Category Archives: Minutes

11.9.12 meeting

Hi guys,

Next up in our series of student lectures is Eesha Khare, who will be presenting on her experiences doing chemistry research! Stay tuned for announcements on our Science Olympiad tryouts, especially if you have experience in engineering or chemistry.

11.2.12 meeting

Hi everyone, be sure to come out to our next science club meeting, where Johnny will be presenting about his experiences with computer science research.

Just a reminder that the Ocean Science Bowl tryouts will be held Thursday, after school in the cafeteria.

Happy science-ing over Halloween!

10.12.12 meeting

Make sure to come to this week’s Science Club meeting, as we will be having our annual COMPETITIONS PRESENTATION!!
This presentation will showcase the various competitions that all of you can participate in (some require tryout), such as Science Olympiad and a competition that Lynbrook has never participated in, Physics Bowl.  Lynbrook has a very strong history in most of these competitions, so it’s very possible that you all can win something too!


Today’s meeting was our annual Science Club Election! Only active non-seniors were allowed to vote (although spectators were free to attend). Thanks to cooperation from all the candidates, we were able to get through the entire election in one meeting. The results are:

President – Aaron Yuan
Vice Presidents – Johnny Ho, Derek Lou
Treasurer – James Ma
Secretary – Albert Ge

Best wishes to our new officer team!


During today’s meeting, Marcus exploded an egg. First, he combined zinc and hydrochloric acid, which react in a single-replacement reaction to form hydrogen gas. He channeled this hydrogen gas into a previously hollowed egg. When he struck a match near the egg, said gas (which is extremely flammable) immediately caught fire and the egg exploded!

Have a great spring break everyone!


During today’s meeting, James presented on gyroscopes and precession. A gyroscope has a rotor and spins around its axis. They are used widely in consumer products (like iPhones) and also used in navigation. Precession is when the axis around which the gyroscope is rotating changes orientation. James demonstrated some of the equations behind precession and rotation.

Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, we were unable to show the actual powerpoint during the meeting. However, it is attached here in all its glory for you to peruse. File: Gyroscopes


During today’s meeting, Aaron gave a presentation on Daisyworld. Daisyworld is a concept world modeled by a computer program to prove the plausibility of self-regulation. In Daisyworld, the luminosity of the sun increases as it grows older. Normally, this would create rising temperatures on the planet that would stifle life. The planet, however, has black daisies (which absorb light and heat themselves) and white daisies (which reflect light and cool themselves). White daisies increase the albedo (a measure of how much light the planet reflects) and black daisies lower it. The daisies can only grow within a certain temperature range. The regulation effects of these daisies (for example, as temperatures rise, the black daisies will quickly overheat and die, leaving more space for white daisies, which cool the planet) maintain the planet at a steady temperature conducive to life for much longer would have happened without the daisies.


Today’s meeting was specially hosted by Cedric Flamant, past SciClub VP (yay!). First, however, Marcus demonstrated how a magnet dropped through a metal tube falls slower than it would in free fall. This is because the movement of the magnet induces a current in the tube, which then generates a magnetic field that counters the magnet’s fall in a process encapsulated by Lenz’s Law.

Next, Cedric talked about hats. If you just want to slide a hat along a table, it’s easier when it’s right-side up, but if you want to spin it, you should actually have it upside down because the torque required will be less (torque is a measure of how hard you have to push to rotate something, and it’s equivalent to the cross product of the radius from the center of mass and the force).

Cedric also did some magic physics with a battery, a screw sticking out of the bottom of the battery, a magnet on the bottom of the screw, and a wire connecting the top of the battery to the magnet. As the current through the wire passes through the magnetic field from the magnet, the Lorentz force creates a torque that causes the screw and magnet to spin. He attached LEDs to them to make the spinning more obvious.


Today we had a special talk by Prof. Day, who works in the field of molecular biology. In particular, he focused on blood tests that reveal whether or not somebody has a certain disease or condition, like HIV or pregnancy. He talked about recent technology that has sped up the process as well as the different styles employed by companies that perform these tests. In addition, he brought a sample that a brave volunteer (go Joshua!) was able to test before our eyes to reveal the presence (and lack thereof) of a variety of diseases and conditions.


We began the meeting by recognizing the people who won medals at Science Olympiad. Ms. Davidson talked to the club and shared a book she had been reading, which contains references to Lynbrook and Mrs. Alonzo! Yay!

Next, Marcus discussed the Standard Model, an explanation of the universe that is based on fundamental particles (quarks, leptons, and force carriers) and fundamental forces (weak force, strong force, electromagnetic force, gravitational force, and force stored in bosons).


