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Research

Overview

The unique research program at BCA, open to students from all academies, gives our aspiring students the opportunity to develop a research project based on their personal interests. Students at other high schools may have the opportunity to do research internships at cooperating professional labs, only students at our school have access to the latest scientific equipment to pursue their research interests internally, adjusted to their individual schedules.

Agriscience

This area of research utilizes the newly renovated environmental science center and greenhouse. Students from all Academies conduct research on the multifaceted discipline of agricultural science. Plants, animals, environmental resources, power and transportation, food science, and sustainability are areas for research within this broad discipline. All agriscience researchers become members of the student organization BCA Future Farmers of America and participate in competitive science fairs at the culmination of their projects.

Cell Biology Research

In this lab, students were awarded numerous accolades during the 16-17 academic year through advancing past competitions at the state level. The laboratory had two Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalists who spent a week competing in Washington, DC alongside 40 others from across the nation. One brought home first place and the top prize of $250,000 (more than any other high school competition) and the other winning $25,000 for her research. One of these students was also named a Siemens Regional Finalist, and five students were declared Siemens Semi-finalists and Regeneron Semi-finalists as a result of their cell biology research. Three students travelled to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in San Diego, where one student took second place and won over $10,000 after also being invited to India earlier in the year to present her research as a result of her efforts. Two students travelled to Houston to compete as iSWEEEP International Finalists, and they took first and third place. Several students also took top honors at the New Jersey Academy of Science Symposium and the Young Science Achievers competition held during the school year. This past spring, four students were awarded the opportunity to represent North Jersey at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles. These students presented their research alongside 1700 students from over 78 countries, taking home second place and a monetary award. One student just returned from the BioGENEius International competition where she was selected to present her research along with 14 others at the international competition in San Diego.

Twenty-nine students travelled to Orlando to compete as National HOSA Finalists in an event attracting over 7,000 high school competitors. The Biomedical Debate team came in first place and the Creative Problem Solving contingent took second. Other students finished in the top 10 of their respective events including first place in Dentistry, third in Medical Law, and in the top ten of Biotechnology, Extemporaneous Writing. In addition, because of their passion for STEM, the research students facilitated the Bergen SciChallenge Middle School Science Fair affiliated with the Broadcom Masters and the Society for Science and the Public.

Stem Cell Research

There is an array of state of the art instrumentation available to students who complete the prerequisite course “Research Applications in Molecular Biology and Genetics”. Students are encouraged to develop research projects based on their own interests, to develop the habit of picking important scientific questions to answer.

Our research education program has recently been improved by the access to and collaboration with the surgical lab at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (EHMC), a prestigious teaching hospital affiliated with the Mount Sinai Medical College in NYC. Selected research students who participate in the surgical training course learn live animal surgical techniques, and many have begun to use animals in their research, expanding the range of scientific questions that can be addressed. Our access to this and other prestigious medical centers in the NY-NJ area, encompassing doctors and scientists with a large and varied repertoire of cutting edge medical and educational techniques allows us to offer something of value to our colleagues and collaborators around the world.

In the past year alone, students from the Stem Cell Research lab have won awards from the major science competitions, including Regeneron, Siemens, Microsoft's Imagine World Cup, NJ academy of Science, Young Science Achievers Program, HOSA, ISweep, Exploravision and Techcrunch, among others.

Chemistry/Nanotechnology

Student researchers conduct hands-on lab experiments to synthesize, manipulate, analyze and visualize interesting nanoscale structures with the help of the state of the art equipment for interdisciplinary nanotechnology applications. Nanomaterials research projects may incorporate the utilization of Atomic force microscopy (AFM), Optical tensiometer, 4-point probes, Dynamic light scattering particle size analyzer/zeta potential analyzer, oxygen-free environment Glove Box, Fluorescent spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry (FTIR), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and/or UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometry. Students submit grant proposals for external funding and compete in various science competitions such as Siemens and Regeneron Science Talent Search.

Math Research

This program is aimed at preparing students for contests based on math research such as Siemens and Regeneron Science Talent Search. The students write papers in Combinatorics, Number Theory, Geometry among other areas of math. Every year our students win math grants through YSAP. They also take part in NJRSF,ISEF, AMC 10, AMC 12, AIME, USA Math Olympiad and the International Math Olympiad. This year our students won 17 YSAP grants in the field of applied mathematics. Recently a student won the USA Math Olympiad and a gold medal at the International Math Olympiad in Thailand. Another student won third place and a $40,000 scholarship at the Siemens competition in Math, Science and Technology.

Nano-Structural Imaging Lab

The mission of NSIL Biological Research is to introduce students to scientific inquiry, through research and instrumentation, and to provide transferable, hands-on experiences with the techniques, practices and perspectives of professional scientists; with an emphasis on microscopy as an analytical technique, especially electron microscopy. Students are eligible to participate in this program after completing one of the pre-requisite courses. Next, the student will develop a novel research project based on their own interests and current scientific literature, in cell biology, molecular biology, structural biology, biomedical research, or related fields. They will then learn the tools and techniques to carry out experiments on a topic of their choosing, acquire and analyze data, and present their results in either written or oral form. Students from this lab have produced images that have been described as “textbook quality” by professionals in the field. These students are well suited for careers in bio-imaging, histology, pathology, and other clinical research options.

Physics/Optics

This program provides opportunities for students to work on various projects and gain experimental and analytical skills to excel in Physics. Students can work on advanced Optics projects including Interferometry, Holography and Fiber Optics. There exists an opportunity to be involved in building a spectroscopy setup as well, which aims at measuring minuscule amounts of trace gases (CO2) using optogalvanic laser spectroscopy. The nature of the project can involve setting up experiments, data acquisition, data analysis, and software programming. There are also opportunities to work on theoretical physics- in particular Quantum Computing in collaboration with Stevens Institute of Technology. Students working on original research ideas are encouraged to submit their work to AAPT Conference or Journal of Undergraduate Physics as well as other competitions. Some of the previous lab members did work in collaboration with nearby universities such as Princeton, NJIT and Stevens Institute of Technology.