North Carolina Newspapers

    NCSSM Track Team Finishes
Third at States : page 7
How to Get Into an
Ivy League College:
Page 5
Whars In sum
tor S6AP: Pane 2
the north Carolina school of science and mathematics 1219 broad street, durham nc 27705
May 2005
with others. The presentations
were organized into five dif-
20th Annual
Research Symposium
& Grandparents’
Emme Johnston
N CSSM hosted its 20th
Annual Research
Symposium on April
22nd. The event, coinciding
with NCSSM’s Grandparents
Day, featured student presen
tations and an announcement
of an important new collabo
ration between IBM and the
NCSSM students
involved with different
research programs and class
es, such as the specific science
research classes and the
NCSSM Mentorship program,
prepared presentations in
order to share their research
s present!
ferent sessions, with approxi
mately ten presentations going
on during each session. These
presentations took place in the
Bryan classrooms and the
ETC. Each presentation was
introduced by a student in the
NCSSM community and most
included a PowerPoint presen
tation followed by a question
and answer session.
The students shared their
research in a clear and concise
manner, and answered ques
tions knowledgeably on a
wide variety of subjects. This
broad range of topics included
research in the life sciences,
physical sciences, and com
puter science, as well as math
ematical and social science
research. NCSSM’s Robotics
Team 900 also presented its
award-winning robot.
Each presentation con
cluded with the students
explaining where the research
could be taken next. Many
seniors hope to continue their
research in college; juniors
have plans to continue their
research at NCSSM next year.
Prior to the Research
Symposium, NCSSM cele
brated Grandparents Day with
a picnic lunch on Bryan Lawn.
After a short speech welcom
ing everyone, the assembled
crowd moved en masse
towards the picnic tables
weighted with a barbeque
luncheon provided by the
Development Division.
Did Trimesters Really Kill Your Puppy?
Kristoph Kleiner
& Ying Liu
T rimesters killed my
puppy.” Tan t-shirts
sporting this logo were
sold by 3rd West, clearly stat
ing their collective feelings
"about the trimester system.
The administration believes
that the trimester has been an
overall success, but this t-shirt
begs to differ. Although it
only reflects the opinion of
one hall of about thirty guys,
how does their opinion com
pare to that of the faculty and
students as a whole? A survey
conducted at the end of the
2nd trimester sheds some light
on faculty and student opin
ions of the trimester.
When the administration
set out to create the trimester
system, it had ten objectives
that included more course
choices, a healthier lifestyle,
more free time, and more
research opportunities for stu
dents, as well as fewer classes
for teachers. The administra
tion believes that it has met the
majority of these goals.
Students seem to have more
time and more classes to
choose from, and teachers
seem to be teaching fewer
A series of surveys com
paring 2004 juniors to 2005
juniors and 2004 seniors to
2005 seniors found that satis
faction with classroom instruc
tion, class variety, number and
kinds of assignments, grading
procedures, and value of the
work basically stayed the same
from the semester system to
the trimester system. Both
2004 and 2005 seniors and
2005 juniors found that it was
harder to get requested classes,
but in this year’s survey, the
level of dissatisfaction rose
significantly. 2005 seniors
also had higher dissatisfaction
with the pace of instruction
compared to 2004 seniors.
However, the most strik
ing change amongst students is
the munber of free periods per
day. On the least demanding
day, senior free periods went
from 3.3 to 4.1 with the
trimester. Juniors saw an
increase of 1.9 to 3.3 on their
Titrt t^f-*** t
Ellie Norton
Christian Estes sports the “Trimesters killed my puppy” t-shirt
least demanding days. Keep in a very marked effect on the
mind that these surveys were
taken in March, not during 1st
trimester, when jimiors were
required to only take 4 classes.
Even with all the free time,
tutorial attendance has not
increased significantly and
still remains below 0.5 nights
a week on average for all sub
Ryan Neely, a member of
the Student Improvement
Group, commented on the
changes this year. “It was the
consensus of the student mem
bers of SIG that the switch
from semester to trimester had
work ethic of the juniors at
NCSSM.” He added that
“having the trimester, we
foimd that the juniors were not
as challenged as we were last
year. This did not instill the
academic vigor that S & M
should hold.”
As for teachers, the num
ber of students taught per
semester has gone down, but
the number of new courses
taught has increased.
Although teachers are spend
ing less time outside of class
grading and working, they are
“Puppy,“ continued on page 2
NCSSM Says Farewell to Deans
Margaret Yim
T his year has seen the
beginning of many
changes, and it seems
next year will look the same as
we bid adieu to two of our
three deans. Tom Trocano,
Dean of Science, and Jo Ann
Lutz, Dean of Mathematics,
will be leaving NCSSM at the
end of this school year, each
for reasons of their own.
Mr. Trocano, NCSSM
Dean of Science for three
years, will be moving to
Philadelphia, where his wife
has been offered many oppor
tunities which Trocano
believes will be “in the best
interest of the family.” He
went on to say that he has rel
atives up in the area, and that
he is a Northerner in the first
place, so it is not too drastic of
a change.
However, he did profess
his love for the school, claim
ing “the only person who
could drag me out, did. He
has loved the NCSSM experi
ence, and praises the school
for its unique environment for
the growth of students. “I’ve
taught at other places, and
answering questions that make
him or her think.
Trocano also notes the
great colleagues that he had
the opportunity to work with.
“Their expertise, dedication.
Jo Ann Lutz
Tom Trocano
[NCSSM] is a different
experience.” He believes that
at NCSSM, he has an opportu
nity to work with some of the
best students in the state, if not
the country. Here, instead of
spending most of class time on
class management, he can
focus on teaching in a way that
energizes the students, making
the material come alive, and
and knowledge are motivating.
I wish that more kids had
opportimities like this.”
Speaking on the pros and
cons to being a dean, Trocano
says that he has enjoyed the
opportunity to shape the
department, even if it is a slow
process. He once again
acknowledged his colleagues
as “21 of the most amazing
instructors.” One of the few
disadvantages to being a dean,
in Trocano’s case, is that the
responsibility of being a dean
impacts his ability to interact
with the students, and he
believes that it is the interac
tion that makes teaching and
working in the field of educa
tion special.
Trocano says that he will
miss NCSSM tremendously
and that he hopes to maintain
the relationships that he has
here, with both students and
staff. Looking at the changes
that have occurred this year
and at the future of NCSSM,
he says that NCSSM has
grown tremendously as an
institution, and that all these
adjustments are being made to
better serve the students. He
went on to proclaim that his
decision to leave was in no
way influenced by the
trimester system or the other
“Deans,” continusd on Page 3

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