Science Research is hard at work


Photo Credit: Zachary Pereira

Inside room 126, Mr.Danch helps students Lauren Wright and Casey Mulrooney with their experiment.

By: Zachary Pereira, Spring Editor and Reporter

Located in room 126 of the science wing, is Mr. Danch and his Science research students. These kids are hard at work developing solutions to problems in our world today. What they do is amazing.

The science research class has been available to students since  the 2001-2001 school year. Mr. Danch has been the teacher since the beginning.  Science research is a four year commitment at Colonia, students begin the class Freshman year and go until they graduate.  In science research 1 (SR1) students learn the basic elements of the research process. They also begin exploring an original science topic that interests them. Students perform experiments and collect data, after looking over the data the students present their findings.

As students continue on into SR2 they have a choice to continue their experiment from the previous year or start exploring a new one. While in SR2 students also apply for a grant to help fund their project.  when entering SR3 students continue their experiment from previous years. Students also write a formal paper on their findings. Finally in SR4 students can either continue their projects or decide to help SR1 and 8th grade science honors students.

In all four years of science research students enter several science fairs and symposia.  Students take their data and prepare a poster and power point for the judges. However in order to be prepare students practice presenting and answering questions before even seeing a judge.

“Yes they can make a difference in several ways,” Danch said. “The first is how conducting a research project makes a difference for the students themselves.  My research students who have gone on to study science in college have come back and told me how the skills they acquired while conducting and reporting their projects allowed them to excel in their college laboratory courses.  Student projects have also inspired other students to conduct research in similar fields.  Finally, by presenting their work at science fairs and symposiums, students are adding to the body of scientific knowledge.”

Each year science research students use their brilliant minds to form their projects. Over the year some projects have stood out to Danch.  “I’ve had students who have developed a carbon-silicate composite heat shield for spacecraft , developed their own mathematical formulas to optimize the placement of sensors to detect intruders in 3D space and even created a cyborg cockroach capable of sensing magnetic fields to name a few.”