Westinghouse Project

MYRNA E. WATANABE SCF7 at manvax.bitnet
Sun Nov 4 20:18:00 EST 1990

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

I discussed this with my sister, who, for the last four years, ran the
New York City School Science Fair for the New York Academy of Sciences.
The NYAS places students from their Junior Academy in laboratories in the
New York area, but 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."  Obviously, there are limitations here.  For the Science Fair projects,
and, I suspect, the Westinghouse Projects, all invasive animal procedures
must be done by the research scientist and cannot be done by the student.

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).

For the record, I have no opinion on this matter, but I think it is worthy
of debate.

Myrna E. Watanabe
Biology Department
Manhattan College
Bronx, NY 10471
scf7 at manvax.bitnet

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