This post was submitted to Manual RedEye by Claire Rooney (10, J&C).
Math Science and Technology (MST) science teachers are bringing in more teachers from other departments and are becoming more organized to better streamline the process of students participating in science fair this year.
“Every year with science fair, we try to improve it,” Ms. Keri Polevchak (Science) said. “This year, we tried to have advisors that were interested in science fair and would provide good support for students.”
In past years, the advisory work was given to one teacher, retired Mr. Glenn Zwanzig. Last year, after Zwanzig left, the teachers decided it was time for a change.
Ms. Alexis Rich (Physics) returned to Manual last year and has been very adamant that the process needed to be changed to better the students.
“Now that Mr. Zwanzig isn’t here, we have to take all of that work and […] split it up between MST teachers, not just MST science teachers,” Rich said. “MST math teachers and computer science teachers [need to] help kids along [the way to] produce good projects […] at every level.”
The science department is essentially spearheading the program, but other departments are getting into it as well.
Mr. Chris Lowber (Math) explained how he is helping students with certain areas of their projects.
“My only goal is to help facilitate students in the process,” Lowber said. “I am specifically able to help […] in statistical analysis if they are ready and able to make sense of [them].”
Mr. Corey Doak (Math) is also helping science fair but feels that less involved this year compared to the last.
“We actually have fewer teachers in the math department directly involved in everything,” Doak said.
How is it working so far?
The process of science fair is better managed this year, Ms. Kathy Fries (Science) describes.
“Things are pretty much streamlined,” Fries said. “Whereas before, we had individual teachers doing individual things and we all are on the same page [now].”
The MST website has a whole page dedicated to science fair, with deadlines and important links so students can better understand what is expected of them.
Why is science fair needed, anyways?
It is a great tool to use in college, Rich describes.
“The idea that you are creating something novel and unique, just for you and not just coming to class, filling out worksheets, doing tests is huge,” Rich said.
The process of science fair helps students learn by experience, however much they hate it. It prepares them for higher education, a statement echoed by each teacher who was interviewed.
The duPont Manual Regional Science Fair will be held later this school year on Mar. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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