Inaugural FHC Scholar Day to take place on May 17, 2016


Caroline Kuiper, Editor In Chief

For the biology students of FHC, springtime was not only the beginning to the end of the school year, but the beginning of a new scientific endeavor. Over the past few weeks, students enrolled in biology courses have had the opportunity to conduct independent research and study specific parts of the field that interested them. Now that the project is almost over, they will have the chance to present their findings at the first ever FHC Scholar Day on Tuesday, May 17. To gain more understanding of the fair itself, we sat down with biology and AP biology teacher Mrs. Richardson to discuss the details of the fair.

Q: When/why did you decide to create the fair?

A: I decided over spring break-ish, since my AP kids had been doing research and my bio kids did it last year I wanted to figure out a way for them to present their information in a more collaborative way instead of just standing up and presenting about something not everyone is as interested in as they are. I’ve done 2 poster sessions before and they went well so I wanted to try it this year as well.

Q: Who participates in the fair?

A: All of our biology classes, which means our freshman biology, freshman Honors biology, and AP biology.

Q: What sorts of topics do students choose from to research?

A: For the AP kids, most anything was fair game as they could pick anything they wanted to research within reason. Our Honors kids were a little bit more open in terms of options too, and our regular bio kids picked within topics we had studied a little bit more specifically in labs and modified those to their research.

Q: What has been your favorite part of introducing this fair?

A: Watching the kids work. It’s all on them. There have been kids who have been pretty unengaged throughout the year who are now very engaged and really into their topics. They might be here after school working or before the bell rings to take measurements and check on their organisms. They’re checking on each other, they’re getting really excited. It’s a classroom of talk of science, of asking each other questions and getting involved. And this is something very cool, seeing the kids act as scientists.

Q: What do you hope people can gain from coming to the fair?

A: Really seeing what kids can do. It’s pretty impressive to see the projects these kids have come up with and the tests that they’ve worked through and what they’ve learned and to hear them talk about the science that they’ve got and applied what they’ve learned all year. I am just excited for people to see what our science kids can do.

Q: What do people have to look forward to/expect at the fair?

A: They can expect to see tri-fold posters, each group will have one.There should be a lot of pictures on each poster so they will be very visual. Kids will be standing next to them, and it’s like an open house where you can walk around and look at posters that catch your eye and ask the students about their work. It should be very cool because you could look at a poster and be like “What are c-elegans?” or “Wait, bananas have more than one type of sugar?” and then ask the kids those questions and really interact about the science. You can comment and ask questions about anything, since the students will have more information to give and are waiting for you to ask or comment and that’s where the real interactions about science and research and methods of experimenting begin. It should just be a conversation between students and wanderers.

Q: What do you hope for the future of the fair?

A: I hope it continues to grow. It had started with just my AP bio kids, and after talking to Ms. Butler and Mr. Spadafore at Science Olympiad about their kids’ projects and realizing they would be done about the same time, we decided to take the fair full scale and include the entire biology department. We’ve invited their parents and the teachers and administration, so that will be very cool. In the future, we’re hoping areas like chemistry or physics will jump in with their research, and we’d love to see other disciplines hop in with projects if they’d want to. That’s why we called it Forest Hills Scholar Day, we don’t just want this to be only about biology. We want to see the interesting things that everyone has spent time on. Building-wide would be our goal for the fair.

Q: Anything else to add about the fair or student research?

A: The whole idea behind it stems from our new science standards, the idea of doing science, not just memorizing terms and random content. It’s just a good way for kids to show what they’ve learned and apply it to something that they’re interested in. We’re hoping that lots of students will come through from different classes and that parents will come through and it can be a big success.