WEST’S KOREMAN SELECTED FOR JAPAN-U.S. TEACHER EXCHANGE
Earlier this month, Niles West High School teacher Neil Koreman traveled to San Francisco, CA as a participant in the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Sustainable Development (ESD) hosted by Fulbright Japan (Japan-U.S. Education Commission). Koreman was selected for the program from a national pool of more than 450 educators. This fully-funded program has two components: a Joint Conference with Japanese teachers in San Francisco (held May 1-4) and a study tour to Japan, June 21 to July 5. Focused on the theme of Education for Sustainable Development, the program aims to deepen mutual understanding and strengthen the relationship between Japanand the United States, as well as to raise awareness of ESD-oriented school programs and enhance ESD-related curricula in both countries. ESD is a “vision of education that seeks to balance human and economic well-being with cultural traditions and respect for the earth’s natural resources,” according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The contingent of U.S. teachers, including Koreman, will travel in a two-week study tour of Japan, where they will learn about Japanese culture, visit Japanese schools focused on ESD, participate in a homestay, and meet again with their Japanese counterparts for workshops and curricular collaboration. Upon their return to the United States, the teachers will share what they have learned through the program and implement refined ESD curricula in their schools.
DISTRICT 219 STUDENTS EARN AWARDS AT INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FAIR
Two Niles Township High School District 219 students earned awards at the 62nd annual International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) held last weekend in Los Angeles, CA. In this year’s fair, more than 1,500 students from 65 countries, regions and territories competed for over $4 million in scholarships and prizes.
Niles North student Ayana Jamal, a STEM Inquiry and Research class student with teacher Jacki Naughton, received a first place award and $1,000 from the American Veterinary Medical Association for her research “The Effect of Ethanol on Somitogenesis and Craniofacial Development in Zebrafish.”
Niles West student Felix Angelov won fourth place in microbiology for his research “The Effects of Homoserine Lactone Octadecanoyl-L on Quorum Sensing in V. Harveii.” Angelov is enrolled in STEM Inquiry and Research under science teacher Ruth Gleicher.
NILES NORTH WINS FIRST PLACE AT IJAS REGIONALS FOR 21st CONSECUTIVE YEAR
Niles North’s tradition of claiming the first place trophy at the regional Illinois Junior Academy of Science (IJAS) Fair Contest remained unbroken on Saturday, March 19 when the school took first place for the 21st consecutive year. The 52 Niles North students who competed in the contest were either members of the STEM Inquiry and Research (SIR) class and/or the Researchers and Investigators of Tomorrow (RIOT) Club. Of the 49 projects that were entered in the contest, 36 qualified for the IJAS State Exposition to be held May 6 and 7 at theUniversity of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
Naveen Kanji, Ayana Jamal, Joshua Lipschultz and Elan Ness-Cohn were selected to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Foundation (ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college celebration of science. The ISEF, held in May, brings together nearly 1,500 students from more than 40 nations to compete for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips and the grand prize of a $50,000 scholarship.
Best in Category plaques were awarded to: Elan Ness-Cohn, Aerospace Science; Jeffrey Gaynes, Biochemistry; Naveen Kanji, Cellular and Molecular; Haley Sproull, Chemistry; Joshua Lipshultz, Computer Science; Olivia Altmayer and Monica Rosenberg, Consumer Science; Jacob Cohn, Environmental Science; Alvina Shaikh, Health Science; Micah Beller, Material Science; Krystine Hoang and Alexis Lehrman, Microbiology; Reena Patel, Physics and Ayana Jamal, Zoology.
Special awards went to: Elan Ness-Cohn, U.S. Air Force Award and the Optical Society of Chicago Award; Emmanuelle Asrow, Iota Sigma Pi Award; Jeffrey Gaynes, Society for Invitrobiology Award; Damiana Andonova, Metric Society Award; Naveen Kanji, Department of the Army Research Award; Zain Lakhani, Department of the Army Research Award; Joshua Lipschultz, The Yale Science and Engineering Award and the Intel Excellence Award; Gideon Horberg, National Society of Professional Engineers Award; Cyatharine Alias, Stockholm Junior Water Prize; Jacob Cohn, ISweep Award and Mohammed Hasan, U.S. Navy Research Award.
Damiana Andonova and Ayana Jamal were awarded the William Gonas Award for having the top two papers submitted in the Paper Session competition – senior division.