Today was our Science Olympiad Demo! The two teams have been working on a variety of prebuilts, of which we got to see a few today. For example, Frances and Robert picked up a few objects with their Robot Arm while Bryce and Dennis successfully flew their helicopter. Other demos included Gravity Vehicle, Thermodynamics, and Towers.

Note: Team A placed 2nd at Science Olympiad and will be advancing to States! Hooray!

Science Summer Program Information

Today at the meeting, we talked about summer programs for students that are interested in science.

The powerpoint that we showed can be found here:  Science_Summer_Programs

We recommend that you start thinking about what programs you will be applying to and prepare your application as soon as possible. The deadlines are coming up very soon, and you need to talk to your teachers about recs to give them as much time as possible. Feel free to email us if you have any questions or if there’s anything we can do to help.

A short video on supercooled water, which is the same principle that created the “Hot Ice” or sodium acetate solid from 2 meetings ago, can be found here:!


Today we began by distributing T-shirts (remember to bring in $15 and pick up your T-shirt if you haven’t done so yet!). Then we headed outside and took a group photo, which you can hopefully see at the top of this website. :D

Next, Marcus gave a demonstration involving supercooling. Supercooling is when a liquid is cooled to below its freezing point while staying solid. In such a condition, adding in a seed crystal will cause the solution to instantly crystallize around the crystal, forming a solid.


The last meeting of the year! We announced Science Olympiad teams (members, please check your emails for important follow-up information) and voted on T-shirt designs (online order form will be sent soon). Furthermore, anyone interested in Physics Olympiad and/or Physics Bowl must sign up by December 24th.

Today’s activity was an interactive one. Marcus mixed corn starch and water to create a non-Newtonian fluid. Basically, the viscosity of a Newtonian fluid depends only on temperature, while the viscosity of a non-Newtonian fluid also depends on how much pressure you exert on it. So the harder you push on the mixture, the harder it feels.


Today, Alexandra successfully showed us the color-changing experiment that unfortunately did not work during the Vikes of Distinction rally. After mixing several clear solutions together, she obtained a solution whose color cycled clear -> amber -> navy blue -> clear -> amber -> navy blue -> etc. This happened because of a negative feedback loop between a chemical reaction that consumes iodine with an intermediate of iodide and one that converts iodate to iodine, while concentration of iodide is low. The color changes stop when the iodate is used up.


  • We will vote on T-shirt designs next week, so be sure to attend that meeting! Also, the deadline for designs has been extended to Sunday evening. If you’re still working on it, at least send us an intermediate draft!
  • Physics Olympiad/Physics Bowl sign-ups will start soon.
  • Science Olympiad teams will be announced next week.
  • If you aren’t on our email list, please email


Today Jessica gave a presentation on prions. She talked about how prions are misfolded proteins that can cause nearby proteins to misfold as well. Unfortunately, our bodies have no defense mechanism against prions, so they are responsible for deadly, untreatable diseases like the mad cow disease.

Next, Marcus performed an experiment involving dry ice (solid carbon-dioxide) in a sealed container. Marcus poured dry ice and water into a bottle, sealed it, and ran. The dry ice sublimated, turning into gas) causing pressure within the bottle to skyrocket until it finally exploded. We recommend that you do not try this experiment on your own, because there are serious risks involved (premature explosions, shock waves, etc.).

There will be no meeting next Friday, as there is no school. Also, remember that T-shirt designs are due by November 30th. 

Have a great Thanksgiving everybody!


Today’s meeting deviated from the typical science club meetings; we roasted marshmallows over Bunsen burners. We had graham crackers and chocolate for people to make s’mores.

On a side note, we learned that Doctor Rocklin is a boss at roasting marshmallows. He finished his in about a minute through spinning it really fast so it didn’t catch on fire, and it was a perfect golden brown.

There’s no meeting next week, as there’s no school. See you all in 2 weeks! Also, keep designing those T-shirts!


Today was our annual Homecoming meeting. We had four presentations, each of which related to one of the class’ Homecoming theme.

For chess, Cynthia gave a presentation on popular mathematical chess problems like the independence problems and the Knight’s Tour.

For Candyland, Marcus demonstrated the traditional Diet Coke + Mentos experiment outside, where adding Mentos to Diet Coke produces a jet of foam as carbon dioxide is rapidly produced.

For Jumanji, we watched a short clip on a fictional car-eating plant. Then we talked about real carnivorous plants and the traps they use (pitfall trap, flypaper trap, and snap trap).

For Star Wars, we showed how if you light a fire in a bottle and place an hard-boiled peeled egg at the rim, the force created by the decreasing air pressure within the bottle as the fire uses up oxygen sucks the egg in.

