Last school year, two juniors attending William A. Shine Great Neck South High School, Aram Baghdassarian and Jesse Smith, created a website on which high school students can share the science research that they conduct throughout the year in their school’s science research program. The site, www.scicademy.org, aims to be a collective database of science research papers, which are typically the cumulative assignments of the science research programs for schools. Although it became available to the public back in February, Scicademy.org already has two research papers published in its database.
The idea behind the website stemmed from an experience that Baghdassarian, one of the co-ounders, had at a science fair. He had done what he thought to be novel and game-changing research: The Effects of Music on Memory. In the midst of the fair, multiple high school research students approached him saying that they conducted very similar research projects. Determined not to make the same mistake again, Baghdassarian searched for some place where high school students could share their research so that multiple researchers do not conduct the same project. Seeing that it did not exist, Baghdassarian set out to create it.
One prominent concern among users of the site is the research’s reputability. “The theory is that if they’ve written a paper, then it was likely for a school assignment that a school research teacher has already checked,” said Baghdassarian.
High school researchers go through a simple process on www.scicademy.org to submit their papers. Once submitted, the work is published online under a Creative Commons License. This provides an opportunity for young researchers to get a sense of what publication is like in the real research world. People are then able to access this archive of work when searching for topics online, and this work can even be cited by other researchers.
“Think of all the high school students that conduct research and write papers on that research annually—now imagine what the world would be like if that research wasn’t just left on a hard drive and forgotten about once the year ended but rather shared with the public, just as professional research is,” said Baghdassarian, explaining the potential impact that this database could have in the future.
To find out more about this database, visit www.scicademy.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.