Science Fairs Thrive In Westport

In the 1950s, it was Sputnik.  In the 2010s, it’s science fairs.  Both are symbols of America losing its competitive edge.

Both President Obama and the New York Times have weighed in on the declining numbers of, and interest in, science fairs — those rites of education in which students devise experiments, create posters, and try to impress judges with their diligent work.

As so often happens, Westport is bucking the trend.

Science fairs — all of science education, really — is alive and well in a town that more often celebrates financial wizardry, artistic endeavors and sports.

A fair that began as a tiny gathering in the Staples library several years ago has mushroomed into an event that draws more than 300 student exhibitors from 4 schools, judges and guests.  Last week, science research students participated in what’s now called the Southern Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair — the gateway to an international competition.

Jackson Yang took behavioral science 1st place for his work on “The Effect of Volume of Background Music on Cognitive Task Performance.”  Yuri Lenskiy finished 1st in physical science for “Modeling an Optimal Receiver for a Binary Quantum Channel Using Information Theory.”

Other students received awards for projects like “The Effect of Over-Expression of E-Cadherin on Megakaryocyte Differentiation” (Isabel Baker); “Multicolored Quantum Dot-Based Light-Emitting Diodes Utilizing Highly Monodisperse CdSe/ZnS/Shell Nanocrystals” (Robert Mahieu) and (this one I understand) “Memory and Recollection of Goldfish” (Matt Smith).

Joseph Yang demonstrates a model of a Turing machine to Staples classmates Jack Rosenberg and Corey Werner at the 11th annual Southern Connecticut Invitational Science & Engineering Fair last weekend. (Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time)

Congressman Jim Hines addressed the student scientists.  He called America’s science and engineering standing “now deep in the pack.  We are junior varsity, and that must change.”

Staples already has a varsity, resembling the best that can be found on the soccer or football field.  A 3-year Science Research Program — led by Dr. Nick Morgan and Dr. Michele Morse — provides students with unparalleled opportunities to unearth a problem, find a mentor, hone research skills, and discover answers (or, perhaps, more questions).

Students in the rigorous course enter prestigious competitions, sponsored by the likes of Siemens and Intel.  (Staples has had international, $150,000 winners.)

There are also subject-specific contests, like those for Young Epidemiology Scholars.

After review and certification of the Science Research Program, Morgan and Morse are now adjunct professors at the University of Albany.  Their Staples students can earn up to 12 college credits through the college.

Middle school students also compete in science fairs.  A district-wide event was held last week at Coleytown.  Those students also plan to enter 2 upcoming competitions:  the Invention Convention, and the Siemens Environmental Challenge.

Dr. A.J. Scheetz, Westport science coordinator for grades 6-12, sees science fairs as part of the effort to expand STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — education throughout the district.  Other initiatives include the development of new computer programming courses at Staples, and reconfiguring the middle school science showcase.

The biggest hole, Scheetz says, is engineering.  A group of students excel in robotics — they’ve won international awards — but more can be done.  “We’d like to see experiences in engineering become normative experiences for all Westport students,” Scheetz says.

If so, perhaps one day a Staples grad will design the 21st-century version of Sputnik.

Then again, she may still be in high school when she does.

76 responses to “Science Fairs Thrive In Westport

  1. The Dude Abides

    Nice story. And here I was preempted by my father building that volcano for me in 8th grade. This is some serious stuff. Far beyond my feeble brain. I watched a documentary on JFK the other night and heard his cries for the need on an emphasis of math/science in our schools. Here 50 years later, we, once again, hear the roar. Did our educators get distracted or was the demand not there?? Seems to be some serious lack of vision on somebody’s part. Me, law school. Dime a dozen. Make that a quarter.

  2. Staples only requires two years of science, but three years of phys ed. Ridiculous. Thankfully there are highly motivated kids who go far and beyond the minimum requirements.

  3. Maybe that is state law on the two years . . . liberal arts majors
    at colleges only need one science to graduate . . . like the P.E.
    requirement . . . if you are curing cancer, not much good if you
    drop dead of a heart attack at 42 cuz of obesity.

    • So the state prohibits more than two years of science? I don’t think so. We can make three years of science a graduation requirement.

      • The Dude Abides

        I think the state has a two year minimum. Sure it can and should be upped. Remember though that many, including myself, are English-History folks and not science inclined. I had two years (Bio/Chemistry) at Staples and it was plenty.

