The students of the Sigma Xi Honors Research Society have long been studying and creating various investigative science studies during their time in the honors society. As a way to publish and share their findings with the school, they recently established the American Heritage Plantation Scientific Journal.
“[The journal will contain] abstracts, or really short project summaries, from the research that our kids do at school. But it’s also meant to educate people on research and big topics in science that’s currently taking place, such as discoveries in biotechnology,” senior and president of Sigma Xi Eniya Krishnaraj said. “Other than the competitions we go to, the students never really get to present their work. It’s a way for other people to see what we do because the students do some amazing projects with cancer and diabetes and things like that.”
“The people who pushed for it were Hershey Rajpal and Emily Pallack, who graduated last year; they got the ball rolling,” Ms. Joykutty said. “… the person who has done most of the work for getting it all together was Eniya. She’s been working very hard trying to collect articles and format the magazine with everybody. She’s taking the brunt of it, along with help from [juniors] Roshni Mishra, Angelin Mathew and Illiana Bennett.”
Sigma Xi had a certain vision for how they wanted their journal to present itself. They took inspiration from peer-reviewed magazines, such as “Scientific American” and “American Scientist.” However, this science magazine isn’t as technical since they want to appeal to students rather than seasoned scientists. Each member of Sigma Xi contributed to the journal by writing an article including topics such as the research program’s trips to competitions and major current topics in science.
Along with abstracts and articles written by students, the magazine will also have briefs on senior Sigma Xi members as well as reviews on current events in science and interviews with scientists.
“The theme of our first issue is ‘Project Alive,’ so we have an interview with Ms. Estevez and information about Hunter’s Syndrome. Science is not only about lab work. It’s also about communication and communicating that information to the general public,” Ms. Joykutty said.
Sigma Xi is planning on printing 150 copies of the journal and selling it for five dollars, with three dollars being donated to Project Alive with each purchase, during the middle of October.
“I think that research is considered a very difficult thing to do because it involves so many hours; it takes a special kind of student to want to do research. With this magazine, they’re trying to make it known that research is accessible. It’s possible to do it,” Ms. Joykutty said.