Weston Warhorse

Exciting Science Research Program Coming to WHS

Grace Morgado, Staff Writer

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As one of the top one hundred science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) high schools in the nation, Weston High School has announced plans to offer a student-driven research program to encourage and celebrate Weston’s ardent thinkers. This course, which will be known as the Honors Science Research course, is a chance for the passionate student to research any topic within a STEM focus and show an original understanding of it. Whether that understanding be through invention, innovation, discovery, or other means, the Honors Science Research course advertises an unlimited opportunity for students to pursue their genuine interests. Furthermore, long and careful thought has been given concerning the course’s place in Weston High School.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Craw is excited about the new learning opportunity this program will offer. “Previously, there were limited options for students to conduct science research through the WHS independent study program,” Dr. Craw says. “When we surveyed students in recent years regarding new courses there was significant interest in having a science research opportunity. We were excited to see that approximately 80 students attended a recent informational meeting about this program.”
Mrs. Jamie Charles, the curricular instructional leader for the Science Department, says that WHS looked into the various ways that regional schools run their research programs. “We decided to model our program based off the one run at Greenwich HS (under the direction of Andy Bramante, who has been partnering with us to get our program up and running),” she says. “The great thing about this model is that the research all occurs right here at the high school. We have a lab space that will be devoted solely to this course and we are now in the process of getting it equipped with all sorts of instruments and technology that will allow students to design and perform the various research projects of their choice!”
“All of this designing, researching, analyzing, and presenting will occur in a one-year time frame, offering students the chance to share their findings at various science fairs/competitions,” Mrs. Charles adds. Students could also “potentially apply to the course for a second year to take their research in a new direction.”
“Sometimes programs just take time,” Principal Lisa Deorio says in response to why this program is just starting next year, “You want to put in the best program that would fit our type of school.” In fact, the program has been in the works ever since the science wing was renovated—over a decade ago—and a room was built specifically for the course.
Still, many students have mixed feelings about how the Honors Science Research course will affect the typical Weston student who already has such high expectations to live up to. Will Bunkoci ‘19 believes that the program is only acceptable “as long as it doesn’t take away from students’ academics and responsibilities.”
Xander Zita ‘20 agrees and “believe[s] that the program has the potential to distract an individual,” but also counters, “it must also be kept in mind that those who are willing to take the initiative for such a rigorous task must see the potential drawbacks.” Zita continues to compare the program’s obligations to that of an honors or AP class, and expresses that the course is justifiably laborious.
Mrs Charles concludes, “We are still making some decisions regarding the specifics of the course, but as of now we hope to have enough qualified applicants to run at least one section of the Science Research course. Applications are due January 5th, and the entire department is excited to take a look at these applications and research ideas. In the future, we hope the program grows to more sections and allows as many students as possible to dive into their own research and find much success in the classroom and at competitions.”

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