teaching the first-graders from Ryner Avenue Elementary School, Kaufman look backed to the memory fondly, stating, “All I wanted was to have a positive impact upon the kids whom I taught, no matter how short-lived it was. I think I did!” Writing comes naturally to Kaufman, who has been writing for as long as she can remember, letting her experiences flow onto the paper. She also enjoys activities, such as debating and reading, that allow her to explore human emotions and experiences; according to her, some of her favorite books include Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides. Instinctively, when the High School Heroes program and the following essay competition was introduced to Kaufman through the courtesy of Ms. Steiker, she immediately jumped in, hoping that “get-

ting back to my elementary school roots would be a cathartic experience.” Of course, she had her fears. Kaufman stated that the volunteer opportunity was a mixed blessing, as she both relished and feared the “responsibility of teaching such young kids for a whole day.” In the High School Heroes program, students were required to commit a day or two to teaching the community’s younger students, allowing for a time of pensive reflection upon what it means to foster others. Then the students had the option to challenge each other in the prestigious essay competition. Kaufman’s long road to victory was not yet over. Immediately following the volunteer experience, she, along with hundreds of other students, faced the writing desk to whip up an essay that would impress the judges. However, her long history with writing came to her aid; it didn’t take relatively long for her to conjure up an essay about her volunteering experience. Inspired by these events, Kaufman wrote an essay on the passions of the first graders and how it rekindled her genuine excitement for learning. She eagerly and anxiously submitted her essay to the organization. Though she may have been anxious, her hardship was rewarded bountifully – the third place of the prestigious High School Heroes Essay Contest and a scholarship. She recalls the memory. “I was surprised, but very flattered! I didn’t think what I had to say would be that unique, because I felt like the excitement and passion of these kids was so tangible that it would strike everyone else who taught them, as well.” Certainly, her passions did indeed strike a chord with the judges. Using this success with essay writing as a stepping stone, Kaufman hopes to pursue a path in college that will allow her to combine several of her interests, such as literature, writing, gender studies, and psychology.

Seniors Gone Voting By ELISA SCHMIDT Youth participation in politics has always been lower than that of older groups, but Bronx Science still has students dedicated to being a part of America’s political system. At Bronx Science, there is a group of students born just early enough to be eligible to participate in the November 8th, 2016 elections and to make their voices heard by using their right to vote. Although less than 50% of eligible voters ages 18-24 voted in the 2012 election, many Bronx Science students are invested in politics. This is clear in the existence of clubs in school such as Junior Statesmen of America and Bronx Science Young

“The younger generation could make a difference... Our voices matter as well.” Democrats. For high school students, keeping up with politics can be difficult with the demands of school and extracurriculars pressing down upon them. “Sometimes the fear of getting a zero is greater than the need to do research on presidential candidates,” said Yeon (Anna) Ko ’17. At the other end of the spectrum, there are politically literate students who do not feel ready to vote until they are older. “I personally don’t feel mature enough to vote for someone who will represent me. Age is just a number, and I will wait until college or even after college to start voting,” said another senior who asked to remain anonymous.

(21 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in 2016) continued from A1... To be considered, applicants must maintain high academic grades during all four years of high school and be top scorers of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). Qualifying finalists are entitled to receive either a corporate or college-sponsored scholarship, or the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship of $2,500, beginning in early April 2017. Last year, the NMSC awarded scholarships valued at more than $45 million to over 9,400 qualified students. Currently, about 230 corporations, company foundations, and businesses

Not all those who do vote do it because of their love for a candidate. “I dislike supporting Hillary because it’s a chore to me, but I do it because this election will affect America. It has to be preserved for future generations,” said Alexander Mazon ’17. Others abstain from voting altogether because of a lack of a candidate with whom they agree. “I don’t want my first vote to go to either Clinton or Trump, because neither of them are favorable to me,” Ko explained. In the meantime, some students view voting as a privledge and as part of their civic duty. “I think that participating in our government at a young age is a privledge that many teenagers around the world do not get, so we should not take it for granted,” said Jacob Solomon ’17. In the past, non-major election years have had dramatically lower voter turnout rates because the elections of senators and representatives are seen as less important by the American people and less publicized by the media. Students, however, do see the role that these elections play. “Senators are important, as are representatives. We need to be involved in both elections, because if the President and Congress can’t agree on anything, nothing gets done,” Nicholas Scaglione ’17 said. “We’ve seen cases of how the younger generation could make a difference; with everything at stake that we are accustomed to for this year’s election, I think people have realized enough is enough, that our voices matter as well,” said Yuna Komiyama ’17. (Images: From top to bottom: Yeon (Anna) Ko ’17, Jacob Solomon ’17, and Yuna Komiyama ’17. Photos: Elisa Schmidt / The Science Survey) with approximately 190 colleges and universities in the United States have partnered with NMSC to provide the National Merit Scholarship Corporation scholarships. The corporation will begin mailing corporate-sponsored scholarships to the students’ addresses on March 8th, 2017. NMSC scholarships will be announced on March 23rd, 2017, and c o l l e g e - s p o n sored scholarships will be awarded on May 1st, 2017. “I’m really looking forward to becoming a finalist. The scholarship will be a great incentive towards the college admissions process and towards my future,” semifinalist Andrew Pon, ’17 said.

