Science Research program helps students get ahead

There are thousands of straight-A students all across the country, but what sets one of them apart f

There are thousands of straight-A students all across the country, but what sets one of them apart from another?

Not all of them are able to attend their dream colleges. However, specialized academic programs, such as Science Research at the Academy of the Holy Names, can give students a competitive edge and a head start on college.

The Science Research program is a three-year course that allows students to investigate a topic of interest to them. Throughout these years, students conduct research, interpret lab experiments and even work with professional scientists.

According to academic experts and Science Research students, this program provides many benefits that are useful in high school, college and life.

Donna Mooney, the Upper School Science Department chairwoman at the Academy of the Holy Names, encourages all high school students who have “a real interest in a science field or want to learn about a topic in depth” to join the Science Research program.

Participating in this optional course may improve a student’s required science lab reports and research, she says. Some members may even have the opportunity to have their research published in scientific journals that are viewed by thousands of scientists around the world.

Katie Picchione, a previous Science Research program member and a Holy Names graduate, was even awarded first place in the Greater Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair and was an Intel Science Competition finalist.

Several high school Science Research participants have also received scholarships due to their studies.

Mooney believes the Science Research program is “a huge advantage that sets students apart from others.”

Helen Spiro, the director of college counseling at Holy Names, states that students engaged in this program can develop many skills that are important for success in college. Such abilities include working independently, thinking critically, conducting research, planning projects and “presenting findings of research in a scholarly manner,” she says.

Since the Science Research program is considered to be an academic challenge, Spiro acknowledges that this program may strengthen one’s high school transcript when it comes to applying for college.

She also believes that a student participating in the Science Research program may be “a better candidate” for certain colleges than other students. Such colleges include Cornell University, which is a private research institution of engineering.

Science Research can be a preparatory and advantageous program for students seeking success in college.

Furthermore, Science Research aids in developing lifelong skills.

Michele Musto, the assistant principal of the Academy of the Holy Names, recalls when her daughter, Kristen Musto, participated in the very first Science Research term at this school. Kristen Musto studied the effects of drugs on rats. During this experience, she acquired valuable skills, such as time management and organization.

Although Kristen Musto did not enter the science field in college, her mother believes that the skills her daughter obtained during the Science Research program “helped her excel in both college and in her (current) law career.”

In the Science Research program, students can acquire skills and benefits that are useful in high school, college and life.

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