Students prepare to present at science conference


Every year, physics teacher Dr. Brian Wargo holds a science conference. This involves all physics classes that he teaches, along with alumni who come back to watch presentations and network with students for the day. Each student presents a long-term project,, where they prepare a presentation to discuss the student-run project they worked on for the entire year. This year, the conference will take place on May 5. It will run all day, and students not in physics will get to watch their classmates show off their hard work. 

There are different presentations in rooms throughout the high school, and even some at the middle school. Students are able to watch presentations, based on where their teachers decide to go, giving peers the opportunity to watch a number of presentations. At the end of each presentation, students can ask the presenter questions, which are advised by student moderators

A long-term project is where students use time all year to come up with an idea and create it. It’s an individual project with minimal intervention, allowing students to do their own authentic research. The students come up with an idea or topic they are interested in and then try to answer a question or figure a problem out. They make claims about what will occur throughout their experiments. Their long-term proposals are due  during the fall and go through several checkpoints to make sure it works. They can range from hair projects to engineering, allowing for a wide range of topics.

“My favorite part is definitely seeing all of the hard work come together and pay off. Everyone is proud of what they’ve done, and it’s really cool to see original work,” senior Brandi Bonzo said. 

Some sixth-grade science students also work to put on a presentation of their long term as well. They look up to the older high school students to aid the kids and to show off what they have also learned in their science classes. 

“My long term is on smoke patterns and how it affects your lungs,” senior Dakota Reinhart said. 

Alumni are also invited back to present to students. They normally range anywhere from 2-15 years out. They present  on many different topics, like their careers, specific job implications, how their lives are going and what they have been up to post Freedom. There is also time for students to ask questions and time in order to get to know them more. 

“The science conference is one of the coolest things I have ever got to be a part of because it just shows how big the world is, and how extremely small things can make a difference in jurassic ways. I love seeing others present and show interest in different fields,” junior Logan Bickerstaff said.

The conference is a great experience for students to show off their own original work that takes all year to plan and build. It helps students who are interested in the engineering or STEM field, but also any students with their presenting and communication skills.  

“I am looking forward to the alumni coming back seeing the younger generation present the project they have been working on. Also excited for our first-time presenters to get the feel of what it is like to present at a real science conference,” Wargo said.