11 Speech & Debate’s New Director: Mr. Huth By MAMADI JALLOW After several personnel changes of directors in the past few years for the school’s Speech & Debate team, the team has gained new leadership. Social Studies teacher, Mr. Timothy Huth has agreed to take on the duties of the previous team director, Mr. Jonathan Horowitz. As director, Huth oversees organizational decisions made for the team and teaches the Debate Leadership class where he oversees the plans made by members of the Speech and Debate student leadership. “It’s a major responsibility, but I’m excited to get to work with our highly motivated and intelligent students,” Huth said, when asked how he felt about receiving the position. Huth feels that he has the necessary skills to do the job. “I believe that my background in research, my strength in understanding complex research articles, and my ability to plan and organize events makes me qualified to do the job,” he said. Mr. Huth plans to bring some changes to the debate team as well. “I want a greater focus on team and squad spirit. I’d like to make sure that each member is being engaged and helped to become the best they can be. I want to build the team up for the future by continuing its successful legacy.” Speech & Debate Co-Vice President Hunter Sadoff ’17 is ecstatic that Mr. Huth is working dilligently to continue to improve the program. “There is no activity at our school that captures the breadth of the student body more than Speech & Debate. It is amazing so many students are compelled to join the team, but at the same time, it proves difficult to manage. That is where Mr. Huth comes in. The team frankly cannot operate without him,” Sadoff said. In essence, Mr. Huth keeps the team afloat in terms of organization. He oversees everything from recruiting novices to booking tournaments all across the United States, for the most seasoned members of the team. Co-Vice President of Debate, Zoe Posner ’17, plans to hold monthly team meetings on the topic of ‘Women in Debate,’ focusing on how how gender biases and sexism affects female competitors across the country. Mr. Huth fully supports this initiative; both Mr. Huth and Posner hope that by having conversations on the topic, that there will be higher awareness of it and new light can be shed upon a solution to the nationwide problem.

“Students already feel less stressed out about scheduling flights and booking hotels all thanks to Mr. Huth.” This initiative was started by both Speech & Debate President Maya Osman Krinsky ’17 and Co-Vice President Zoe Posner ’17, who felt it was a necessary measure. “We made the decision to start this initiative because debate is a very male-dominated activity,” Osman-Krinsky said. “It is mostly frustrating because, as women, we’re told that what we say doesn’t matter, and when we’re in an environment of an activity that we’re passionate about, we should be able to feel empowered.” “This was an initiative I wanted to start this year to create a support network for female debaters who are definitely underrepresented in the community, and also shed light on issues that women in debate face in order to work towards pragmatic solutions,” Posner added. “We [women in debate] are disproportionately interrupted and talked over; just look at the numbers from the first Presidential debate. For some reason, we garner less credibility from the moment that we start speaking. We wanted to start having these meetings to create an open forum and a support group of sorts,” Osman-Krinsky explained. Osman-Krinsky has a positive outlook for the team and its new management. She admires how consistent and responsible Mr. Huth is as debate team director. His organizational skills and clarity make him an excellent leader for all members of Speech & Debate. Right now, Huth is working in conjunction with members of the team to increase transparency and to boost team spirit. “I am looking forward to overwhelmingly positive changes during the coming academic year,” Krinsky commented. “The job has been absolutely awesome so far,” said Mr. Huth. “It has been a lot of work, but also fun and exciting for me.” Osman-Krinsky, Posner, and Sadoff are looking forward to working closely with Mr. Huth for the rest of the year. Members of the Speech & Debate team have already competed at several tournaments winning multiple awards, and the team successfully hosted the annual Big Bronx tournament in October 2016. “It is evident that tournament logistics have improved this year,” said Sadoff. “Students already feel less stessed out over scheduling flights and booking hotels, all thanks to Mr. Huth.”