        • That “I’m not science-inclined” argument is exactly what has put America so far back in the pack. Our students have been afforded the luxury of being English-History folks. You want kids to go to school 240 days a year, just like the Japanese. What exactly do you thing those Japanese kids are doing for 240 days a year? Studying math and science.

          • The Dude Abides

            Since when is education a race? Are we now in a hurry to educate only scientists so that we can do what? Rule the world? I don’t believe English-History training is a luxury. I had 14 years of it past high school and contributed to society. The Japanese and Germans may be educating more teachers and writers as well as engineers. And I do think the school year should be longer but to the extent to raise up the lower level of students. Staples is not the State. Mandate 3 years or more of science and the already too high drop out rates in inner city New Haven and Bridgeport schools will skyrocket. I agree with the commentator below who mentioned that science needs to be focused on the middle school kids or younger. According to a new resident from India, that is not happening. Bedford Middle is well behind those of his native country.

          • Education may not be a race, but there is a global competition for jobs, and the qualifications for success in that competition have changed over the last 40 years. Turning out a few thousand sociology majors probably won’t help in the competition. As long as we are spending scarce resources, why not spend them in a manner that produces graduates who are capable of competing in a global market.

          • Are you kidding me? Himes was the one who said we are “deep in the pack.” Obama’s response to NCLB? “Race to the Top.” So yeah, the bosses have now determined that education is indeed a race. When I say “we” I am not talking about state requirements I’m talking about Westport requirements. Do you think Westport’s high school graduation requirements are equal to the state of Connecticut minimums? State requires 22 credits; Westport requires 25. Westport can and does go beyond the minimum; Westport better if it expects our taxpayers to continue to fund one of the most expensive school systems in the state. Westport can do far more good by changing/improving the curriculum, at all levels, then by babysitting kids an extra two months a year. And last of all, do you think kids in New Haven and Bridgeport actually drop out of school because it is too hard?

          • There were curriculm changes made at a BOE meeting on December 14, 2009. You might want to take a look at the BOE minutes. There is attached to the minutes a letter from Landon explaining why the changes are being made.

          • The Dude Abides

            Well Hines and our President better talk to the teacher unions. That race is gonna take some rabbitts to lead. Anonymous brings up a good point as to competition for jobs but quite honestly, the computer brains seem to be running to California to initate new social networks. I know that most kids drop out of school because they find school boring and to many, including me, math/science is boring. For fifty years, Westport has tried to rationalize high taxes for cutting edge education. Some believe, others don’t. Still like the longer school year. 180 days ain’t hacking it nationwide.

  4. The Science Research 3-year program at Staples is among the very best course offerings there. It teaches students how to think about problems, identify key issues, and then how to solve them. Sounds obvious, but it’s far from that. The students are served exceptionally well by learning to identify a problem, develop methodology for testing hypotheses, contact authorities and write coherent reports on their work. Its wonderful teachers (Dr Scheetz, who began the program, included) become mentors as as valuable as coaches are to athletes. The process the students learn can be used in so many other aspects of life. Good for Westport for supporting this great curriculum!

  5. Carol Levinger

    Staples is great that way. But shouldn’t the emphasis be on the middle school kids? With my two girls, any interest in science and math was gone by high school. They regretted it come college too.

  6. Our President may have said it best. Until the science fair is as big as the stupor bowl, we be hurtin.

  7. Junior Varsity? Hines and Congress are the scrubs.

  8. Another set of programs that are also tremendously valuable in this regard come out of the Staples Media Lab. Along with our computer classes, these teach students how to think about technology as more than just a social media vehicle, but as hard- and software that can be designed, redesigned, repurposed for new uses, etc. Optimal methods of communication are also taught – involving art and design, psychology, language arts and more. Once again the teachers – notably Mr. Honeycutt and Mr. Zito – are knowledgeable mentors. This sort of multi-pupose curriculum is at the forefront of new ideas about education – congratulations, again, to Westport for standing strongly for it.

