A trip to the Stony Brook University library allowed a group of Huntington High School students enrolled in an Advanced Placement Research course to take their studies to a new level.
The class “allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem or issue of individual interest,” according to a course overview. “Through this exploration students design, plan and conduct a year-long research-based investigation to address a research question.”
The AP Research course is the second in the two-part Advanced Place Capstone program. The research course allows students to build on the skills they gained in an earlier AP Seminar class “by understanding research methodology, employing ethical research practices, and accessing, analyzing and synthesizing information as they address a research question,” according to an overview. “Students explore their skill development, document their processes, and curate the artifacts of the development of their scholarly work in a portfolio.”
Stony Brook’s library is one of the largest in the state and is utilized by college students and community members pursuing degrees on the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels as well as engaging in their own personal or professional research.
Huntington English teacher Steven Kroll.
Senior Francine Nastasi called the trip to the Stony Brook library a “great experience.” Senior Lauren White agreed, saying it “opened our eyes to new research tools.”
Huntington English teacher Steven Kroll accompanied his students to the college campus and helped maximize their learning experience. Mr. Kroll teaches the AP Research course while his department colleague, Dianna Molenko provides the instruction for the AP Seminar class.
“It was great to meet the Huntington students,” Stony Brook librarian Dr. Kathleen Kasten said. “I was so impressed by their enthusiasm and by the thoughtfulness of their research topics. The capstone seems like such an interesting course. It’s a great opportunity for students to encounter the academic research process.” Dr. Kasten heads the library’s humanities and social sciences sections.
The AP Research course culminates with an academic paper of about 4,000 to 5,000 words (accompanied by a performance or exhibition of product where applicable) and a presentation complete with an oral defense. It’s a challenge for anyone of any age, but the Huntington teenagers will be well prepared when it comes time to complete the task.
“We were able to get the real college experience,” said senior Gaia D’Anna about the trip to Stony Brook. The teenagers fit in perfectly at the library and worked seamlessly alongside college students.
“I’m proud of the work the students and teachers Dianna Molenko and Steven Kroll are doing in bringing this unique experience to Huntington High School,” said Joseph Leavy, district chairman of humanities, 7-12.
The Huntington contingent felt their time at the college was well spent. “Stony Brook’s advanced databases gave us very specific information,” junior Luke Farrell said.
If Mr. Kroll decides to head east again in the coming weeks, he will make his class happy. “Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to go back and do more research on our narrowed-down topics,” senior Casey Moskowitz said.
Class members are finding value in the course content. “The students in AP Research are so talented and enthusiastic and I am very happy to work with them during their research process,” Mr. Kroll said.