How is SIRS Navigating COVID-19?

STEM Graphic.

STEM Graphic.

By Celina Saba, Staff Writer

All classes have struggled to adjust to remote learning this year, but none as much as the Stem Inquiry and Research (SIRS) class. In SIRS, students choose a scientific experiment to work on for the entire school year in this class. Then, midway through the second semester, the students present their project to a panel of judges at the science fair.

Due to this class being lab-based, many of the returning students are worried about how they’ll complete research without a lab.

“It has been kinda rough because my project requires a lot of hands-on and lab time. The fact that I might not get that means that I need to change my whole project around Covid,” returning SIRS student Cadence Nixon said. “I feel like it’s the same for a lot of kids who do biology projects. We can’t do things as effectively as we could have if we had every day in the lab.”

With everything going on, however, the SIRS teachers are trying their best to help the students have the best environment for their projects and to learn.

“There is nothing guaranteed, unfortunately, but the plan is to try to get one or two students at a time into the lab at school during the second semester. That would be the ideal situation,” SIRS teacher Mr. Parin Patel said. “I don’t know how it’s going to work out. We are trying to build schedules, but we don’t know what the school or the state will allow us to do.”

The new SIRS class environment this year has also been a struggle for new SIRS students.

According to sophomore Prisha Singh, “I signed up for the class because I wanted an opportunity to explore a specific field of science and independently develop a project. I enjoy the class, but I wish I had the opportunity to be in the lab more often.”

Overall, while some students are not happy with the restrictions placed on their projects, many are grateful that they still have the opportunity to work on a project of their choice, even if they need to modify it for the time being.