  9. Staples is great but sadly, it’s a long ways off for my elementary-age kids. The Westport School Board talks a good game about 21st century skills and such but American schools in general are already woefully inadequate in the areas of math and science! From what I see at the elementary level, there’s no emphasis on science whatsoever (Spanish is the interest-de jour meeting 3x a week but with no homework) and the core math curricula is weak but about to be infused with Singapore math (a solid program) so that’s a start but it is coming way too late for my kids! There’s no science or math club at Greens Farms Elementary … there’s no school-wide program of emphasis on science … there’s no science subject expert rotating at the schools occasionally, etc. There’s just no meat on the science curricula in elementary. Basically, my kids are out for the count on science unless I can find a way at home to keep them interested … Staples is YEARS away. By then, we will have lost all interest. Get with it Westport. It has to start in the elementary grades!

  10. @MEP

    Lots of science and technology to do at home with your kids! Pick up a copy of Make Magazine and/or head over to their Maker Faire this summer for ideas.

    Look at the constellations and the planets at the town’s observatory, build robots with Lego Mindstorms, take pictures with a pinhole camera that a kid can make himself/herself, look at microorganisms in pond water with a microscope. and have lots of ideas.

    My daughter is in Scheetz’s Science Research course and will be heading off to an elite engineering major at Penn next year but her love of science and engineering began at home many years ago.

    • Well said, Pauly G. I had some excellent teachers in public schools in Queens and in Westport after my family moved here, but my interest in learning and reading started with my parents.

      • The Dude Abides

        A sidenote in Gladwell’s latest book: more education does not necessarily mean a better teacher. A Wisconsin study found that a bachelor degreed teacher may be just as capable as communicating with their students as a a Ph’d. It is almost like an innate talent.

  11. Inceased educational spending is one thing that both Democrats and non-Tea Party Republicans agree on “(…Thirty-three percent of tea party adherents say they would cut education spending compared to 4 percent of non-tea party Republicans. Sixty-four percent of non-tea party Republicans would spend more on education while only 26 percent of tea party Republicans say the same.”) Details at:

  12. The Dude Abides

    Thanks for the link, Curious, but not sure money is the answer to the woes of public education in this country. It is sorta of like spending 1/2 trillion dollars on intelligence agencies since 911 and being able to find bin Laden. It appears they are recruiting the wrong people. Incentives are needed to attract the best and brightest to the profession of teaching. And I believe that means respect as well as salary. Administrators are trying very hard to appease parents with, often times, the teachers being the scapegoats. That needs to change.

  13. The Dude Abides

    This is in one area that I agree with your free market theories, Anonymous. Give the public schools some real competition and they might get their act together.

    • Public schools are a form of monopoly, and as such collect monopoly rents. Most monopolists do not welcome competition and rely on their friends in government to maintain their monopoly. We are not going to see any real improvement in education in the US unless and until the monopoly is broken.

  14. The Dude Abides

    And how do you break the monopoly? Charter schools, voucher system or what?

    • Parental involvement is the greatest predictor of academic success. Communities create good schools, not politicians. Going after the Public School system with charter schools, vouchers or what is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

      • The Dude Abides

        DOD schools prove you right in regard to parent involvement. For races in such schools do not test much differently on national exams. Papa misses a teacher-parent meeting and the commander of the base gets a call. However, while I realize your focus is on Westport, the average high graduate in America reads at an 8th grade average and the drop out rate is gaining on 60%. Gotta do something.

        • The simple point is this: kids drop out because no one tells them they can’t. Nationwide, the schools have to do a better job teaching, but the parents have to do a better job prioritizing education in their children’s lives.

          • The Dude Abides

            There lies the problem. Some of those kids don’t have parents that are either around or believe in education. I taught a long two years in an inner city middle school. To many, I was the first male figure they had in their 14 years of life. Mom was working two jobs to make means and education was not even on anyone’s priority list. At 16, they were gone. Job, drugs, gangs. Gotta change the culture but getting the kids younger (3 or so) and longer (210 days?) may help this lower echelon. Staples kids will always find their way although I got three on my block that didn’t find it at college.

    • Public schools like public libraries will become obsolete through the application of technology. Brick and mortar schools will become quaint relics. There will be no need to transport thousands of students to school using millions of dollars worth of equipment , significant amounts of energy, and wasting thousands of man-hours every day. Moreover, class size will become a non-issue, and barriers to entry will be virtually eliminated. Before technology overtakes the public school monopoly, all of the things you mention will help chip away at the monopoly. Right now the public school system is virtually impervious to intervention on the part of the community. One other option is to vote with your feet; send your children to private schools and leave communities with bloated school budgets.

