Genetic Disorders

The best project was the study and comparison of genetic disorders. The purpose of the project was to better understand how genetics influences our physical and biochemical identity.  Our group decided to compare adult and pediatric glaucoma.

Below is a summary of how SLA's core values relate to the project.

  • Inquiry: We wanter to know more about different types of glaucoma. We also wanted to know what it's like to have glaucoma and treatments.
  • Research:  We used official medical sites, articles and got help from a  professional in pediatric glaucoma.
  • Collaboration: I got the best help from every single person in the team. We had an opportunity to participate and share what I know and learn new things.  We found a way to have fun while doing the work we were supposed to do.
  • Presentation: Presentation was good.  We used a slideshow to explain and compare how pediatric and adult glaucoma. 
  • Reflection: If I’d do the project again, I’d probably use more pictures and go into more details, because glaucoma is a very deep topic.
Below is the project slideshow and the link is HERE.

Q1 Glaucoma BM Presentation (Table 1)


My most intriguing project was the Science Fair Project

Mali and I wanted to know what really happens when you dye your hair and if what they say is true, that it damages your hair and gives you split ends. We also wanted to know if the damage could be repaired with natural oils.

We looked up the structures of the oils so we could find out what really makes them repairing agents. We also looked up what else they do and what was in them.

We were apart of the community because we found out that argan oil and coconut oils really do help hair and that dye really does damage hair. This especially helps people who are thinking about dying their hair but are questioning whether to or not.

We had many pictures in our presentation that were really intriguing to our audiences, and a great visual aid for the visual learners.

I would change the experiment to something less tedious.


The most interesting project that I completed this entire year was the SFP water filtration and the follow up water filtration experiment in class. 

Inquiry: Before I started these experiments I wanted to know how to filter the river water using biotic filters. The reason I wanted to know this is because half of Philadelphia’s drinking water comes from the Schuylkill River. If we can find out how to improve the water using renewable sources then it will be very time and money efficient. 

Research: For research my partner and I explored plants and their root systems. We did this to understand why and how plants were excellent filters. When researched we found out that plants’ roots absorbed nutrients, phosphates, nitrates, and didn’t add any excess matter. We also researched turbidity levels and the normalcy levels for different water systems. We then looked at pH levels. 

Collaboration: In terms of collaboration I had a partner for the SFP, and then worked with my table group for the in class water filtration. My partner and I worked side by side the entire time together. For the in class experiment, my group all worked on different jobs to make the results come together. We even did the experiment again to retest the results and to add some components. I also collaborated with Mr. Sherif to help with the science behind the experiment. I had a couple of peer editors for my SFP writeup. 

Presentation: For my presentation I made a slideshow for the SFP with my partner. For the in class lab I wrote the data in my lab data book. For the SFP my partner and I also presented it to fellow classmates and scientists. 

Reflection: When I was reflecting I was thinking about the possible errors I made and future modifications. For modifications on my SFP I would use different types of plants for filtration. I would do this because from my research I learned that plants were the most effective natural filters so I would like to find the best plant for the river. 

G10 Science Mini-Capstone

​My Science Fair Project

Inquiry: I wanted to learn about how stain removers work and how successful they are. I also wanted to find out what makes permanent markers permanent.
Research: I gathered my information by testing my experiment in the lab to get my results. I also did research to figure out the science behind. I organized my info in a chart and a graph.
Collaboration: I was a part of a community because I had help from my teacher and classmates with making and preforming my project. Also I presented to a bunch of other people during the Science Fair.
Presentation: My presentation strategy was basically me making up a script in my head and I rehearsed what I was going to say about my project.
Reflection: If I was to do somethings about my project differently I would add more trials with different kinds of stains. I would also change the colors of sharpies I used because I think that might have messed up my results. I would do more research for the science behind too because I found that part interesting.

Mini Capstone - Bella Beato

My most interesting project was my SFP. I exploded balloons with chilled and room temperature alcohol in them and tested there combustion rate. Here is my write up and presentation. My project relates back to the SLA core values. 

Inquiry- I wanted to know what temperature of alcohol combust faster for safety reasons. 

Research- I used research to find out chemical equations and speed of molecules. 