Lastly, the T-shirt design contest has begun! More details under Announcements.


Today Stacy presented on LSD and ergotamine. She talked  about the effects it has on the human body and the mechanism by which it affects the body’s functions. She also gave an outline  of the methods by which it is synthesized.

A video of a research experiment done on LSD  can be found here
Another fun video, although not directly related to LSD, can be found here

Kunal talked about electroplating, in which a current is used to plate ions onto electrodes. He tried to electroplate nutrients from soil. Unfortunately, the soil he used came from a plant bed, and the plants had sucked most of the nutrients out of the soil, so very little was plated onto the electrodes.

Announcements: The science bowl teams have been formed. You can find a list  of the members at the Science Bowl page on this site.

The annual T-Shirt design contest is beginning! We will send you more information soon. Those who design either the front or the back will get a free shirt!


Thanks for coming to the meeting everyone!
Today Marcus talked about basic oxidation. He showed a video about oxygen, which you can view here.

He used Potassium Chlorate (KClO3), which is a strong oxidizing agent, to oxidize sugar. This reaction is extremely exothermic, which resulted in the glowing light and intense heat produced.

During the meeting, Kunal said that this reaction is a combustion reaction. Although it is exothermic and produces carbon dioxide and water, it is not a combustion reaction in the strictest sense. Combustion reactions involve elemental oxygen as a reactant; this reaction did not.
On a side note, the other reaction mentioned, the rusting of iron in the presence of oxygen, is considered a combustion reaction, as it involves pure oxygen as a reactant.
4Fe + 3O2 -> 2Fe2O3


Hey everyone! Thanks to all of you guys, we’ve actually… *drumroll*… passed the 200-member mark! This is clearly proof of how awesome we are.

Marcus gave a demonstration on how to boil water using ice cubes. He boiled then capped a flask of water so that there was only water and water vapor inside. He then turned the flask upside down, rubbing the top of the flask with an ice cube. The ice cube made the flask colder, causing the water vapor to condense, causing the pressure to decrease, causing the water to boil!

Also, Alexandra gave a presentation on her summer internship at Berkeley, where she studied the effects of mutations in cellulose with the larger goal of developing a sustainable biofuel.

As Frances mentioned, all you business types/future innovators should consider participating in the Clean Tech Competition, where you design a solar-powered device that provide aid in post-natural disaster situations.

Lastly, the next Science Fair meeting is Monday after school/Thursday Lunch! Come if you’re even vaguely interested in participating!

9.23.2011 Contest Information Meeting!

Hey there! We hope you all enjoyed the meeting today.

A quick recap: We showed a powerpoint about all the contests that we’ll offer throughout the year. You can find a copy of the powerpoint here, or you can simply find identical information under the competitions tab right here on the website.

Kunal and Marcus demonstrated how to light a dollar bill on fire without damaging it. They soaked it in rubbing alcohol, which contains a mixture of an alcohol and water. When lit, the alcohol, which burns at a relatively low temperature, gave off a flame. The temperature of this reaction, however, was not enough to burn off all the water, which protected the dollar bill. The flame you saw was solely from the combustion reaction between alcohol and air; no part of the dollar bill every actually caught fire.

Remember that the Science Bowl Tryout test will be held this Wednesday, Septemember 28th, in Mrs. Alonzo’s room right after school. We highly recommend that you try out, as the contest is lots of fun!

We hope to see everybody next week!

9.16.2011 First meeting!

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by :) If you didn’t get a chance to sign in, here’s the link to our spreadsheet: Click me! A PDF download of our meeting slides is available here:

At this meeting, Marcus, Cynthia and Frances gave an overview of Science Club activities and presented short demonstrations related to chemistry, physics and biology.

Marcus’s experiment changed copper pennies into silver and gold–or so it seemed. The materials he used were copper pennies (made before 1982), zinc sulfate, and a few strips of zinc metal. Zinc ions plated onto the pennies to turn them a silver color. Then, when he heated them, the zinc formed an alloy with the copper, making brass, which is gold-colored.

Cynthia  demonstrated the creation of a simple electric motor from batteries, neodymium magnets and copper wire.

Frances gave a presentation inspired by paleontologist Neil H. Shubin’s article in Scientific American, “This Old Body.” She talked about vestigial features of the human anatomy, including the evolutionary explanations behind hiccups (a remnant of our descent from fish and amphibians), Darwin’s Point, goosebumps, and what remains of the third eyelid in humans.

Be sure to come back next week, when we present and answer questions regarding competition opportunities. Come meet the rest of the officer team, Alexandra and Kunal, who will be back from their national math and debate competitions!