  15. The Dude Abides

    To be perfectly candid and honest, I do believe our leaders want a dumb electorate. When barely 50% vote in a presidential election (compared with a higher percent for “American Idol”), apathy breeds indifference to the agenda those in command wish to promulgate

    • Many years ago Anthony Downs wrote a book titled “An Economic Theory of Democracy”. Downs explains why low partcipation rates are understandable and reflect rational behavior. Downs is a left of center economist who wrote some good stuff on public policy. Amazon says the paperback version of the book goes for about $75. I will now go put my copy in the safe.

  16. The Dude Abides

    Downs is the “Stuck in Traffic” guy. They finally figured out that they can’t build enough roads for the number of cars. Also, a LBJ braintruster. I may have to get a copy of his book because I don’t understand why it is rational to be more interested in the winner of “American Idol” than it is who the next President will be?

    • The basic argument is; if the the outcome doesn’t make a dime’s worth of difference to you, why spend a dollar figuring out how to vote and another dollar in the effort to vote.

  17. The Dude Abides

    And thus, the only ones spending the dollars are those wanting to get elected? I guess that makes sense. Come to think about it that was my thesis when Bubba was elected: it doesn’t really matter who is Prez. He didn’t really disappoint me either. Maybe a tad.

    • The thesis was an effort to rationalize voter behavior; if it doesn’t matter who wins, why vote? Downs does offer a rationale for why politicians behave as they do; economics once again.

  18. The Dude Abides

    I would imagine it would involve fattening their war chests although just read that many Congressmen sleep in their offices to save money. Just edited a book that the author uses the semi-colon the same way you do. Always thought it had to follow a colon?

    • The objective is to get elected. The actions taken to maximize the probability of getting elected are the stuff of Downs’ thesis. The semi-colon thing is a residue of 4th grade English. You may be right.

  19. The Dude Abides

    So wouldn’t the maximization of an electorate’s interest be concerned about who wins the election? Or are we so alienated from the system that we see no end direct result to ourselves and therefore, no investment of time/money in any election. Jeez, Down is a downer. Me? I think we are just plain lazy. It is easier to text in your vote on American Idol than to drive over to Long Lots and caste one’s vote.

    • Downs argues that the objective is to get elected by providing just enough voters (50.1%) with benefits provided by other people’s money, OPM, while not irrittating the people from whom money is being taken, so that the participation rates of the net tax payers increases to the point that the 50.1% becomes 49.9% at the polls. Downs spends a great deal of time explaining how to pull off this balancing act by evaluating which pork will stimulate the recipients more than it’s costs irritate those being fleeced.

      • Precisely the math that has gone into the FS’s Barron’s South proposal.

      • The Dude Abides

        That is the Karl Rove theory as well in principle. Bubba used to go for the plurality but as long as you can spin it like Roque, you have a mandate. Interesting stuff. Might have to invest 75 bucks in a copy although his underlying belief in people is a math equation. John Nash, Jr.? Wonder if he predicated the uproar in Egypt?

        • FDR was the champ. He knew exactly how to slice and dice the vote in every state. His bag man was a guy named Jesse Jones, Secretary of Commerce and head of the RFC, who would fly around with bags filled with pork to every state where the outcome was in doubt. Jones wrote a book “Fifty Billion Dollars”; Amazon $38 to $270. The titles of some of the Chapters are, Aid to Banks, Helping Railroads, The Debacle in Detroit, Reviviving the Real Estate Mortgage Market, Saving Some Insurance Companies. Does anything sound familiar? Jones never admits to being a bag man, but if you read the book it’s clear. BTW Huey Long was very good at the game of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

  20. The Dude Abides

    Huey was very good at robbing, period. Watched an economist spout last night about how the cities of America (NYC in particular) are really the catalysts of economic growth in America and the suburbs are really draining the economy in an overall evaluation. Concur?

  21. No. I think in the 21st century location is becoming less and less relevant as a driver of economic value added. It is possible to live in Cody WY and have clients in Rio and never leave your den or home office. I bet the farmers in the 19th century thought that it was rural America was the catalyst. BTW is was the government that subsidized the move to the burbs.

  22. The Dude Abides

    Economist agreed but felt that the closeness and interaction in the city provided stimuli lacking in WY and Westport. And thus, more productive inhabitants.

    • Yeah right. And more crime and a higher cost of living, and just how do you measure productivity? Sounds like a guy stuck in the city. BTW according to the psychologists at the University of Chicago, too much closeness begets violent behavior.