Collaboration- Me and my partner worked together perfectly

Presentation- I made my slides clear and easy to read without a lot of words  

Reflection- If I were to do this differently I would use fuels instead of alcohols 


            One of the most intriguing projects of the year for me was the SFP. This is because it was self instituted and I enjoyed watching myself grow independently. My SFP was really interesting because it was all question based. One day I was looking at the wall around my grandmother’s radiator and saw that a lot of the paint was peeling. I then went home and looked at my radiator and saw that none of the paint was peeling. This sparked my interests so it became my SFP. The internet was my best friend with researching and also real life observations. I did not co-work on any SFP projects but I did gain advice from a lot of members of my community.  I think my presentation was simple and sweet. The information was laid out placidly and it made it very easy to understand. If I were to do something differently then I would be more accurate with the data factors of my experiment. Overall, I thought I was very effective with achieving my goals in this project.                                                    

G10 Science Mini-Capstone

Science Fair Project

I wanted to know why bacteria grew in different temperature. I gathered my information by researching my topic on the internet, and I also had a book that I looked through. I was a part of a commntity when I presented with others to scientists, I also got help from my teacher and classmates. My presentation was effective because I got to share my project with many people. I would change the places I swabbed and I would change the temperatures. 

Science Mini Capstone

One of my favorite capstones from this year is the Q1 genetics

BM. During this project I discovered the innards of how genetics works.

Our team studied Leukemia. Leukemia is a term that originates from

the greek roots leukos, meaning white, and aima, meaning blood.

This condition can be critical because it is a cancer that harms

the flow of your white blood cells. White blood cells are necessary for

maintaining a healthy immune system. So this issue is of extreme

concern to me.

During the Q1 semester we learned various other topic on

genetics. I learned how to read and create a punnett square. I learned

about dominance and recessive; co-dominance and hereditary traits;



Our team had questions on genetics and on how leukemia worked.


I wanted to learn more about leukemia, so my team and I

researched what it was and what it did.


The team I worked with collaborated to discover the various

properties on Leukemia and genetics as a whole.


After our research was complete, we felt obligated to present our

research to the class.


Our classmates gave us generous feedback in which we added to our

knowledge of genetics as a whole.

Genetics Q1BM


My most intriguing project was my Science Fair Project about analyzing the damage of hair dye and the healing effects of coconut and argan oil. 

​Inquiry- I wanted to know what really happens when you dye your hair and if what people say about hair damage due to dye is true. I also wanted to know if the damage could be repaired with natural oils like coconut and argan oil. 

Research- We researched about the repairing structure of coconut and argan oil. Coconut oil has vitamin E which helps repair the skin and hair. Also we looked up what else they do and what was in them.

Collaboration- We were apart of the community because we found out that argan oil and coconut oils really do help hair and that dye really does damage hair. This especially helps people who are thinking about dying their hair but are questioning whether to or not.

Presentation- We had many pictures in our presentation that were really intriguing to our audiences, and a great visual aid for the visual learners.

Reflection- I would want to go further with the experiment and learn if ethnicity effects the structure of hair strands. 

Mini Capstone: Brandon Yam

One of the most intriguing projects I've done was my SFP. Relating to the core values, for inquiry I wanted to know how much bacteria actually gets on your food within 5 seconds of it being dropped on the floor. For research, I searched various of websites and looked into other projects from previous years relating to bacteria. For collaboration, I shared my information with my classmates that did projects relating to bacteria. For Presentation, I was effective by making eye contact with those I spoke with and gave them a sense of familiarness so it isn't awkward between the presenter and audience. For reflection, I would change the food I did. Instead of using fruits, I would use meats because of the bacteria that is in meat naturally. 

Post Science Mini-Capstone

My most intriguing project was a recent project of mine, my SFP. I test rocket candy which is rocket fuel, I thought it was my best project this year. It's something that I am will to spend a lot of time with. 

Inquiry: I wanted to know which rocket candy burned the longest. 

Research:  I gather this info by making four solid rocket candies and lighting them on fire to see which one would burn the longest. 

Collaboration: I had a lot of helpers help me in the lab, preparing and helping me light the rocket candy. Also during the science fair, lots of scientist and teachers crowded around me and were very engage in what I was doing. 

Presentation: The design of my slide show was very creative and nice, and the fact that I had a video engaged the audience.  

Reflection: For my project, I would measure the heat of the flame and the intensity of the flame. 

