Science Department Chair Dana Montanez created Brunswick’s unique Honors Science Research course with the goal of first inspiring her students with the spark of an idea, and then leading them through a rigorous scientific process to test out their notions.
Limited to just eight students per year, the course is a major underpinning of Brunswick’s commitment to STEM education. Students explore topics of interest as they design an original project, complete that project with an accompanying paper and submit it to a scientific competition.
The course helps balance traditional AP-level studies with hands-on science experience in the classroom, the lab, and in the field.
“Recently, the science education pendulum has begun to swing away from memorization and toward teaching students to apply concepts and solve problems,” Montanez explains. “Clearly, a strong knowledge base in science, coupled with opportunities to apply those concepts, will serve any student well in any field going forward.”
“There’s a lot of weight put on the shoulders of young people,” Montanez says. “They’re told they’re eventually going to be responsible for solving the energy crisis, saving the environment, and curing cancer. If we don’t expose students to all the possibilities science has to offer, we’re doing them a great disservice. They need to be able to dream as well as memorize.”