Students Delve Into Personal Interests at Research Conference

December 16, 2013

The Zoetics

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By Briana Hendrix Photos By Mario Andreatta

Last Thursday scholars from The ASK Academy celebrated ReCon, or Research Conference, at the Italian American club. The high school, along with a few middle school scholars presented their research projects to project managers, parents, and members of the community. Scholars have spent the past semester researching various subjects; ReCon is a culmination of that research. Freshman Cruz Vigil said that presenting at ReCon “adds (an element of) fun and makes students want to do it.”

ReCon has been a part of ASK since the school’s founding (it was formely known as Celebration of Learning), and has improved in the last four years; however, it is still not the quality the founders expect it to be.

Director Paul Stephenson said he would like to see it grow bigger and better in future years. “It’s not where we think it needs to be, but it’s better than it was four years ago — it’s headed in the right direction.”

Scholars have a class built into their schedules once a week called Research in Action, where they have time to work on their projects. The class is meant to provide structure and guidance as students navigate the complicated process of research. While there are deadlines throughout the semester, much of the course is self paced, meaning it is up to the scholars to do research outside of school.

Sophomore Marilyn Cope, who studied the impact of revealing secrets and personal information on an anonynous web site, said ReCon is a stressful event and would like to see more direction from the project managers. “Everyone is rushing to get things done at the end,” she said.

Senior Angelica Anaya presented her project on chromosomal abnormalities. Her thoughts on ReCon is that “It needs to be more organized, such as the layout of the room. It’s chaotic, and there is never enough space.”

Vigil, who studied gas and electric hovercrafts, agrees that ReCon still has some work to be done. “It needs more due dates and structure,” he said.

While some students don’t enjoy the processes of Research in Action, it provides scholars with the opportunity to introduce new ideas to the world and allows the community to get a glimpse of what is to come in future generations.

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