Exploring Science

Sixth-grade students at James Wilson Young Middle School in the Bayport-Blue Point School District have the chance to explore complex science topics in a very hands-on way as part of their participation in the school’s science research class. This past semester, in addition to their classroom studies, the students had the chance to select a topic of interest to them and design a scientific investigation to answer a question about that topic. The students’ completed projects were not only put on display for adoring family and friends to admire at an evening event, but also showcased during an in-school fair for the remainder of the grade to view and discuss with the budding scientists.  

As part of their research, students explored topics including: whether lizards discriminate against certain colors in foods; which method of cooking has the least effect on vitamin C in the food; whether a person’s writing hand has an effect on how he or she selects colors from a lineup; whether a cat is more or less likely to react to a bird call if hungry; and the effects music has on an individual’s heart rate.

For his project on the effect of lenses and mirrors on solar panels, Brian Feddern was named the first-place winner in the school fair. His project, which focused on whether the power-producing capacity of solar panels can be increased if the light is passed through a magnifying lens or reflected off a mirror before hitting the solar panel, will now be entered into the Brookhaven National Lab science competition in May.