Q: What are the benefits of guided research as a part of a science, technology, engineering, math and medical education?
A: “Part of it is that students don’t really learn what science is in traditional classes,” says Bob Shurtz, director of STEMM at Hawken School. “You need a good background in basic principles of biology, chemistry and physics, but you’re really learning about what has already been discovered in science and you’re not really learning what science is in a traditional class. The guided research experience gives students a chance to learn what science actually is as a discipline; to get exposure in experimental design and hypothesis testing, and also seeing that actually on a day-to-day basis, science often doesn’t proceed in a nice linear way. Students can learn from that and later be able to come up with their own questions in figuring out how to design experiments themselves.”