Synopsys guideline change announced


Katherine Zhang

Students attend a workshop held by Research Club on Sept. 27 in physics and science research teacher Chris Spenner’s room. Proposals for projects done in research institutions are due tomorrow.

by Helen Yang, Aquila Asst. STEM Editor

The upper school science department will judge student research projects and select up to 30 to sponsor for the 2018 Synopsys Science Fair, due to a new set of regulations.

Synopsys is a regional competition for middle and high school students from Santa Clara County and challenges individuals and teams to answer questions in various fields of STEM by conducting project-based research. Outstanding projects are entered to compete in national and international competitions, such as the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

This year, changes in Synopsys regulations have prompted a new application process. Students enrolled in research courses, such as Research Methods or Advanced Research, are exempt from the new application process, while a panel of Harker science faculty will select 30 projects to sponsor among all of the other Synopsys applicants.

Because of a limit on the number of projects a teacher can sponsor, science faculty will work with accepted applicants in order to decide who will become each project’s sponsor.

“I think because of the added competition, people will be more motivated to submit cleaner projects,” Cindy Wang (11) said. “It definitely makes it harder for [new students], as it’s their first year competing with students who’ve done this in previous years, and if they don’t make the cut they might be deterred in later years.”

Detailed research plans are due to biology teacher Dr. Gary Blickenstaff at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow for projects conducted at registered research institutions and on Oct. 23 for projects conducted at Harker or without mentorship.

Synopsys Fair Week will begin on March 18 next year, when accepted applicants will showcase their research projects to judges.