Radians School News Letter, Issue 14 science fair edition!!
Students Practice Real Science at Radians School
Issue 14 March 2014
Photo above, In 2009, our student Abdiel Ortiz won El Nuevo
Dia Educador “Los Duros en la Materia” in the category of
Science. Abdiel is currently studying at Cornell University.
Above, Christian Rivera giving his presentation on
renewable energy in Panama in January, 2014.
At left, Luis Ramos (2013 Radians School Graduate) who recently received
the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology CRC Freshman
Chemistry Achievement Award at Purdue University, Indiana. This
award is given to only one freshman per year!
In the photograph, Luis Ramos is presenting his project at ISEF 2012
(International Science and Engineering Research) in Pittsburgh,
Whenever a school promotes research projects,
the projects assigned to a student should meet a
stringent test for usefulness. Surprising to some,
a science research project is one of the best learning
experiences a student can undertake.
Radians School, as a science-centered school, advocates
student-centered scientific research projects of many
kinds. We have students working with Agricultural
research in our ERCSA agricultural program.
Conceptually, a science project is very straightforward. A
student chooses a scientific question he or she would like
to answer. Research on the question give the student the
background information he or she needs to formulate a
hypothesis and design an experiment. After writing a report
to summarize this research, the student performs the
experiment, draws his or her conclusions, and presents the
results to teachers.
What makes a science research project such a great
learning experience is that it involves so much more
than science. If the student is in middle school, the
research report will most likely be the longest paper the
student has ever written. The bibliography for the report
will also be the first ever for some students. These reports
are a great way to hone computer research skills, as well as
to learn the ins and outs of common office programs, such
as word processors and spreadsheets. Most projects also
involve a good deal of math, and some students get an
opportunity to enhance their presentation skills when they
prepare their display boards and discuss their projects with
A science research project will also have a longer
duration than any other assignment a student has done.
In contrast to the typical school homework due the next
day or perhaps a week hence, a science research project
requires a student to learn to plan over two or three
months, a skill of immense importance in adulthood.
Procrastination is definitely not rewarded.
Savvy students learn even more about communications
skills. They learn the importance of selecting topics and
fine-tuning their presentations in ways that will make them
most likely to impress science research judges.
Research by Students
A science research project even provides an opportunity
for the discussion of many ethical issues, such as
plagiarism and falsification of data. Indeed, such a
discussion is highly recommended. The ease of copying
information from the Internet is hard to resist, and many
students are far ahead of their teachers in understanding what
Of course, learning about science is at the heart of a science
research project. Our society relies more on science every
day, and science projects are a great way for students to
become more knowledgeable about how the world around
them works. Every citizen needs sufficient science literacy to
make educated decisions about what he or she reads in the
media, about health care, and about other every-day problems.
Preparing a science project is an excellent example of what
education experts call active learning or inquiry (also
"hands-on" learning). It is a very effective instructional
method; indeed, it is recommended as a cornerstone of
successful science teaching. Yet, according to the National
Research Council, active learning is not employed often
enough in the classroom and its absence is seen as one of the
key factors behind kids losing interest in science and not
performing to their potential.
Colleges want to see what students have done with the
opportunities they had available to them, and science
competitions are a fantastic opportunity. Typically, 2–4
percent of science research entrants at the high school level
move on to the top level of science research competition, the
Intel International Science and Engineering Research (ISEF).
Photo above, ERCSA is one of the innovative programs at Radians
School. Students are encouraged to do viable scientific research at
these facilities. 11th Grade student Keishlyann Baez Cruz (not
pictured) is one such student from High School. She has been
involved in a multi-year research project on natural pesticides.
Why the Science Research
Projects Are Important
By Prof. Denisse Colon
Elementary Science Teacher
ach day our children
in Radians School
reach goals and face
new challenges. One such
challenge is making the
science research project.
These past few days, you,
the parent, confronted the
task of helping your children
in the project and often
asked yourselves why your
child must do the science research project as all?
You, as parents, and we, as educators, find
ourselves with the task of motivating our future
professionals. Our children, naturally curious,
constantly bombard their teachers with
thousands of questions, many of which could be
answered by using the scientific method. The
scientific method is a series of ordered steps
leading to the answer to a question.
For the Science Department at Radians
School, the Science Research is something
eagerly awaited. We long for that moment to see
our students excited about their research. The
Science Research Project has many purposes.
It is primarily the search for solutions to
problems that arise daily by learning to apply
the processes of science. It helps develop
scientific thinking as well as argumentative and
analytical skills. It also helps them to recognize
the importance of science in the world. Our
School of Math, Science, and Technology
promotes and encourage our students to
develop their abilities, prove their potential,
and contribute to their learning process. The
Science Research Project readily provides an
opportunity to contribute and enrich the
knowledge of our students. Several of our
students have gone on to win awards in Puerto
Rico and the United States.
In Radians School, we emphasize the
importance of understanding the use of the
scientific method beyond the theoretical level,
and helping our children learn to live better
lives through its application.
"Great spirits have often encountered
violent opposition from weak minds."
Radians School SHPE Jr
with Deborah Martorell
Our SHPE Jr students won the Catapult Competition
in "Expo-Ciencia 2014" in Colegio Marista.
Cristian Rivera represents Radians School in Panamá
From January 31 to February 2, Cristian Rivera, 11th grader, represented
Radians School and Puerto Rico in Panama’s Science Research called
“Feria Científica del Ingenio Juvenil 2014” in Panamá. Cristian
presented his project titled “Large Scale Renewable Energy
Uninterruptable Power System”.
More than 100 scientific projects were presented. The research was
sponsored by “Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e
Innovación” and was convened at the Tryp Panamá Hotel Albrook. This
science research aims to promote cultural exchange in the interest of
science, technology, and innovation, from the investigation and
implementation of the scientific method, and encourages scientific
ingenuity in children, young people supported by their teachers. This
year's event featured the special participation of students from
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Ecuador, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay,
Perú, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay, who presented their best projects.
During these three days, visitors to the exhibition viewed over 100
projects in the categories of biology, environmental science, computer
science, earth science and space, social and behavioral sciences, physics
and mathematics, engineering and technology, chemistry, health and
Let your child experience the
RADIANS SCHOOL difference!
Photo below, On March 10, the 12th graders
Estefania Guzmán, Alexandra Droz and Tanya
Torres presented the conference "The Great
Shakeoutout" for middle school students. It
focused earthquake preparedness.
Demonstrations in the
Science Lab by the
Chem Club students.
Peer to peer educational