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Hornets buzzing for lab internships

Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 by for Media.

Many juniors in Science Research haven’t found labs yet. Although juniors are suggested to intern at labs, they don’t have to do so to keep the class. Juniors do not usually find their labs right away. After all, their internship is a five-to-fifteen month arrangement, according to Mr. Glenn Elert, Science Research Coordinator. They need to make sure they know what topic they want to research, and for some students, this freedom to pick and choose is a good thing.

Aarin Chase, a junior, said, "I really like how we’re given the opportunity to research topics that we’d usually not find at Midwood. For example, I want to study cell biology but I’m in AP Physics B so I’d have to wait next year and apply to AP Biology." Although juniors are allowed to find labs at their own time, it’s suggested that they don’t wait too long. "Students should find labs as soon as possible because, as seniors, they’ll have to enter competitions," Chase said. The Intel Science Talent Search, the New York State Science and Engineering Fair, and St. Joseph’s College High School Poster Competition are science competitions seniors are required to enter.

At the beginning of the year, juniors have been asked to write cover letters and resumes, which have to be proofread and edited several times before they can be sent to professors. According to Almas Shafiq, ’15, said, "Cover letters inform the professor who they are." Some Juniors don’t feel that these assignments are too much. Aarin Chase said, "In terms of homework, Research is a good class. Much of what we do helps us, such as analyzing research papers."

Although some juniors don’t think the writing is particularly difficult, many can agree that waiting for professors to respond can be wearisome. Isheta Khanom, ’14, said that she hasn’t been accepted yet. She is determined, however, to find a lab because she thinks the program will help her in the future. "I want a job in forensic science," she said, "and getting experience in the science field will help me when I’m looking for a job."

There are approximately 140 sophomores in Research Methods and Projects, 58 juniors in Junior Research and 36 seniors in Senior Research. Almas Shafiq, a senior, explains why fewer students continue Research: "The struggle in junior research is real-there is absolutely no time to slack," she said, "Junior Research requires great dedication of time, effort, and patience. You need to meet your deadlines, and be on top of your responsibilities as a researcher."

Junior Research, a division of the Medical Science Institute, encourages juniors interested in science to work in a science laboratory of their choosing. For one month, Junior Research is a regular class; groups of 30 meet weekly with their science research teachers to hand in homework assignments and to be informed of research opportunities. Every month after that, juniors meet less frequently and are given more personal time with their teachers.

In order to do well in Science Research, juniors must come to every meeting, according to Mr. Elert. "If students miss our meetings, their grades are lowered, " said Mr. Elert. "Also, we [teachers] won’t know how to help them if they’re having trouble in the lab. They might be doing well, but we won’t know that." At these meetings, Juniors are given research assignments to do.

Taulant Kastrati
This article originally appeared in the November 2013 edition of Argus.