Students Present Projects at Aquinas Society Expos

Nearly 450 students from 40 Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens, who spent the school year researching projects ranging from the dynamics of flight to experiments involving the five senses, presented their findings at the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Aquinas Expos.
“These outstanding Aquinas students have been working very hard on their projects all year and the results are truly impressive,” said Anthony Biscione, diocesan Associate Superintendent for Curriculum Development. “The students selected topics with the help of their advisors and used research, surveys, and experiments as part of the discovery process. Their in-depth knowledge about their subjects is evident by the displays on their tables, interaction with visitors, charts and graphs, reports, power point presentations, newsletters, questionnaires, a children’s book, and even originally designed costumes.”
The Aquinas Society is an umbrella program of the Diocese of Brooklyn that exists to promote excellence in education by providing intellectually engaging experiences for students who are academically capable of advanced work, as well as those students who are committed to developing their unique gifts and talents. Named in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas, participating students must have an average of 90 and above on report card grades, score in the 75th percentile or above on the Terra Nova test, and be recommended by two teachers.
In his opening remarks and prayer, Biscione said an Aquinas member “is a steward, one who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cultivates them responsibly, shares them in loving justice with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord.”
Catherine Kenny, Special Projects Coordinator in the Diocese, said that 174 students and 28 adults from 16 Catholic schools in Brooklyn participated in the Aquinas Expo that was held at Holy Angels Catholic Academy, Bay Ridge, on May 9. She also said 270 students and 45 adults from 24 Catholic schools in Queens participated in the Aquinas Expo held at St. Kevin School, Flushing, on May 10.
In addition to presenting their own research, each student had a  Passport to Learning, a questionnaire with which they reviewed projects presented by students from other schools.
At the table for St. Anselm School in Bay Ridge, the headline on the newsletter was alarming, “Julius Caesar Assassinated!”  The news wasn’t from an ancient scroll but an article in Le Roman Times, a newspaper that was part of the students’ research on ancient Greece and Rome.
Students from Holy Angels Catholic Academy conducted experiments on each visitor’s five senses, while a student from Holy Name of Jesus School explained the rise of Al Qaeda and the government’s response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
St. Michael’s School, Flushing, students explained what they discovered about air flight – it’s all about the nose design of the plane and the wingspan. While students from Immaculate Conception, Jamaica Estates, wore period costumes designed and made for them as part of their project on the Maple Grove Cemetery, where they located the African-American burial ground connected to the famed First Colored Shiloh Presbyterian Church. The church was founded in 1822 in Manhattan and its storied history included being a part of the Underground Railroad that helped escaped Southern slaves to freedom before the Civil War.

Aquinas Society students from around the diocese participated in Expos at Holy Angels Academy, Bay Ridge, and St. Kevin’s, Flushing. From top to bottow, are students from Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dyker Heights; St. Anselm’s, Bay Ridge; St. Michael’s, Flushing; and Immaculate Conception, Jamaica Estates.

Our Lady of Guadalupe


St Anselm
St Michaels
Immaculate Conception, Jamaica Estates