Science students spend their summer hoping to get ahead |

Science students spend their summer hoping to get ahead

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Members of a summer discoveries program at Carson High School listen to an astronomy lecture at the Jack C. Davis Observatory on Saturday evening.

With the start of the new school year still more than a month away, most incoming freshman haven’t even thought about what they want to accomplish in high school.

But for 25 soon-to-be ninth graders, not only have they thought about it, they’ve already taken the first step.

The students are part of the discovery science class offered over the summer by Carson High School science teacher Jim Bean. The four-week class runs daily from 7:30-10:50 a.m. and will cover several areas of science including chemistry, physics, astronomy and environmental science.

“We offered it to give advanced science students the opportunity to take the introductory class during the summer and advance a year when they start in the fall,” Bean said.

By advancing a year, the students can take more specialized and advanced science classes during their high school career and be better prepared for college. To take part in the class, students must have excellent grades and a recommendation from their science teacher.

Also, because of the smaller size the students can participate in more lab activities.

“They studied power and how much energy or calories are burned for different activities,” Bean said. “You burn .18 pounds by running up and down stairs three times. Some of them were really depressed by that.”

Saturday night the students were putting their physics work to practical use by visiting the observatory on the campus of Western Nevada College. They saw the observatory’s telescopes and magnetometer, which the students use to collect data about the changes in the earth’s magnetic field.

CHS is one of 10 schools nationwide working in cooperation with the University of California, Berkeley and NASA to collect data about the magnetic field.

While Bean hopes the class will get students interested in science and involved with the science department, the students see it as a way to get to take the classes that will help them in their future careers.

“I’m taking it so I can skip ahead into biology and take physics as a junior. I want to be a pilot so physics is going to be important,” said Andrew Jones, 14.

Shruti Arun, 14, said she wants to begin taking advanced science classes before she gets to college.

“I’m going to need the sciences because I want to go into architecture, so it’s good to take them now,” she said.

No matter what the reason, Bean hopes the class has an effect on the students.

“I’m hoping they have more appreciation for science. I want it to intensify their desire to learn about science or if they don’t have one, I hope it ignites their curiosity,” Bean said.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.