Join a wonderful community tradition on Monday November 2nd, 7 p.m. in the Greeley Gym, and support the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund to “Bee the Difference” for so many students pursuing their dreams of attending college.This event is run by the students of S.H.A.R.E. (Students Have a Responsibility Everywhere), led this year by Owen Ruggerio, Ellie Loigman and Meaghan Townsend, with all money raised going to support HGSF. The Spelling Bee is a great family event, on an evening before a no-school day (Election Day is November 3rd). It’s a wonderful opportunity to support your teachers and classmates and–if you hurry–to sign up your own team or sponsor another. Deadline to enter is this week, so visit www.hgsf.org to sign up.
Horace Greeley High School
By Amanda H. Cronin
The first image that may come to mind when you hear the words “science fair” is a lopsided, paper maché, volcano erupting “lava.” You know, the classic baking powder and vinegar experiment. But what is really going on at these science fairs is far more impressive and innovative.
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, May 11-16. Horace Greeley High School Senior Alex Kaufman was among some 1,600 high school students from around the country participating in the fair for the ultimate prize: a scholarship worth $75,000.
ISEF, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, provides a framework for aspiring young researchers, like Alex, to showcase their independent research and compete for more than $4 million in awards. Millions of students worldwide start out competing in local and school-sponsored science fairs, and if selected, go head-to-head in the final event with peers from over 70 countries, regions and territories. At a local fair in March, Alex was named one of the top ten researchers in Westchester and Putnam counties, which qualified him to advance to the final round.
Alex is part of Horace Greeley’s Science Research program, a three-year, application-based science course that allows students to independently explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) topics of their own choosing, be it climate change, cancer research or molecular biology.
Science teacher Trudy Gessler leads many of the classes for the program. “We have many talented and passionate students in Science Research,” said Dr. Gessler. “Their research and experiments are all conducted under the supervision of a research scientist/mentor, sometimes in a research lab and sometimes right here on campus.”
Alex’s interest is in the area of immunology. His project focuses on the Hepatitis B virus and constructing a special type of viral clone to function exactly like Hepatitis B, except that it causes cells to fluoresce upon infection. Alex conducted his research in the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease at The Rockefeller University in New York City.
Alex’s story is not the only success story in the program. This past year, 12 students received awards for their projects at various fairs and competitions. Junior Riya Verma’s poster was given 1st place in the Category of Medicine and Health at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. “I have always been interested in applications of computer science in medicine, and Science Research has given me an opportunity to pursue it,” said Riya.
Anubhav Guha’s award-winning project took him to the White House. Anubhav’s research deals with extending the lifetime of dye molecules. For his research Anubhav placed as a finalist in the Intel competition and semi-finalist in the Siemens competition. He even got to shake hands with President Obama!
“I’ve always been interested in science– its really satisfying and neat to be able to fully understand a topic, or to be able to find something completely new that no one else has ever found,” said Anubhav.
Mrs. Patricia Donovan heads up Greeley’s Science department. “Science education is more important today than it has ever been. It is important to have a good science education to be competitive in today’s world. As global citizens, we all need to understand how the elements of our surroundings function so that we can make sense of the information made available to us.”
As a fellow Greeley student and new Science Researcher, I asked Alex for some advice. “You have been provided an incredible opportunity. You may come out of this research experience knowing that you want to be a scientist for the rest of your life. You could also come out of it knowing that you never want to go near a pipette again! So go into this excited about what you will learn about your field and what you will learn about yourself. There are so many fascinating fields, so search long and hard for something that absolutely captivates you– it’s definitely out there!”
Alex, Riya, and Anubhav are truly inspirational. There’s no doubt that these science research students are some of the brightest “cells” in our student body. Their findings could potentially help people in meaningful ways and influence current scientific practices. Seeing their accomplishments makes me excited to hone in on my own science topic and gain experience through interacting with professionals in the field.
Science can be very daunting and complex. But it is fascinating and extremely important for our understanding of the world and how it works. It’s thrilling to know that right here at Greeley we have some of the best and the brightest.
To find out more about ISEF and the Siemens Competition visit: https://student.societyforscience.org/intel-isef and http://www.siemens-foundation.org/en/competition.htm
Amanda H. Cronin is a freshman at Horace Greeley High School. She loves the six Fs: Food, Fashion, Football (Soccer), Friends, Family and Felines.
The final year of high school has not always been infused with a huge surge in engagement and scholarship. Now, internships and projects facilitated by the Senior Experience at Greeley provide an exciting alternative for the final five weeks of the year.
The idea for this concept arose from the results of a survey conducted among the faculty. Answers to the first question demonstrated that teachers were in favor of instituting a program which would maximize learning opportunities at the end of the year. Over 30% of the respondents said they would volunteer to work on the idea. Co-leader and Assistant Principal Andrew Corsilia noted that there was significant enthusiasm in the move to “operationalize the impulse to change.” A pilot program was held in the spring of 2011. 27 students elected to participate in 2012 and 43 have applied for 2013.
An outstanding array of opportunities are available. In 2011, Adam Ehrlich indicated that he was interested in a career in law enforcement. A call to Youth Officer Corrado revealed the existence of the perfect program: The Westchester Youth Academy. Ehrlich participated in physical training and took courses in criminal justice.
