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Rhinebeck Reality

The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

Rhinebeck Reality

The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

Rhinebeck Reality

New Science Class Provides Intellectual Freedom

Chloe Buri da Cunha
Students in Science Research Class take photos for iNaturalist, an app that identifies the plant or animal and sends data to researchers at Cornell.

The Science Research elective class started by Ms. Mincher this year gives students exposure to different techniques in science research and allows them to explore their scientific interests. The one credit, no prerequisite classes required, year-long science class can be taken by anyone in 10th-12th grade. 

Last year and over the summer, Ms. Mincher worked to prepare the science research class and researched how to make it the best it can be.

“It’s a great learning opportunity,” said Mr. Heywood, Rhinebeck High School guidance counselor. 

In the class, students will first learn about what science research is, the basic fundamentals of research in science, and how to create a question based on a topic they are interested in. Ms. Mincher will teach students how to utilize databases and other resources, extract information from different sources and scholarly journals, tell if a source is reliable, and analyze non text components of an article. 

In the second semester, students in the class will select their own research topic and question. Students will spend the second semester using the skills they learned to create a literature review paper and poster. They will then find a mentor, a science experienced person or a college professor, to advise them about their literature review. 

Students will showcase their work at a research symposium at the end of the year. Families, faculty members, and community members in other science research programs will be invited to attend. 

Ms. Mincher, biology and science electives teacher, proposed this class to, “give students the opportunity to have diverse electives and experience real undergraduate level research while learning skills that would be utilized to carry this out,” she said. 

In the future, Ms. Mincher hopes that the class will be in affiliation with SUNY Albany which would allow students who take the class for 3 years to receive undergraduate credits, similar to an AP class. They will pick a question to research every year, write a literature review paper,  create a literature review poster, and present the work done at 1-2 competitions per year. 

“Research is so important and to learn these techniques in high school is really important,” said Mr. Heywood.

The addition of this class suggests that Rhinebeck will be upgrading the variety of electives they offer. Anyone interested in pursuing a career in science, or just interested in science research, is encouraged to take the new science research class.

The one credit, year long science class can be taken by anyone in 10th-12th grade with no prerequisite classes required.

Ms. Mincher, a Rhinebeck High School graduate starts her second year of teaching.
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