Psych fair allows for hands on experience

Ivanka Northrop

Staff Writer

Prospect’s Psych fair is held every year during second semester. Students in Psychology 2 only, which is made up of mostly seniors and some juniors, spend a month working on their projects that are worth 20 percent of their overall grade.

The students choose a topic they have learned about in class and then have to conduct experiments during the fair.

It is extremely interactive because the Psych students have to do on-the-spot research by using Prospect students as their test subjects. Every booth will have surveys or experiments in which the students walking through the fair will get to take part. Psychology teacher Jay Heilman says that in order to meet his quota, students must have collected data from 300 Prospect students.

“They really learn the cooperation,” said Heilman. “They’re [going to] really learn a lot on Friday of what it feels like to be a teacher because they are standing all day, they are having to put on a smiley face all day, they are having to teach about their topic in addition to gathering their data.”

The fair will take place this Friday, April 11, in Gym one. It happens during the day, so the students can come in at any time through periods one to seven.

Heilman said that the Psych fair is a great experience for the students because it teaches them all of the ins and outs of conducting research. They have to come up with a research proposal, make a backdrop, think through the scientific method, gather data, analyze their data, and of course, actually put on the fair. Heilman has been doing the Psych fair for seven out of the 14 years.

The other reason why Prospect does the Psych fair is because it really helps to publicize the subject of Psychology.

“I get a lot of students enroll in Psych because they don’t really know what that is prior to maybe coming to Prospect,” said Heilman. “Then they go to the fair, and they see all the different types of booths and the different types of topics we talk about, and it really builds enrollment for Psych 2, for regular Psych, and AP Psych.”

Many of Heilman’s students are looking forward to seeing people‚Äôs reactions and doing the experiments.

“I’m just kind of excited to see what it feels like to be on the other side of the poster board,” said Psychology student Alexandra Chmielewski. “I’ve gone to it and it’s fun to go for a period, but I think it’s a little nerve-wracking to do it the whole day.”

AP Psych students play an interesting role in the fair. Their job is to be judges of three categories: teaching, the backdrop, and the overall quality of the booth.

On Friday students will also be wearing the Psych t-shirts that they designed. Many times, the design is actually student submitted art. They take a vote ahead of time on what style of t-shirt they like the best, and then show their involvement in the fair by wearing them.

“They really get that unique experience of not just sitting back and passively learning. They’re a huge, huge part of it,” said Heilman.