Westinghouse Project

smith at mcclb0.med.nyu.edu smith at mcclb0.med.nyu.edu
Mon Nov 5 05:57:04 EST 1990

In article <9011050217.AA02448 at genbank.bio.net>, SCF7 at manvax.bitnet ("MYRNA E. WATANABE") writes:
> Regarding the suggested Westinghouse Projects that came over the net
> from mmm at cup.portal.com and Roy's request (which I deleted by mistake):
> this brings up the question of whether a high school student who requests
> a Westinghouse or Science Fair project should be handed it from a research
> scientist.
> ... the general attitude is that the students SHOULD NOT be
> going into the labs asking for a Westinghouse or Science Fair project.  If
> a scientist asks about this, he or she is usually told that they should
> tell the student:  "You are welcome to work in my laboratory to learn what
> it is like to be a research scientist and learn laboratory techniques.  If
> your only goal is the completion of a project for competition, then you
> should not be working here.  If, in the course of your work here, a
> Westinghouse or Science Fair project develops, I will do whatever I can to
> assist you, with the understanding that this project is mainly your own
> work."  
> ...
> The point of this, is the fear that the PROJECT becomes the end all and be
> all for the student, and that laboratory experience without the immediate
> goal of a project also is valuable (albeit, there is no prize or recognition
> or admission to Harvard or MIT here).

I absolutely agree. We had a 'Westinghouse' student from a local high school 
here last year.  It was a worthless experience for everybody, and I have NO 
intention of doing it again.  The problem is that the schools send the 
students out with the charge to 'find a Westinghouse project, dead or alive'.
The schools  themselves need to realize that this idea of asking every 
student to  get a Westinghouse project is totally inapropriate.

|Ross Smith, Cell Biology,  NYU Medical Center,  550 First Ave.,  NYC, 10016|
|Phone: (212) 340-5356: FAX: (212) 340-8139 (Alternate NYUMC) (212) 340-7190|

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