The Science, Innovation, & Design Signature (SID) Program makes its mark as the premiere collaborative, interdisciplinary initiative that allows students to pursue independent research projects on scientific topics of interest.
With Director Dr. Frank Gasparro at the helm, the program has grown exponentially since its inception. Students perform cutting-edge research that enhances curious minds while being provided the opportunity to work with high-tech lab equipment on campus.
This year, 14 Upper School students are in the process of developing projects while a group of Middle School students under the advisement of science teacher Paulomi Aldo are also working on endeavors. This is a record number of student projects for the program, according to Dr. Gasparro.
“The program encourages students to be innovative, inventive, and to really think outside the box,” commented Dr. Gasparro. “All these students are exceptional learners, and I look forward to seeing what they put forward.”
Students have the opportunity to submit their projects to state-wide fairs including the Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair.
As part of a recent guest speaker lecture that was coordinated by the SID program, Upper School students were treated to a presentation titled Creating a Resilient Future: New Haven’s Climate Challenge by Giovanni Zinn, an engineer with the City of New Haven. His job is to help create infrastructure plans that curb the extreme weather emergencies that affect the city. During his presentation, Mr. Zinn spoke on the threat of rising sea levels, increasingly violent hurricanes, and downpours. He addressed how the team of city planners are working on coastal protection initiatives around New Haven.
The City Planning Committee has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Save the Sound, and Urban Resource Initiative for the hands-on work necessary for the infrastructure projects. In development are drainage systems for the Greater Downtown area, constructing a flood wall across I-95, building a pipe network and pump station that can handle enormous amounts of water, and gates that can shut to prevent street flooding during storms.
Mr. Zinn noted that other reconstruction projects include updating redevelopment standards to match the rising sea levels and overall storm water management. He emphasized that the city will protect the existing infrastructure, and the new updates will mitigate the climate change crisis.
“We must be resilient in the fight against climate change,” commented Mr. Zinn. “It is worthwhile to not only create a greener, better-connected city; but a safe and protected city.
The guest lecture presentation is part of the Community Project component of the SID program. In conjunction with the presentation, Dr. Gasparro will be hosting a movie night showing of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore. With the two fall activities and one in the planning process for the spring, the goal is to bring the community together to learn and discuss science-related issues.
“The presentation and documentary are vehicles to bring to light the impact and effects of climate change,” said Dr. Gasparro. “I hope the takeaway for students is that they can be the catalyst for change and be more energy efficient in their daily lives.”