12 SURVEY SPORTS By EMILY BEDOLIS Getting to a national championship wasn’t Theodore Lowen ’18 and Zachary Siegel- easy at all, and I think that if the Bronx Scistein ’18 of the Bronx Science Boys' Varsi- ence players can have more confidence in ty Soccer team are also members of the #1 each other, even if down by a goal, the team ranked boys can go far.” soccer club The other team in the junior players nation, Manon the Bronx hattan Soccer Science Boys' Club’s Villa. Varsity SocThe club is also cer take great home to PSAL pride in their championship teammates’ winning goal victory. Alexscorer Camander Izeman eron Bonfils, ’18 said, a junior at “Practicing Beacon High and playing School, and with Teddy several players and Zach is Emily Bedolis / The Science Survey from the Martin great; not only Theodore Lowen ‘18, goalie for MSC Villa and the Bronx Science Boys' Varsity Soccer Team. Luther King Jr. are they my school, another friends, they’re well ranked PSAL team. also great at soccer.” Alexander Goldstein MSC Villa won the 2016 national game, ’18 added, “Zach’s crosses to me are great,” beating Sockers Football Club, a Chicago then joked, “...even though I usually miss team, 2 to 1. Proud of his club team’s win them.” at nationals, Lowen and Lowen said, Siegelstein “Being on are looking such a good forward to the team outside PSAL soccer of school and season with winning such the school’s an important team, and title has inthey can’t spired me and wait to comZach to try to pete for their get the Bronx second naScience team tional chamas far as we pionship with can.” Villa in 2017. It takes Siegelstein Goldberg / The Science Survey more than sim- Zachary Sieglestein ‘18, picturedMaya c oncluded, on the right, plays for MSC ply two great “Winning the Villa and the Bronx Science Boys' Varsity Soccer Team. players to win a national chamPSAL championship title. It takes a great pionship was definitely one of the greatteam, one that Bronx Science should strive est moments of my life, and I think that if to foster. Siegelstein offered his suggestions all the talent on the Bronx Science team on how to further our own team, saying, can get us a deep run into the playoffs, “I think the players on the Bronx Science I’ll have a chance to feel that way again." team should trust each other’s ability more.

Science Survey Staff Reporters Raisa Alam, Kristina Ang, Ludy Ansty, Alexa Asch, Samira Ashif, Melina Asteriadis, Caleb Berman, Charlie Brownstein, Ella Caine, Lakshsmi Chatterjee, Brandi Chen, Eliana Chiovetta, Lauren Choi, Ahana Chowdhury, Audrey Cicerello, Michael Ferrari, Tomas Greenberg, Maya Goldberg, Masato Hirakata, Abonee Hossain, Elizabeth Jung, Maha Khan, Radiah Khandokar, Christi Kim, Yuna Komiyama, Ivan Lacroix, Sofie Levine, Victoria Levy, Nicole Liberman, Vivian Ma, Julia Maher, Sophie Malki, Irene Masoutis, Matilda Melkonian, Ismail Mustafa (Senior Staff Reporter), Nicole Neil, Seongji Oh, Talia Protos, Shanzana Rashid, Jonathan Rodriguez, Alana Rosenthal, Kitri Sundaram, Alia Yeancades, Winni You, Emily Yu, Marco Zembo-Palzer.

A Makeover for Physical Education Classes

By BRANDY CHEN Plans for the reshuffling of physical education classes have finally been brought to life this fall. Instead of having all the grades together, the upperclassmen and the underclassmen students are now divided. Students have varying opinions on this new division. For students, there are mixed feelings about the new separation. On one hand, some prefer the previous system because it allowed for students of all grades to mingle together and to make new friends outside of their age group. “I honestly liked how the classes were set up last year, because I actually had more friends older than me rather than the same age as me,” Hannah Seo ’19 said. “The only class that I had with some of my good friends was gym, but now, this year, our age gap makes it so that we have no classes together anymore.” Chelsea Wang ’17 agrees. “I made so many upperclassmen friends when I was a freshman and a sophomore, and I made so many freshman friends as a junior. Now that I am a senior and the classes are separated by grade, it is more difficult to make junior friends since everyone knows everyone already,” Wang said. Yet many other students like the change. For Maya Orantes-Essimel ’16, the new division allows her to have spend more time with her friends who are of the same grade. “I prefer the new way, because a lot of my friends all share gym together, and we find it as another class where we can enjoy ourselves and be playfully competitive. The old way was much more awkward especially if you didn’t know a majority of the people in the class. You’d end up only talking to two or three new people the entire year and only hope to have free time to talk to friends who had the same gym period but a different teacher,” Orantes-Essimel said. Katherine Doss ’19 finds it helpful to be in a class where everyone is at the same level. “I’m not as skilled in some of the units as others, so it’s nice that the teacher can spend more time on explanations without feeling that they are boring everyone,” Doss said. “Explanations are more thor-

