LabTales 2011, Number 3: Raspberry Ketone Analogs - Growing Independence

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by Alex High

Many people today question the maturity of high school students. Because of this, high school teachers feel that they need to closely monitor everything their students do in class and do not let them work independently. I speak from personal experience when I say that college is too late to start letting students learn with limited guidance. Through my independent research project this year, I learned that high schoolers can accomplish huge tasks and projects that are put before them, even if they do not have a teacher helping them every step of the way.

Starting out in the second semester in my senior year, I had my doubts about the task my chemistry teacher placed before me: to conduct an independent research project on a topic with a partner while receiving limited guidance from our teacher. After a couple weeks of checking every step of our work with Raspberry Ketone Analogs carefully with our professor Dr. Murray however, my partner and I found that we were quickly learning the skills we needed to be successful in the lab.

We could go days without checking with Dr. Murray, and if we needed help, we knew that we could go to our classmates for assistance. Through this project, I have developed important problem solving skills and have learned that I can teach myself with only limited contact with a teacher. These skills will help me become a more independent adult and be more successful in the future.

Next year, I plan to attend Albion College to study Marine Biology, which will also require the valuable skills I have learned in Chemistry this year.