Science Research and Design
In this unique, three-year sequence, students learn to create their own research questions and perform original science research. Unlike similar research programs, BC's Science Research and Design program (SRD) encourages students to conduct research on campus using our newly renovated and state of the art research facilities. This allows students to take full ownership of their work and become experts in their field. During their three years in SRD, students read and analyze peer reviewed literature, verify published experimental results, and design, conduct, and present the results of their own original research. Upon completion, they are informed scientists -- independently motivated, highly collaborative, and well-prepared to pursue STEM degrees in college. BC's SRD program inspires students to be critical thinkers who advocate for ethical, evidence-based science that guides collective knowledge and global action. In short, they learn to become creators of knowledge, agents of scientific progress, and advocates of change.
Accolades and Recognition
BC students’ SRD research has been recognized by external experts and national science organizations. In 2021, Zoe P. ’21 was one of only 5 students in the United States to be named a 2021 Rising Scientist by the Child Mind Institute in recognition of her SRD work in studying the impact of personality on coping response to COVID-19.
”Zoe's work provides essential knowledge that can help us better understand how young people process trauma. It exemplifies that student researchers are capable of creating knowledge and serving as agents of scientific progress and change," says Dr. Danny Gentile, who oversees our SRD program.
In 2018, Kian Sadeghi’ 18/UPenn ‘22, did his SRD project with CRISPR gene-editing technology, and was featured in a Wall Street Journal article. In 2021, Kian was selected for a prestigious Z Fellowship and completed the initial rounds of fundraising to seed and found his own human genomics company.
In 10th grade, students take Introduction to Science Research and Design, where they read a variety of papers and articles as they learn how to dissect and understand scientific writing and expose themselves to many different fields of study. They then take part in a scaffolded research study on a prescribed topic as they learn the nuts and bolts of scientific research. This research study will include a required Spring Intensives course in which students master scientific research methods and learn how to design detailed iterative procedures and record experimental results. By the end of their 10th grade year, students should have a sense for the requirements of a complete scientific study.
In 11th grade, students take Advanced Science Research and Design, where they further hone their research skills by first verifying a published research study before designing and conducting their own independent project. Throughout the year, they will continue to familiarize themselves with background literature, adjust their procedure as necessitated by their experimental observations, and record and analyze their results. By the end of their second year in SRD, students will have completed several iterations of their independent research and propose how that study could be modified and improved in early preparation for Year 3 where students will defend their findings in an end of year oral exam.
In 12th grade, students take Science Research and Design: Symposium, where they finalize their own individual research and learn how to statistically analyze their findings. They also refine their presentation skills before presenting their research and results in a variety of settings including an end of year Symposium as well as an online journal with their full paper and supplemental information such as detailed procedures and raw data.