Independent projects are another component of the Senior Experience. Corsilia said that these are a viable option for “very responsible” students who demonstrate “a passion and expertise.” In the class of 2012, Emma Pile expressed her interest in becoming a writer. In preparation for composing her short story, she conducted extensive research, speaking with an expert in the field and visiting a school for children with autism. An editor at the “New Yorker” suggested techniques for polishing the story.
Bruna Paranhos chose an internship at WSP Sells, a transportation engineering firm. In her studies at Greeley, Paranhos recalled being intrigued by “the practical aspects of math and science.” She found her stint at WSP Sells to be invaluable. “It helped me to confirm my desire to be an engineer,” she said.
With an eye toward the future, Corisilia mentioned plans to expand the program. “Ideally, we’d love to have 80% or more of the senior class doing it,” he said. Corsilia also encouraged community members to offer internships to contribute to the education of students in the district.
By Mrinalini Samanta and Julia Desmarais
Please note updated fundraiser date and location!
What does it mean to be a girl in an impoverished nation? For many, it means not getting an education, it means being deprived of the opportunity to get a job, and it means not being able to support your family. It means being restricted to living in a house where you have no say and no rights.
In most third-world countries, it is the mothers who stay home to take care of the families and to teach the children, but if the mothers are deprived of education, how can they teach? How can their children learn? One woman’s lack of education hurts both her sons and her daughters, and their children after them. But until an attitude of acceptance towards women and an understanding of the importance of education are fostered, this cycle will not end. That is where GlobalSchoolhouse, a student-run club at Horace Greeley High School, comes in. The mission of GlobalSchoolhouse is to stop this cycle in its tracks by helping to raise awareness and to fund education for women and girls across the world. We believe that every child deserves the right to a better future, and we believe that by teaching a girl you educate an entire family. In short, we believe in the power of education.
That is why we are raising funds to support an organization called Sir Syed Trust (SST) in India. SST has been teaching women and girls how to sew and make clothes, a skill that will not only help their families and their job opportunities, but will also teach them math and measurement. After those skills are taught, SST moves on to teaching reading and writing. We at GlobalSchoolhouse, as part of our ongoing commitment to SST, are collecting children’s books to supply a new library in India.
But our work does not stop there. We are also sponsoring and corresponding with a girl in Cambodia through the Cambodian Children’s Fund. Her name is Srey Reab, and before we sponsored her, she and her family were picking through the trash to survive. She is now getting educated and making many new friends.
To raise money for these two organizations, GlobalSchoolhouse will be holding a fundraiser on December 8th from 10-2:30 in the Greeley Cafeteria. We will be selling home furnishings (blankets, pillowcases, etc.) made by women in India and generously donated by Kuldeep Kaur, who designs and manufactures these products for many well-known designers including Barbara Barry, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein (http://www.betterlivingcollection.com/). The women who have handcrafted these beautiful works of art were once illiterate and desperate, but are now successfully supporting their families and sending their children to school.
Please come support our cause – we look forward to seeing you on the 8th! In the mean time, if you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mrinalini Samanta and Julia Desmarais, juniors at Horace Greeley High School, are the Co-Presidents and Founders of GlobalSchoolhouse.
By Julia Desmarais
How much does a four-year-old really understand about tragedy? Ten years ago, tragedy struck, and as a four-year-old, I was caught up in a whirlwind of confusion. It was hard to comprehend what was happening around me, and although no one in my family had been in the World Trade Centers that day, I had a close friend severely affected and another friend who was one sickness away from being affected as well.
When the numbers “nine” and “eleven” are strung together, they no longer signify just a date. 9/11 invokes a memory of a horrific event that has affected all of our lives, either directly or indirectly. I can clearly recall sitting on the floor in my kindergarten classroom as a teacher took a little girl out of the room. Craning my neck up, I saw my other teacher standing at the front, and could hear her saying that the girl’s dad had died in the collapse of the Twin Towers. I felt bad for her, and I knew I wanted to be her friend – I remember going to her house another time, and again feeling sad that she had lost her father, but what did I really understand about that day? The answer: not much. As I grew older and moved on through elementary school, my understanding slowly grew. I have another memory: standing outside at the beginning of school, everyone gathered around the big flagpole, paying our respects to those who died in the attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93. As I stood there, questions surged through my young mind, and I tried to wrap my head around what had happened.
Little by little I’ve learned bits and pieces about this horrific tragedy. I’ve pieced together the missing parts that I didn’t truly “get” at the age of four, keeping my eyes and ears open and asking plenty of questions. Even this past year I’ve learned new details about that day and its aftermath from reading books in English class and by just talking to my peers. Who would have ever guessed that the father of one of my closest friends almost went to a meeting in the Towers that day, but instead stayed home to take care of his wife, who was sick the same day?
Over the years, my understanding and appreciation for the dreadfulness of this event have broadened. I have learned that 9/11 was an event that changed the course of history and Americans’ perceptions about the world around them and their own safety. And that’s just the beginning of what 9/11 means to me. My guess is that, as I grow, my experiences and the people I meet will continue to teach me still more about that horrible, fateful day. Perhaps that is true for all of us.
Julia Desmarais is now a sophomore at Horace Greeley High School.