Click here for my video of the experiment.  
Here is my slideshow. 
SFP Rocket Candy

G10 Science Mini-Capstone_Kevin Courtney

Probably my most intriguing project for sophomore year of Bio-Chemistry has to be my SFP (you know me) project. 
INQUIRY: What I wanted to know was the rate of evaporation by doing the melting process on candy.

RESEARCH: I gather my information by researching what evaporation is and how it keeps you body cool.

COLLABORATION: I was part of my community by asking my fellow peers to taste the candy after the experiment to see if the candy was still cool.

PRESENTATION: The only thing that was effective if I knew what I was saying and did not stuttered. My presentation was great and I was given an achievement award for having one of the best SFP projects. 

REFLECTION: The only thing I would do differently would be still do the same trials, but do at least nine trials because every three trials use a different type of light bulb.

To see my SFP slideshow presentation click here 

Science Mini-Capstone SFP

Inquiry- I wanted to know how long it would take for filter paper dipped in catalase to rise to the surface of hydrogen peroxide.
Research- i just put the slides in the order they are suppose to be in.
Collaboration- I don't know.
Presentation- I just winged it.
Reflection- I would Explain a little more.

G10 Science Mini Capstone

​Reflection: Q2 Aspirin Lab

Core Values: 
Inquiry: I wanted to know if I could synthesize a common drug in a high school laboratory.
Research: I gathered info by checking temperature and toxicity every step of the way.
Collaboration: Given that I was the one in the group who did most of the work, I learned what it's like to be the only one invested in a project. Then again, I already knew.
Presentation: The smoke spectacle was a rather interesting presentation of my project to the class.
Reflection: I would plan out more and prepare better

Biochem 2014 - Mini Capstone

The project I chose to reflect on was genetic illnesses from the first quarter, when we studied Glaucoma. 

Inquiry - I wanted to know some disease of the eye. We chose to study Glaucoma

Research -  we had a classmate in our group that actually has glaucoma, so we got most of the information from her.

Collaboration - We assigned to each member of our group what exactly we had to research, and then we put it all together in our final presentation.

Presentation - We took turns explaining each slide, with our classmate explaining exactly what glaucoma is and her experience. 

Reflection - I would probably go to one of my doctors and ask for more information to make the research more primary rather than finding the information online.

Science Mini-Capstone-----Dissection Portfolio

Inquiry- What did you want to know?

In the dissection portfolio we first learned the dissection process. Using those processes we compared pig anatomy to cricket anatomy. Finally we would do online research to compare human and earthworm anatomy to that of the cricket and pig.

Research- How did you gather data?

First we gathered data in the dissection process. Then we got more data from online sources such as, University of Pennsylvania, and the Middle School Food and Agricultural Literacy Curriculum.

Collaboration- How were you part of  a community?

I worked in a community with Gabby Cromley, Kayla Cassumba, and Kiamesso DaSilva. We worked with are classmates in the dissection processes sharing the most efficient processes. These methods created another larger community outside of ours.

Presentation- What was effective about your presentation strategy?

The simplicity and organization of the data made the presentation much more efficient, because it allowed the viewer to comprehend and understand our data and therefore our conclusions with much more ease.

Reflection- What would you do differently?

My one regret is some of the sloppy mistakes made in the dissection process. Many parts of the processes where unnecessarily destructive. This destruction ruined some of the organs and ruined some data.
View here:

Science Mini Capstone

Energy in Nuts Project

Inquiry: During this particular project, I wanted to figure out if nuts were as healthy as projected on packaging and on the article

Research: I looked up caloric content of the nuts. Also, I experimented by burning the nuts and adding kilocalorie for each degree.

Collaboration: I collaborated with a few students, as they helped me measure and also provided me with new nuts to try out.

Presentation: I created a trifold board. The effectiveness was the engagement of the board as well as the design.

Reflection: What I would do differently is try a different food and compare the findings to a different set of food.

G9 Science Mini-Capstone

The Alchemy Lab

Inquiry: Before beginning this experiment, Mr. Sherif told us that we will be making gold by using copper. I was excited and wanted to know how copper could be turned into gold.

Research: First we found out what we had to mix for the chemicals to turn the copper gold. We used a lab write up written by our teacher and found out that we needed to heat up salt water, sodium hydroxide, zinc, and copper pennies.

Collaboration: In the beginning, most of the students failed into turning their pennies gold. Therefore we decided to work together and try to correct each other's mistakes.

Presentation: After the lab, we did not really present our gold pennies. The most that we did was show them to peers and compare our gold pennies and how we went through the process of creating them.

