The Jacket Journal

CHS Biology Teacher Attends Regeneron Research Conference

Amanda Sellers, Writer

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I recently had the opportunity to attend the Regeneron Society for Science & the Public Research Conference in Washington D.C.  I was one of 200 teachers selected out of 2,000 to represent Clinton High School. At the conference, we had several speakers that inspired us to keep emphasizing the importance of research in our schools. The speakers included: Kumar Garg, who worked with President Obama in the Office of Science and Technology Policy; Dr. Lisa Purcell, who is a Senior Staff Scientist for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; and Maya Ajmera, the President and CEO of Society for Science and the Public. These speakers emphasized how research promotes literacy skills, enhances scientific knowledge, involves understanding of math and statistics, and broadens students’ world-views.  

During the conference, we attended six different break-out sessions that were hosted by teachers from across the country. In these break-out sessions, they shared with us their best practices, research methods, and many other tools that will aid in challenging our students to become better researchers and competitors in science fair.  

Clinton High School and Junior High School hosted our first school-based Science Fair last year.  My goal of this conference was not only to learn more about the various research methods happening across the country, but to understand how to help our students become serious competitors in local, regional, and national science fairs.  I also went with the goal in mind to improve our local science fair and to gain resources to aid our students in their research and actual projects. I learned that what we really need are local sources and mentors to be successful. We have been fortunate enough to have mentors like Dr. Soloman from South Fork Nature Center; Dr. Coward, a local physician; and our own Mr. Beavers, who  is knowledgeable in the field of physics and engineering, helped judge our local Science Fair last year. We also have had help from Brooke Keith and Edna Prosser from our local hospital and teachers, such as Dana Perry, who served on our review committee last year. We need mentors in all areas: physics, mechanical engineering, agriculture, health fields, veterinarians, education, etc. I would love to find local mentors within our community to further promote local involvement in education and provide our students with more opportunities to compete at higher levels of science fairs.  Winning science fairs allow our students countless opportunities for advancement by obtaining recognition, scholarship awards, and even college recruitment. I will be working hard to put into practice all that I learned over the course of the conference to ensure our students have an opportunity to benefit from their involvement in research and participation in science fairs.

I was honored to be chosen to  represent Clinton High School. I would like to thank CHS administration and Dr. Fisher for allowing me to attend the conference so that I can make our research practices and science fair even better in the years to come.

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CHS Biology Teacher Attends Regeneron Research Conference