By Hayley Siegle
The Freshman Science Research Club was established this year by Authentic Science Research teacher and director Mr. David Keith and his two co-presidents, senior Audrey Saltzman and junior Alex Remnitz. The board of officers include Izzy Chong as the first module director, Stef Vega as the mentorship coordinator, Kayla Reiner as treasurer, and Leo Gagliardi as secretary.
This club provides ninth graders with an opportunity to get a taste of the Authentic Science Research Program before admission upon sophomore year and helps to integrate freshmen into the scientific method, allowing them to see what they may become involved in during their sophomore year. Throughout the year, the freshmen will get to conduct their own research in three different fields. The first field, psychology, has been chosen for the students. However, in the second and third rounds of research, the freshman will have the freedom of choosing any field in which they would like to explore. Currently, the freshmen are working on their psychology research in groups. Each group of two to four freshmen is paired with one to two upperclassmen, who have experience in specific fields, to serve as mentors in helping the ninth graders design an experiment. President Alex Remnitz explained, “We use their interests to make sure the groups are bonding easily.” As of now, the goal is for the freshmen to get their projects approved before the Winter break, and upon arrival back to school in January, they will collect and analyze data.
The main goal of the club is to give the ninth graders an experience that will give them an indication of whether or not the Authentic Science Research Program is for them, while enjoying and learning from an extremely rewarding program. Those who decided to participate in the program as sophomores will notice that they have a foot up on sophomores of the past, as this is the first time an opportunity like this is available for BHHS students. Being a sophomore myself, I certainly wish I had an opportunity like this to learn the basic fundamentals of conducting a research project, utilizing these skill in an experiment.
So far, there has been nothing but positive feedback from the officers of the club and participating freshmen. Alex Remnitz believes that “the science research club is beneficial to freshmen because they are able to gain scientific knowledge before entering the program as sophomores. It also allows students to bond with upperclassmen, and leads them to discover what topics they are interested in pursuing in the program by taking them through a series of modules with different topics embedded in them.” The club has also had a significant impact on ninth graders so far, who realize that participating in this club will only prove beneficial to them in the future. Freshman Daryn Kaplan states, “I think doing the club this year will make it easier for me to adjust and it also lets me understand what I’m really going to be into.” Additionally, she says, “This club gets me excited for being in science research next year because there’s much more to look forward to and so much more you can learn.”