List of participants (an * indicates they qualified for state): Alvina Shaikh*, Ariella Hoffman-Peterson*, Arshila Merchant*, Asad Qureshi*, Ashley Thomas, Athanasia Giannetos*, Ayana Jamal*, Basil Alias*, Cyatharine Alias*, Damiana Andonova*, Diana Kumar*, Eddie Reinfranck*, Elan Ness-Cohn*, Emmanuelle Asrow*, Emre Erel*, Evan Sturt, Faisal Bari, Gideon Horberg*, Haley Bubley*, Haley Sproull*, Hamza Mahmood, Hillary Bartman, Iris Schwartz*, Jacob Cohn*, James Gilbert, Jeffrey Gaynes*, Joshua Lipschultz*, Julia Bentkowska*, Kristine Hoang* and Alexis Lehrman*, Lindsay Pietz*, Maggi Kreisheh*, Marta Lemesh, Micah Beller*, Mohammed Hasan*, Naveen Kanji*, Nida Fayyaz, Noah Zeidman, Olivia Altmayer* and Monica Rosenberg*, Quynh Nguyen*, Reena Patel*, Regina Roberg, Reny Mathew*, Richmond Toy*, Rupal Desai*, Sara Beladi, Sara Karnes* and Miriam Prosnitz*, Valeriya Volodarskaya, Zachary Oppenheimer and Zain Lakhani*.
The SIR teacher is Jacki Naughton and RIOT Club sponsors are Jacki Naughton, Lisa McKenna, Heidi Eichler and Katherine France.
DISTRICT 219 SCIENTISTS RECEIVE OVER 60 AWARDS AT STATE CONTEST
Niles Township High School District 219 students competed at the Illinois Junior Academy of Science State Exposition held earlier this month at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Of the 51 projects presented from District 219, 43 received Gold awards, 7 received Silver awards and one received a Bronze award. All participants are students in STEM Inquiry and Research (SIR) or Researchers and Investigators of Tomorrow (RIOT) Club.
Special awards were presented to: Zoya Mamon, Niles West, Clean Water award; Felix Angelov, Niles West, Outstanding Achievement in Microbiology award; Cyatharine Alias, Niles North, American Waterworks Association award; and Damiana Andonova, Niles North, National Anti-Vivisection Society award.
The Top Paper in the Senior Division was awarded to Ayana Jamal, Niles North.
Best in Category awards given to: Chirag Gandhi, Niles West, Aerospace; Felix Angelov, Niles West, Microbiology; Emmie Asrow, Niles North, Biochemistry; Naveen Kanji, Niles North, Cellular and Molecular Biology; Richmond Toy, Niles North, Chemistry; Joshua Lipschultz, Niles North, Computer Science; Olivia Altmayer and Monica Rosenberg, Niles North, Consumer Science; Elan-Ness Cohn, Niles North, Engineering; Cyatharine Alias, Niles North, Environmental Science; Micah Beller, Niles North, Materials Science and Ayana Jamal, NilesNorth, Zoology.
Gold awards given to: (Niles West) Chirag Gandhi, John Wheeler, Felix Angelov, Ryan Marohn, Eric O’Neil, Robert Svaia, Desiree Garcia, Zoya Mamon, Callie Sher, Shana Nissan and Kristine Park. (Niles North) Basil Alias, Cyatharine Alias, Olivia Altmayer and Monica Rosenberg, Damiana Andonova, Emmie Asrow, Micah Beller, Julia Bentkowska, Hayley Bubley, Jacob Cohn, Jeffrey Gaynes, Athanasia Giannetos, Krystine Hoang and Alexis Lehrman, Ariella Hoffman-Peterson, Gideon Horberg, Ayana Jamal, Naveen Kanji, Sara Karnes, Maggie Kreisheh, Diana Kumar, Zain Lakhani, Joshua Lipschultz, Reny M. Mathew, Arshila Merchant, Elan Ness-Cohn, Lindsay Pietz, Asad Qureshi, Iris Schwartz, Alvina Shaikh, Haley Sproull and Richmond Toy.
Silver awards given to: (Niles West) Andy Rappaport, Jack Thornton and Sheryl Cherian. (Niles North) Rupal S. Desai, Mohammed Hasan, Quynh Nguyen and Eddie Reinfranck. A bronze award was given to Emre Erel.
