Seniors Impress With Research

Kayla Schneider, News Editor

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On Tuesday, May 21st, the students who participate in the Advanced Science Research program at Mepham held the annual ASR Symposium which allows for seniors to present the research that they have been working on for the past three years to family, staff, and other students in the program. ASR requires students to complete eight hours per week of independent research during the school year and 90 hours over each summer of sophomore and junior year. All the students are passionate about their projects and work tirelessly to be successful. Between going to labs, finding participants for surveys, analyzing data, and working on papers for competition, it is definite that these students are determined for excellence. This year, the program had a record number of seniors with 16 participants.

The night kicked off with guest speaker, Nick McCormick, a Mepham ASR alum, who explained how the program helped him after high school. McCormick had gone off to The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and was successful in working for Google and Disney, keeping the lessons he learned from his ASR experience as a backbone for all the work he accomplished. Combining humor with life lessons, McCormick inspired the audience, especially the seniors with advice and motivation for moving to the next chapter of life.

Following the speaker, one by one, the seniors presented their research to the audience using Powerpoint for about 5-10 minutes each. Projects ranged from classical music influencing dogs to exploring the deepest regions of space to epigenetics to cell phone dependence. Each project was unique and captivating in its own way. Everyone was professional and took great ownership and pride in what they accomplished. Senior Allie Trenkle said, “It was surreal for me because it feels as if it were yesterday that I was a freshman watching the seniors present. And now, I am a senior who just successfully completed my ASR journey.”

The sophomores and juniors in the program were also able to display their research that they had completed so far by creating boards that were displayed around the room for people to see before the symposium and during intermission.
Dr. Kommor, an ASR teacher and mentor said, “The incredible diversity of student interest, creativity, and work ethic always impresses me because all the students exemplify the great quality of grit.” The night would not have been possible without him and the other great ASR teachers, Mrs. Spargifiore and Mrs. Partap, because their dedication to guiding their students to success is admirable. A big thank you to them for always believing in their students and being available to assist whenever they can.

The program is one that will impact those who take it for the rest of their lives. Not only does it give students the incredible opportunity to explore independent research, but it also teaches important lessons like writing a research paper, contacting mentors, analyzing data, public speaking and pushing past obstacles. Good luck to all the underclassmen and future researchers in the program and congrats to all the seniors who persevered and accomplished their excellent research projects!

Photo by: Mrs. Schneider.