Reflection: If I were to do this differently, I would follow the instructions correctly to in order to get the best results that I could get.

G9 Science Mini-Capstone

Project-Science Fair Project

Inquiry- What Imani and I wanted to know from doing our Science Project is how many bacteria colonies are on phones depending on how long they are used.

Research- We used websites that gave information about how to clean your phone and what type of bacteria can be found on phones.  

Collaboration- Imani and I worked together on doing the experiment and creating the board.  Also, by doing the science fair we got our information out to our peers.

Presentation- I think just our project was effective because teens could relate.  Pretty much all teens have cell phones that they use all the time, so it makes people curious about what’s on their phones.

Reflection- If I was to do this project again I would do more trials.  I think it would have been cool to see if the trend that was happening continued.  

G9 Science Mini-Capstone

Of all of the projects that I have completed this year in my 9th grade Bio-chemistry class, I am most proud of of my “Chemistry and Social Policy” project on marketing and its effect on the mind. (It can be found here.) I am interested in marketing, and I wanted to know the science behind advertisements: what exactly made us want to buy the products advertised?

I used the internet to find credible sources to better inform me, such as ones published by NPR and Rutgers university. I collaborated with my table group to apply our research and draw our own informed conclusions about the effects of advertisements on our minds and our decisions. The WikiSpace format is a very effective presentation space, as it provides easy access to our project and the projects of the other groups in the class are all at the audience’s fingertips. Looking back, I probably would have chosen different, more complementary, colors so as to improve my CARP.

Dissection Portfolio Reflection

Dissection Portfolio:

Inquiry- We were comparing the body ratio of organisms

Research- a frog and grasshopper were dissected to measure the different body systems to find the ratio.

Collaboration- I worked on the project with Isabel Medlock and Dejah Smith

Presentation- We presented the project in a slideshow and we used carp to organize everything.

Reflection- Some of the slides seemed a bit crowded so if I were to do it again I would put in a way on the slide so that it didn't seem so crowded.

G9 Science Mini-Capstone


I think the project that I enjoyed the most is the project where we turn a penny to gold by boiling it in sodium hydroxide and zinc, then burning it to make it gold.

Inquiry: In this project, we simply wanted to turn a penny gold. WIth that explained, our abstract for this project was to test out alchemy.

Research: We first studied about the definition of alchemy and what it is. Then, we got a guideline for the experiment and we read over it. Finally, we did the experiment to see how alchemy really works.

Collaboration: For this project, I worked with Ishmael. We helped each other by setting up the experiment because there were a lot of steps.

Presentation: Our project was very effective because we successfully made a penny gold. The guideline helped us out a lot because it gave us the steps to the experiment.

Reflection: If I were to do this experiment again, I would read the directions more carefully because we didn’t have a control and a experimental 1 when we were suppose to.

The Macromolecules Portfolio


Core Values

Inquiry - I wanted to know more about Protein, Lipids, Carbohydrates and DNA and what they’re made up of.

Research - We research mostly through the internet and organized what we found through in a Google Presentation with a dedicated section for each marcomolecule

Collaboration - I worked in collaboration with three other people of my table group and the four of us took upon one of the four macromolecules.

Presentation - Our Google Presentation was very simple, repeated and  designed in the same way for each macromolecule and it was effective in this way.

Reflection - Add more information, graphs if possible and  make sure we all had similar points in the information we presented.

Luke W-S Reflection

Project: Photosynthesis.

Inquiry: I wanted to know the process and the way photosynthesis.

Research: We used textbooks in our classroom and we used Google throughout our presentation.

Presentation: We worked as group was our collaboration presenting because we entered and knew what we were gonna do.

Reflection: I'd been by doing different orders in our presentation and do more info through textbooks.

Periodic Table Project

The most intriguing project that I did was the Periodic Table project. 

Inquiry: I wanted to learn about the element I was assigned which was silicon. I wanted to know where it came from, what it’s used for, and who discovered it.

Research: I did a lot of research on the internet, and created a Google Doc to organize the information I found. 

Collaboration: Although I did work independently on this project, I did get to learn what my fellow classmates had learned on their elements.

Presentation: I had done so much research on my element, that if anybody asked me about it, I could answer them in a very detailed and informative way. 

Reflection: If I had to redo this assignment, I don’t think I would change anything I did.