Commack’s Science Research Program & Science Fairs


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Gabriela Kuriakose, Chief Reporter

As it is science fair season, Commack’s science research program is preparing and encouraging their students to take part in different science fairs to present their projects.

The science research program at Commack is known for having their students prepare a science related project to present and compete at different fairs.

“We randomly select students to fairs [like]… South Asian American Women’s Alliance, Long Island Science Congress [junior and senior divisions], Molloy College Fair, and the WAC Invitational Science Fair, which was held this year at Commack High School. There [are] a lot of opportunities for students,” said science research teacher Jeanette Collette.

In the science research program, students are encouraged to think creatively and come up with an enjoyable and research-worthy project. There is a lot of preparation involved before students are able to compete.

“In the beginning of the year, students generate their project ideas…and then they start writing their research plan. The research plan becomes their foundation to make their board slides,” said Collette.

In addition, the students have to be able to know how they want to explain and voice their project to the judges. Throughout the year, students are trained to become better communicators.

“There was a lot of presentation, a lot of repetition, to make sure [the content] is really clean, concise, …and as understandable as you can make [it]…for the judges,” said junior Anna R.

These science fairs aren’t just a place to get judged on the project that was completed. It is also a place to get to know and connect with other students interested in science. A lot of these fairs can have over a hundred projects with students that want to get to know people with their same interests.

“[Some science fairs bring the] largest group of kids that have been together doing science. It was great to see that this was happening again, this excitement to share science, to talk about projects, and for the students to interact with other student scientists in this [special] venue,” said science research teacher Andrea Beatty.

Students find these science fairs as a great opportunity in their high school career to see if science is what they want to do in the future. They get to make their own discoveries and have experiences that many high school students don’t experience.

“I loved being able to present what I’ve worked on because I have put so much time and so much effort into working in the lab. Having an outlet to present that and…share what I have been working on with other people is really rewarding,” said Anna R.

Students in the program also gain many lessons and skills that they could use for the rest of their life. High school students may be unaware of the preparation and benefit that this program has on its students.

“We think that [science research] is a valuable experience for the kids [since they] learn so many valuable skills [like] literature searching, how to present, [and] how to communicate your results,” said Collette.

The science research teachers believe that this program is something that high school students should take advantage of. Additionally, they have had great joy in seeing the success that their students have as a result of going to the science fairs.

“The best thing that happened to me…was when a student…[said] ‘this is the most fun I’ve ever had doing science.’ That is the goal, that not all science is [to] memorize a fact, fill in a formula, [or to] give me the right answer. Science is exploratory, a journey, and that you don’t need to get everything right for the work you do to have value,” said Beatty.

Although these fairs are fun for students and encourage them to compete for the prize, it is also a way to guide them into what they want to do in the future. 

“We want to push people into the STEM field and this is a great way…[to spark] their interest in different directions [of the sciences],” said Collette.🔳