Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Dec. 1, 2011

Blair initiates Science National Honor Society

by Saaraa Farooq, Online News Editor
This November, Blair introduced its fifth honor society, the Science National Honor Society (SNHS). It is co-sponsored by Forensics and Organic Chemistry teacher Megan Dieckman, and John Haigh, who teaches several science classes and leads Blairís Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy. Senior Sherman Leung, president of the SNHS, created the chapter to recognize and honor students who excel in the sciences.

Senior Sherman Leung created Blair's chapter of the Science National Honor Society Courtesy of Science National Honors Society
Senior Sherman Leung created Blair's chapter of the Science National Honor Society
Leung, Haigh and Dieckman began forming the SNHS in October, but the applications to join the society were released earlier this month. Membership requirements include having a 3.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all science classes and a 3.0 cumulative GPA. "We are hoping that this Honor society will act as a sort of 'carrot' that encourages students to receive and keep a 3.5 GPA in the sciences and do extra-curricular activities," Haigh said. "We both hope to have a strong, student-led program for years to come."

Leung emphasized that the SNHS application is available to all Blazers and that the society is not geared toward students in a specific program or academy. "SNHS is really open any student that meets the requirements and has an interest in science," he said. "Because I knew that it wouldn't take much to motivate the Magnet students, I focused my efforts on advertising AP science teachers and making sure that all students were encouraged to join."

Society members will be required to attend meetings during lunch periods and will participate in a number of activities, such as peer tutoring, volunteering, presenting research projects and attending lectures. Dieckman believes these events and activities will keep students motivated and encourage others to join the club. "I think that SNHS has the capacity to help students in a variety of ways," she said. "For example, peer tutoring helps both the student who is struggling with a concept, but also helps the tutor reinforce the concepts he/she is teaching to himself/herself. A quote I believe is true is that, 'Teaching is the highest form of understanding' (Aristotle)."

Leung hopes to involve more Blair students in science and Magnet events through peer tutoring, research and volunteer activities. "I intend SNHS to have a strong focus in research through the presentation of research lectures by students and guest speakers," Leung said. "As a result, meetings will consist mainly of these research lectures along with the announcements of any SNHS-related activities."

Although the club will be run by student officers and is based on student participation, Dieckman and Haigh will guide students and support society members. "I have helped coordinate room space, with the collection of the applications and with editing documents," Dieckman said. "[I] attend meetings, I will attend the sixth period meeting and Mr. Haigh, the co-sponsor, will attend the fifth period meetings, help organize events and sign ups, if needed, and edit documents."

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