THE HUB - Feature Article

  • Grand Award Winners Announced for 2020 AACPS Regional Science and Engineering Expo

    Posted by Melvin Edwards on 4/23/2020

    A team of juniors from Chesapeake Science Point has taken the First Place Grand Award in the 53rd annual Anne Arundel County Regional Science and Engineering Expo.

    In addition, two individual projects from Broadneck High School and a team of brothers from North County High School share the Second Place Grand Award prize.  The announcement would have taken place at the Regional Science and Engineering Expo award ceremony last month, but the event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    All four projects have earned the right to be submitted as official representatives of Anne Arundel County Public Schools to the 2020 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF), which had been scheduled to occur May 10-15 in Anaheim, Calif., but has been canceled.

    The team of Saja Mahdi and Rafee Mirza claimed the First Place Award at the Expo with their project “Biospectroscopy: The Future of Breast Cancer Detection.”  Their project involved developing different breast cancer cell lines and analyzing them in a Ramen Spectrometer.  The subsequent data was placed in a machine learning program to determine if the computer could accurately group the cells and determine if breast cancer was present. This research may lead to lower cost and faster test results when screening for breast cancer.

    The project done by North County High School brothers Imaad and Aaban Syed, titled “Measure ρ – Optimize Heat Transfer,” earned them a share of the Grand Award. The Syeds’ project focused on measuring the thermal resistivity of soil in varying states and its effect on heat transfer in buried electrical cables.

    Broadneck High School had two projects win a share of the Grand Award Prize: Lia Barrow’s project “Cell Migration” and Katheryne Lochart’s “Getting Cryptic with Bioinformatics.” Lia’s project looked at cell migration models to test for therapeutics that could alleviate the effects of Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a form of bone marrow cancer, in the blood. Katheryne’s project examined using bacterial RNA as a data storage system.

    More than 275 projects in 20 categories were presented by student researchers from across the county in grades 6 through 12 at the Expo. Individual student awards and prizes worth thousands of dollars were previously announced and distributed to students.  These awards were provided by supporting organizations including Educational Systems Federal Credit Union the headline sponsor, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Anne Arundel Community College, Clean Air Partners, Friends of Jug Bay, International Council on Systems Engineering, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,  Society of Women Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps Office of Naval Research, and the U.S. Public Health Services to name just a few.

    The Anne Arundel County Regional Science and Engineering Expo is dedicated to promoting science education along with recognizing and rewarding student achievement in science. In addition to the overall first place and grand award winners, approximately 100 county middle and high school students earned first-place awards at the Science and Engineering Expo, ranging from special awards from community organizations to category awards based on guidelines from Regeneron ISEF.

    You can watch the announcement of the winners here.

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  • Arlotto Announces Changes to Graduation Requirements for Members of Class of 2020

    Posted by Melvin Edwards on 4/16/2020

    Superintendent George Arlotto has announced changes to graduation requirements for members of the Class of 2020 and second-semester grading for all students in response to the educational impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Graduating seniors will need to earn 22.5 credits to receive their diploma, 3.5 fewer than the 26 required of Anne Arundel County Public Schools students in previous years but still 1.5 more than required by the Maryland State Department of Education. The reduction comes solely in elective credits and does not impact the required number of credits required in English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Health, Physical Education, Fine Arts, or Technology. It is applicable to the Class of 2020 only. 

    “As our students have navigated a monthlong school closure, a transition to online learning, and untold challenges to their normal family lives, we have discussed myriad ways to help ensure that these circumstances entirely out of their control do not negatively impact their futures,” said Dr. Arlotto, who presented the changes to the Board of Education at its meeting last night. “We have preached equity, grace, patience, and flexibility, and this plan for our seniors is in line with that mindset.”

    Specific requirements for graduation are contained in Administrative Regulation IIC-RA.

    To earn a diploma, seniors also need to satisfy MSDE requirements in one of three required options: World Language (2 credits); Advanced Technology (2 credits); or Career & Technology Education (4 credits). A student’s chosen pathway impacts the number of elective credits required to graduate.

    The changes, Dr. Arlotto said, will allow students to focus exclusively on any MSDE required credits rather than AACPS elective credits and afford students in danger of not graduating to reassess their options and potentially earn a diploma.

    Counselors will work closely with students and families who have questions about coursework.

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  • 3 HS Juniors Named as Finalists to be 2020-21 Student Member of the BOE

    Posted by Melvin Edwards on 4/8/2020

    The Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils (CRASC) announced on its Twitter page (@CRASC_Online) today that three 11th grade students have been named finalists for the 2020-2021 student member on the Board of Education of Anne Arundel County.

    The students, selected from a field of six applicants, are:

    • Conor Curran, Old Mill High School
    • Princess Merritt, Meade High School
    • Drake Smith, Meade High School

    The Student Member on the Board of Education (SMOB) election is sponsored by CRASC. The student member is appointed by the Governor, serves a one-year term during his or her senior year of high school, and receives an $8,000 college scholarship.  Anne Arundel’s student member is the only one in the nation on a local Board of Education with full voting rights.

    The election to determine the candidate whose name will be forwarded to the governor for appointment will take place later this month or early next month.

    CRASC’s constitution and bylaws call for high schools and middle schools in the county to be allotted a predetermined number of delegates, based on each school’s enrollment, at the election. Delegates will represent student government, the arts, athletics, and other extracurricular activities.

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