Students want more research opportunities

Neil Devas, Contributing Writer

 

Admission into one of Schreiber’s research classes is a prestigious honor. This is largely because each class only offers ten seats.

During freshman year, students are allowed to try out for math, science, and social science research.  Each class requires an initial test: reading passages followed by multiple-choice questions for math; two essays for social science; and logic questions for science.  No matter how many people try out, only between 15 and 30 students are taken for an interview, and only 10 are selected for each class.

This process is out of the ordinary for Nassau County public schools.  In many schools, research classes are available in a variety of subjects to all students.  No tests, no interviews, no special requirements.  Many of these students also participate in the same competitions that Schreiber research students participate in.

“By having less people, we can help our students better and do more with them,” said math research teacher Mr. Anthony Tedesco.

Schreiber’s research classes are rigorous and require hours of work outside of class.  Students who feel they are capable of joining such a class should not be denied the chance.  Smaller class sizes may help teachers assist students with their research more adequately. Even so, many students are missing out on the great opportunity to conduct research prior to college.

Involvement in a research class may embellish college applications when the time comes, but to some students, it is not all about trying to catch the interest of different schools.

“I really just wanted to perform science experiments and learn more,” said junior John Neil. “I have an active interest in science. I wouldn’t want to take research classes just because they look good.”

Research classes should be treated like other electives, in terms of class size.

There should be some limit to how many students can take the class, to ensure that students do receive the attention they need.  However, this maximum should be much greater than 10 students.

Many students are missing out on opportunities to conduct their own research and pursue their interests that, in many other Long Island schools, would be readily available.