Niles North students are taught by SIR teacher Jacki Naughton and RIOT Club sponsors Jacki Naughton, Lisa McKenna, Heidi Eichler and Katherine France. Niles West SIR teachers are Ruth Gleicher, Brit Czupryna and JulieAnn Villa.
NILES WEST’S GLEICHER PARTICIPATING IN SCIENCE WoRx PROGRAM
Niles West High School science teacher Ruth Gleicher is participating in Science WoRx, a program designed to get students excited about science and choose a career in the sciences. Gleicher was featured February 23 on ABC7Chicago News.
NILES WEST SCIENCE OLYMPIAD TEAM COMPETED AT STATE
The Niles West Science Olympiad team that earned second place at the Regional competition competed at the State contest held April 16 at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
Medals were awarded to: Nathan Kerr, Jeremy Metz and Erin Balke, Fourth, Mission Possible; Nathan Kerr and Jeremy Metz, Fifth, Robot Ramble; Erin Balke and Nathan Kerr, 10th, Mousetrap Vehicle and Bill Pendavinji and Ryan Cyriac, 11th, Towers.
The Niles West Science Olympiad sponsors are Elizabeth Ramseyer, Howard Swider, Chris Barnett, Susie Lim and Chris Hawker.
NILES WEST TEACHERS PRESENT FINDINGS AT SPACE SCIENCE AND ASTRONOMY CONFERENCE
Nearly 60 teachers, students and astronomy educators presented the fruits of their year-long labor as participants in NITARP, the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, at the 217th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle, WA from January 9 through January 13. Niles West High School teachers Richard DeCoster and Elizabeth Ramseyer and Niles West students were participants in NITARP and attended the meeting to present their findings.
NITARP pairs professional astronomers with eighth grade, high school and community college teachers nationwide to show their students how genuine space research gets done. Four NITARP teams used archival observations by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, an orbiting infrared telescope, as well as other telescopes for analysis and teaching purposes.
"We're getting teachers involved in real astronomy research with real astronomical data," said Luisa Rebull, an associate research scientist from NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, who coordinates the NITARP program. The goal of NITARP is to inspire and motivate students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as to engage the public in shaping and sharing the experience of exploration and discovery.
The journey began when DeCoster and Ramseyer attended AAS meetings in Washington, DC in January 2010 to immerse themselves in the project. They and their students spent three full days conducting research at the AAS Science Center at Caltech in the summer of 2010. Along with the other two NITARP groups, they presented their findings last month at the AAS meeting in Seattle, WA.
Ramseyer was a member of the team paired with Varoujan Gorjian, SSC/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Ramseyer’s students, Niles West High School seniors Eric O’Neill, Niko Xamplas, Rozy Kanjee, Daniel Langer and Benjamin Pichler (Niles West Class of 2010) were also participants. Their research centered on discovering how supermassive black holes (SMBH) function. These objects exist in the center of every elliptical and spiral galaxy, including the Milky Way. The locations of SMBH are known, but not how they function. According to Ramseyer, “Our research tried to determine whether or not the ultraviolet (UV) light being emitted by the accretion disk of the SMBH heats the dust surrounding the accretion disk proportionately. The Spitzer Space telescope imaged the infrared light being emitted by the dust as a consequence of its being heated by the UV light.” Ramseyer said that the research found no correlation, due either to lack of data or perhaps the function of SMBH is more complex.
DeCoster worked on a team with Steve Howell, National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Niles West seniors Alex Antonow and Aneesh Seghal were also a part of their team. The group worked on variable stars in the infrared region of the spectrum observed by the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space Telescope. DeCoster said, “We identified some 250 stars and measured how their light output in the infrared varied over periods of hours. We produced graphs, called light curves, of the light variation over time. Very few stars have had their light curves determined in this region of the electromagnetic spectrum. We found one star from this group that exhibited variation. We are continuing to work on this star to determine more of its properties.”
"The class of 2010 did some amazing work and we are very proud of them," said Rebull.
Ramseyer said of the AAS meeting, “The information received in the lecture showed my students that there are so many more questions to answer in our universe. I believe it also opened their eyes to the life of an astronomer/researcher. It also was an invaluable experience for them to see that it is “OK” to ask questions. Questions are what drive science.”
This program was funded by NASA. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology, also in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
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