By INDIA KRUG – As the club rotation returns in full swing, IHS Science Club members are implored to become decisive about the projects they will pursue this year. They have the option to collaborate with one of the eleven collegiate professors from Indiana University of Pennsylvania who are offering their time and aid.
IHS Science Club, which is now 43 students strong, is entering its fifth year. Since its creation in 2013, the amount of members has doubled each year. Overall, the club has racked up nearly $200,000 in scholarships awarded to students at various competitions.
The introduction of new students only adds to the club’s overall success and veteran members often assist their peers.
Junior Maggie Conjelko states, “I joined Science Club because I have always been interested in STEM and wanted a sophisticated perspective on a field I am passionate about. The atmosphere is very welcoming and it’s cool we have opportunities like this at our school.”
There are annual activities the club participates in. Students deliver presentations at the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science held on the Slippery Rock campus, and from there have a chance to qualify for the States competition at Penn State in May. Members also attend a Science Fair in Heinz Field where they outline their projects through tri-fold mediums created at IUP and receive critiquing from professionals.
In addition to the competitions, students judge elementary school science fairs and complete water sampling for IUP. The data is used to determine the contamination levels in streams through studying macroinvertebrates.
With subjects ranging from Biology to Psychology, students with varying areas of interest are able to find projects that intrigue them. Junior Nathan Birch says, “In my project this year I am teaming up with Dr. Hovan from IUP to measure the amounts of calcium carbonate present in Atlantic ocean cores and map out glacial/interglacial periods.”
The professors are a significant resource to Science Club– providing the students with a college-level experience while still in high school, such as access to labs and technology.
Junior Eliza Ray comments, “I’ve enjoyed working with a professor this year because it has given me the opportunity to work on a more complex and difficult project. Dr. Ford has been a great mentor throughout the entire process and has taught me a lot of valuable things about experimental design.”
The club is overseen by three teacher advisers: Mrs. Hixson, Mrs. Edmonds, and Mr. Lehman. Mrs. Hixson states, “Our partnership with IUP has enabled our students to compete on an entirely new level. My hope is that they will be able to take these experiences and be empowered to know they can effect change in the world!”
[Photo courtesy of Eman Soliman]
Photo Caption: “Senior Eman Soliman and Sophomore Amna Kasi do water sampling.”
India is a junior and a second year reporter for the High Arrow. High school journalism is important to her because it is dangerous to be uninformed. As a part of the High Arrow staff, she is able to grow as a writer while learning from her peers and those in the field.