Preparing Science Projects with HS Mentors

Babylon Memorial Grade School sixth-graders received guidance on their upcoming entries into this year’s school science fair when 20 Babylon High School National Science Honor Society members visited their building. During the mentor program, which has become a tradition between the two schools, the 11th- and 12th-graders reviewed the status of the students’ projects and provided advice. Meeting in small groups, the students discussed different lab techniques, how to best organize data and how to visually display their individual research at the April fair.

“This initiative provides the younger students with the chance to get a different perspective on their work from our science students, who are considered to be of the highest caliber,” said Melissa Callahan, one of the NSHS advisers. “The high school students are often amazed how the projects can translate to some of the advanced subjects they are learning about and develop a realization for the continuation of learning and the real-life applications these topics have.”

The school science fair is mandatory for all sixth-graders and open to students in grades three to five as well. In addition to entering their work into the science fair, the grade school students’ projects often qualify for scholarships from outside organizations and winners advance to compete in the Brookhaven National Lab’s Science Fair. Students enthusiastic about science research are also encouraged to enroll in the introduction to research program at Babylon Junior-Senior High School during their eighth-grade year. Here, they can continue to conduct hands-on research and participate in science fairs across the area.