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Watchung Hills Regional High School


Science Clubs

Students at the Hills have participated in a vast array of competitions and events with great success, further solidifying our position as one of the best Science Programs in the State of New Jersey. Below is a brief description of the clubs that are offered.

Science Clubs and Enrichment Opportunities

Robotics: WHRHS competes in the US First Robotics Competition. Students build a functioning robot to compete in trials that include such challenges as placing a large beach ball through a hoop or stacking objects while racing around a track. We enter two regional competitions and through a generous grant from the community Foundation, attend the national competition in Atlanta. Over the last five years we have placed first in a NY regional competition and won a number of recognitions at the Nationals.

Experimental Research Design: This course of study allows students to pursue independent experimental science research. Students learn principles of research and apply them to one particular project. Some of the projects extend from summer enrichment opportunities such as the RutgersWaksman Student Scholars, Astrophysics and Princeton Plasma Physics programs.

Waksman Student Scholars: Students engage in DNA sequencing of model organisms such as duckweed. Part of this study involves wet chemistry that includes mini preps, running electroscopes gels and confirming inserts and plasma vectors. Through a software program called DSAP, students actually publish their sequences on the NCBI site of the NIH for the scientific community.

Rutgers Astrophysics: Students use software tools to infer the activity of distant celestial objects such as Brown Cepheids, neutron stars and entire galaxies. Students present their data in a poster forum to colleagues and instructors.

Science League: Students enter regional testing competitions in the areas of biology, chemistry and physics.

Chemistry Olympiad: Students compete in a written and performance based chemistry test in this statewide competition.

Biology Olympiad: Advanced Placement Biology students can take a written test administered by the Center for Excellence in Education. Top performers are invited to take a semifinal exam, and the top 20 scorers nationally attend a program to develop lab skills and more academic content leading to a final exam. The top 4 students at this level are selected to represent the US in international competition.

Environthon: Students participate in an overnight state wide competition in a State Forest or similar facility to assess the local environment for parameters such as wildlife, soil type, climate, forest structure and aquatic characterization.

Partners in Science: Students are assigned to a mentor scientist from a state university or private corporation and engage in a research project that they present to peers and instructors at the end of the summer.

Environmental Club: Students are engaged in a leadership position to help shape and observe a green theme in the school and community. Over the past several years, this club has promoted paper recycling, biodegradable paperware in the cafeteria, collection of soda cans/water bottles and the recycling of ink cartridges.