By Laurel Edington
Students in the Advanced Placement Biology class and the Authentic Science Research (ASR) class went on a field trip to Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) library and a Boston University (BU) lab and research seminar.
According to ASR teacher Maria Burgess, “Both classes are the two upper-level science classes in the school and they have the appropriate level of thinking for the field trip.”
After the bus arrived late because of a scheduling error, the two classes visited the MIT library.
Students and teachers learned about MIT’s database resources. They were taught how to use MIT’s website to find other research papers and sources. Then, they toured other parts of the school, such as a library where nobody can talk and the basement that holds hundreds of research books and journals.
Burgess said she took the ASR class to MIT in 2003. After that trip, each year the timing was wrong and other things came up, and she wasn’t able to put the trip together again until this year.
Because the bus was late, the group could only tour one lab at BU; they had planned to visit two.
Following the library, they went to BU, and a research student quickly showed them around a tissue-engineering lab.
“The lab tour was my favorite. I loved learning about scientists’ work with capillary growth and seeing where it all happened,” senior ASR student Noah Prince said.
The group walked across the street into another BU building to watch a seminar on how axons, which are the means for neural (brain) communication, are related to autism.
According to Burgess, it was worthwhile because during the presentation, students were able to see other researchers interact.
While ASR students read the research paper about the seminar beforehand, the AP Bio students did not.
“I wish I understood [the seminar] better because it seemed interesting,” junior AP Bio student Daria Shnider said.
Future classes will go on the field trip in the years to come.
Burgess said she wants to do it every other year so every group of students can go once.