News from the Science Department
posted 4/13/18 WHS Chemistry Classes visited Bentley University where they learned about testing water for lead, mosquitos, making polymers and more!
Honors Biology Students visited Thermo Fisher
First successful egg drop design challenge team in CP Physics!
Congratulations to Dhruv Sumathi and Arda Cataltepe (Class of 2019).
They submitted their Independent Research Project to the on-line Journal of Emerging Investigators. They were impressive in their efforts to improve their report to the level needed to be published.
We will be taped next month, and they will be “featured scientists “ on the JEI. They will be the first scientists to be featured with a video interview.
- Their experiment well designed; it was accepted as it was carried out for their IRP. This demonstrates that the experiments performed by Weston students are based on credible scientific method.
- Their experiment was performed with limited scientific equipment; they designed their own rating scale using a Youtube video of tomatoes rotting.
A big “Thank You” to Janet Kresl-Moffat for her guidance with this Independent Research Project!
Read the Article in the New York Times
Congratulations to the WHS Chemistry Olympiad Team! After winning the Tryout, they will be going to the local competition in early April:
(in alphabetical order):
Main Team: Jackson Fitzhenry, Ezra Gordon, Jeff Liu, Lukas Muzila, Sasha Shashkov
Alternates: Rachel Garofalo, Jayme Leschly, Jackson Rogers, Zoya Tajuddin
The science and technology program is designed to educate scientifically literate students who will understand the scientific method and the tentative nature of scientific truth. They will learn some of the major concepts, laws, and theories of the various sciences. The majority of students follow the sequence: Introductory Physics, Biology, Chemistry, electives or AP electives. For students who are ready for greater rigor, the department offers honors courses each year. Students who excel in any science class will be invited to take an honors course the following year. Eighth grade students are recommended for either CP Physics or Honors Physics in the ninth grade based on four factors: 1) science grades earned in the 8th grade; 2) results of AMC-8 math testing; 3) results of a test of abstract reasoning administered in the spring (GALT test); and 4) specific recommendation from the 8th grade teacher based on the student’s performance in class throughout the year.
For a full list download the High School Program of Studies
Meet the Department Head
Mr. Steven Ribisi is the new Science Department Head starting September 2018
Dr. Stephen Ribisi is the Science Department Head for grades 6-12 in Weston. Dr. Ribisi has served as Chemistry Teacher at Braintree High School since 2012. Prior to that, he was a Science Teacher at Saugus High School (2010-2012), and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Dr. Ribisi earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. He also has had Postdoctoral Training in Developmental Biology and in a Science and Health Education Partnership at the University of California, San Francisco and at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco.
10th Grade Biology Mentor Program
Every year, parents from the Weston community come to Weston High School to help 10th grade honors biology students design and carry out an independent research project (IRP).
Help enrich student Biology Research Projects- CP & Honors!
The PTO Science and Math Council is currently looking for parent volunteers to help the high school College Prep & Honors biology students plan their independent projects for the academic year. All interested parents are welcome, Science background is helpful for this commitment.
Each volunteer will meet with student groups during each class period and counsel them on how to design and execute their experiments. The experiment designs are based on previous laboratory experiments performed by the biology students, and may span various science disciplines including biology, chemistry, materials physics, and engineering.
Honors Biology Wed, January 17, 2018- still need volunteers
College Prep Biology Design Challenge Fri, January 26, 2018 – still need volunteers
To volunteer, please contact Inhua at email@example.com
Students are at the beginning stages choosing their topics and getting background information in the area of study. The PTO Science and Math Council has been asked to recruit community members to help the students design their projects. Teachers are not asking you to give thestudents a question to research; rather, to make their questions better. Students work alone or ingroups of two.Time commitments can be as short as 1.5 hours and as long as 2 days.
Advisors will meet with students during regular class blocks during the school year (dates TBD each year) and will talk with individual students to help them clarify their experiment and research project. The students will have a preliminary proposal and some background research prepared. Advisor background should be in science, research, medicine,or other health backgrounds. Volunteers can contact 10th grade honors bio teachers Janet KreslMoffat or Chris Chiodo for more information.
– 80%-90% of the research is done at home, unless there is a reason to do it at school (using the greenhouse, growing bacteria, or piece of equipment the school owns like the following sensors :
02, pH, CO2, temperature, blood pressure, reaction time, sound level meter, respirometer, infraredthermometer, UV light, light meter.)
– Data records must be kept in a journal – The best projects are ones experimenting on a topic the student is already interested in – a sports activity, an extracurricular interest, a favorite topic in biology or in school
Information students will have prepared when researchers come to class.
– How is the project connected to biology?
– Why is the information valuable?
– Can someone make money on this research?
– Who would want this research to be done?
– Why should we give you a million dollars (Hypothetically) to research this topic?
– Research from 3 sources.
Units covered in the biology curriculum: