Woodstock inducts science honors society members
by Michelle Babcock
November 21, 2013 09:53 PM | 3195 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Woodstock High School juniors Silvana Bravo, Parth Patel, Alexandra Melehan, Madeline Shepard and Adrea Mueller are part of the 31 students recently inducted into the Science National Honor Society. Above: They work on a group project during a science research class Thursday. <br> Staff/Todd Hull
Woodstock High School juniors Silvana Bravo, Parth Patel, Alexandra Melehan, Madeline Shepard and Adrea Mueller are part of the 31 students recently inducted into the Science National Honor Society. Above: They work on a group project during a science research class Thursday.
Staff/Todd Hull
WOODSTOCK — A passion for science helped 31 students at Woodstock High School claim spots Monday in the first chapter of the Science National Honors Society to be formed in a Cherokee County school.

To be a member of the society, students have to complete or be enrolled in an advanced placement science course, and must maintain a GPA of 3.5 in science classes and a 3.0 overall, out of 4 possible points.

Dr. Paul Weir, Woodstock High School principal, said the new opportunity at the school is the result of great students and science teachers as well as expanding science and mathematics course offerings.

“It’s those kids that do well in school, score well, have a passion for science, and want to extend their involvement with science, the science curriculum and studying beyond the classroom,” Weir said. “This is good for kids, and we love being at the front-end of new things.”

Weir said students who were inducted into the honors society will get the chance to visit conventions and events conducted by the Science NHS, allowing for a wider range of educational opportunities.

He said the reason Woodstock High School was successful in creating a chapter of the Science NHS is because of the dedicated and hardworking students who are determined to make it a success.

“If you’ve got those kids, which all of our high schools do, then I surely see it as an option that they could take on at some point,” he said of other high schools creating their own chapters in the future.

The Woodstock High School chapter of the Science National Honors Society was started by science teacher Jennifer Forsyth, who teaches a science research course where students can choose their own experiments based on their individual scientific interests.

Forsyth has been teaching science for 17 years, seven of those at Woodstock High School, and she said she decided to start the Science NHS chapter after seeing enthusiasm for science in her students.

“I knew we had kids out there that were science kids and could benefit from this,” Forsyth said.

Two 11th-grade students in the Science NHS at Woodstock, Adrea Mueller and Alexandra Melehan, are co-presidents of the chapter and said one of their favorite aspects of being part of the society is the opportunity to share their love for science with younger students as part of the family science events put on by the school.

The family science events allow the Woodstock Science NHS members to visit elementary schools that feed into the high school and share their love of science with students there.

Mueller said she loves science because her curiosity fits in well with the scientific community, and she loves sharing that with other students.

She wants to be a clinical and forensic pathologist and said that sharing science with young people is important to her.

“Our family science nights are directed toward teaching kids to love science at a young age,” Mueller said. “We are having little lab experiments at each elementary school for each grade level.”

Melehan is a member of the Science Olympiad team and wants to be a biomedical engineer. She said sharing that passion with elementary school students is important because she wasn’t exposed to a lot of science at a young age.

“It’s a really good opportunity to spread the love for science throughout the community,” she said. “Really just helping younger kids get involved with science is important, because I know I didn’t really have experience with that in elementary school.”

A lot of students in the Science NHS learned about the opportunity through having Forsyth as a teacher. Many have taken AP science classes or participated in the research class she teaches.

Silvana Bravo, another 11th-grade student and vice president of the Science NHS, said she’s taken Forsyth for science classes every year.

“When she mentioned starting a Science National Honors Society at Woodstock High School, I just knew that was the best fit,” Bravo said.

Bravo said science, specifically biology, is her biggest passion, and the opportunity to be in the Science NHS was “just perfect” for her. Her passion started when she was young, she said.

“I was probably about 7 or 6 when I got my first chemistry set,” she said, explaining how she used the chemistry set to practice biology instead. “I used it to dig up dirt and find insects”

Bravo said that biology is her favorite field, and she wants to become either a doctor or an ecohydrologist.

Like Mueller and Melehan, Bravo said her favorite part of the society is the opportunity to participate in family science events.

Madeline Shepard and Parth Patel, 11th-grade students in the society, agreed family science events are a highlight of participating in the Science NHS. Shepard said she loves kids and science, and wants to be an environmental journalist. Shepard and Bravo, who are good friends, led the school’s environmental club last year.

Patel, secretary for the Science NHS, said that he’s involved in the technology and environmental clubs at school, and he wants to change the world.

“I thought about politics but I think there’s too much corruption in politics, so what better way to do it than through science,” Patel said. “I’ve always been interested in science.”

At Woodstock High, Patel is now researching how to reduce oil contamination in freshwater soil systems. He wants to be a biomedical engineer and he loves sharing science with others.

“A lot of little kids don’t see this side of science until they get older, and through family science night and things like that, we showcase how cool science can be and it really applies to everything around them,” Patel said.

Forsyth and Weir are proud of the Woodstock students, and see more prospects opening up as the program continues to grow.

Dr. Scott Nowak, a biology professor at Kennesaw State University, spoke at the induction ceremony Monday, and Forsyth said she hopes to create a partnership with the university to give more opportunities to her students.

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