ough this year, because my teacher doesn’t assume that we know everything already.”

" I can give more time and attention to the skills that students really need." As for the Physical Education teachers, Ms. Sisilli, who teaches underclassmen, finds separating gym classes by grade level to be extremely beneficial. “Before I had to squeeze so many concepts and skills into one unit, comprising a sport or activity. It was difficult to ensure proficiency in each individual student, because they were all starting at different levels of knowledge. Now I feel that because most of my students are beginning at or close to the same level, I can give more time and attention to the skills that students really need in order to become proficient in a specific sport or activity,” Ms. Sisilli said. Mr. Daughton, who now teaches upperclassmen, has implemented changes to better suit his older group of students. Rather than spending limited class time on going over the basics that his seniors and juniors are already familiar with, he places a greater emphasis on gameplay and on game plan. “The way that Mr. Daughton teaches now is much more targeted. He gives us more independence in class, as our exercises are self-conducted,” Nikhil Devraj ’17 said. With the exception of a handful of students, everyone seems to be content with how physical education classes are now. Teachers can more easily tailor their lessons so that they better meet students' needs, and students have more playtime with friends of the same grade. Nonetheless, the new system also makes it harder for students to meet new people outside of their age group. Despite these differences in opinion, however, the current setup is here to stay. Hopefully those who feel otherwise will see all the positives of the change and will eventually embrace it.

New Girls’ Tennis Coach Sofie Levine / The Science Survey

Two Bronx Science Boys’ Soccer Players Named Best in Nation

About The Science Survey is the award-winning student newspaper of The Bronx High School of Science, and it has been published continuously since our high school was founded in 1938. It is planned, researched, written, edited, and designed entirely by students as part of the elective 'Journalism: Newspaper & Yearbook' class, and it is published bi-monthly in a print edition and also online.

Mission We strive to provide information that is accurate, thorough, and unbiased. We aim to enlighten as well as to inform, and we seek to intellectually engage our readers. We wish to serve as a journalistic voice for our diverse student body, and we strive to achieve the highest degree of journalistic integrity, both in our written articles and in our photojournalism.

By ELIZABETH JUNG The fall Girls' Varsity Tennis season is coming to a close. As the team welcomed their new coach, Ms. Tara Ware, the expectations and techniques of the team changed. The old coach, Jeff Menaker, had a different set of expectations for the girls. In comparison to Ware, Menaker was more relaxed during training. Cassie Tian ’19 said, “I liked the old coach and how laid back he was.” As for Coach Menaker’s coaching techniques, they focused on certain skill sets. Tian added, Menaker focused on communicating and volleys.” Overall, Tian believes that Coach Menaker created a laidback atmosphere during practices. However, others on the team looked forward to the new coach. Batya Wiener, ’18, was looking forward to constructive feedback and support from the new coach. With the arrival of Coach Ware, the girls have a refreshed mindset and high hopes for the season. Wiener said, “The new coach is incredible. Not only is she a great player, but she also is kind and helps us all to become the best players whom we can be.” Coach Ware introduced new techniques and strategies to help the girls improve their skills. The girls concentrated heavily on improving their endurance, because Coach Ware implemented more running, and various other drills into the team’s daily practice routine. Anna Malkov ’19 commented, “Our new coach makes us do drills, and play games and matches, which I think is highly effective.” Coach Ware has definitely pushed the team to work harder and to strive for their best. It paid off as the team remained undefeated in the Fall 2016 season, ending with twelve wins and zero losses. In the playoffs, they won second place in the Mayor's Cup and in the City Championships.

November 2016 - Volume 79 Issue 1  

The Science Survey

November 2016 - Volume 79 Issue 1  

The Science Survey