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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Research class would encourage hands-on learning

Last year, using private grant money, Los Gatos High implemented an advanced science research class that gave students an avenue to have a hands-on approach to science.

In this course, students are primarily in charge of their lab work and have the freedom to explore science through experiment rather than lecture. With their collected research, the students apply scientific knowledge to practical situations and delve into learning disciplines other than those of any other science-based electives.

Saratoga High is in dire need of a class that allows students to cultivate their interests in many forms of engineering, medicine and sciences.

The diversity of science elective courses is lacking, and through a research class, students can master skills that are otherwise not attainable at school. By introducing a class that differs from the average test-and-lecture-based class, students would be forced to gain new avenues of learning.

In addition, Silicon Valley is widely known for its flourishing companies that specialize in many sciences and mathematics. It is imperative that the school empower students to explore these fields, since the majority of occupations are directly correlated to mathematics and science.

The most noticeable difference between the conventional classroom and Los Gatos’ advanced research course is that the newly implemented course allows students to freely explore certain issues such as bacterial infection and soil contamination and, more importantly, use their knowledge to solve them.

An interdisciplinary research class would encourage students to revisit and combine the knowledge gained in other classes—biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science and math, among others.

In addition, this class presents opportunities that are similar to work experience. A majority of students at Saratoga have little, if any, familiarity with working environments; research and experimentation can help to prepare students for possible science-related jobs down the road.

The glaring problem is funding for this kind of class. All of the experiments and research require resources that may not be readily accessible. A variety of chemicals, lab equipment and textbooks, along with computers to gather information, could spell heavy costs for the class.

However, Los Gatos obtained funding for this class through the assistance of private grants. Saratoga could attempt the same. A new science research class would provide vital opportunities for students and additional diversity in the science department, as shown by the success it has had at Los Gatos.

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