  23. The Dude Abides

    Less suicide apparently. Odd fact but he stressed (excuse pun) that in his interview. I grew up hearing how NYC was a sewer so never have had any fondness for the Big Apple. Gotta check out “Waiting for Superman” now on DVD. Apparently in tune with the original premise here: public education sucks the banana. I ordered a copy of Downs. Tks.

    • You are welcome. The problem is that it is no longer public education but public schools. The mission has drifted far away from education.
      An estimated 13% to 14% of students in K-12 are either home schooled or enrolled in private schools. The parents of students in private schools and those students who are home schooled have voted with their feet.

  24. The Dude Abides

    Free market in the true sense. I seem to remember five brothers gaining admission to Harvard after being home schooled. If I had to do it all over again, I would have done that with my two. One strayed through public school like a lost soul and the gal went to an uppidity prep school in Houston. Got to SMU and couldn’t write a damn paragraph. Recurring and resounding similar stories from Staples’ parents. The top 10% always shines but the bottom 10% is how I judge a school. Wonder how many home schoolers in Westport? Private has to be 25% I would bet?

    • 25% may be high. My guess is that whatever the number, the bottom 10% of the student population is under-represented in the group. I have a few friends on the faculty of highly ranked colleges, and they say that over the last 20 or 30 years, entering students from public schools have become unable to write a coherent paragraph or construct a logical argument. The profs have had to move to true/false or short answer tests. So, your experience is not uncommon.

      • Private is about 10% in Westport.

        • The Dude Abides

          The Professor tells me about 2%

          • According to the 2008-09 (most recent) Strategic Schools Profile published by the Connecticut State Department of Education 90.1% of Westport’s school age children are enrolled in the Westport Public School system.

  25. The Dude Abides

    I just finished watching the DVD “Waiting For Superman” in which public schools are examined. It is quite shocking with only 35% of the 8th grade students in Connecticut having adequate reading and math skills. Most of the California high school graduates need some form of remedial classes before they can enter college. And it seems that the 28 Kipp Schools charter schools across the country have shown that, with longer days and Saturday classes, that public education can work even for disadvantaged kids. The big obstacle,as seen in the attempted reform in Washington D.C. schools, are the teacher unions. As the superintenant concluded: “It has become more about the adults than the children.” Sad. But you were correct with your assertion that we may be lagging well behind the demand for highly scientific workers. It is expected that there will be 115 million such jobs in 20 years and only 53 million qualified to fill them. Dismal situation.

  26. Connecticut has the worst achievement gap in the United States. And the highest per-capita State debt. A shameful situation.

    • California and Connecticut have the two highest average teacher salaries, but no where near the highest SAT scores or graduation rates. The achievement gap is not going to be closed by paying higher salaries. Vouchers might help, charter schools might help, but public schools seem uninterested in closing the gap.

  27. The Dude Abides

    The documentary points the finger at the teacher unions where apparently, tenure is given out freely. For every 1 out of 94 lawyers that are disbarred, 1 out of 250 teachers are fired. What I really don’t understand and perhaps you all can educate me, how can we have the finest university system in the world and a mediocre public schools system??? Note to annonymous: the director of “Waiting for Superman” is the same as “Inconvenient Truth” sans Bore-Gore. He is married to Elisabeth Shue, however, so he has some taste if not smarts.

    • I was aware of the connection between “Superman” and “Inconvenient Truth”. The director has won the rath of the left with Superman. Imagine that, how can anyone oppose raising the level of opportunities made available to gain an education in the US? BTW who are we educating in our university system?

  28. The Dude Abides

    You mean the steriotypical college student??? Or are colleges educating their students? I know we are supposidly number one in the world but from personal experience (holding two advanced degrees), I learned more in 6 months of practicing law than three years of studying it. Your point is interesting but I would assume math/science skills are necessary to enter the job market vice a liberal arts degree.

    • I know we claim to have great universities and colleges, but for whom? From what I see, the graduate schools in science, math, and engineering are filled with students who are non-US citizens. Where are the American students? What are they studying?

  29. The Dude Abides

    Good point and apparently, thanks to our immigration policy, those students are not staying in the United States after graduation. A last note on the movie, since many of these “dropout factories” produce many criminals and the average cost is $33,000 a year to house such and the average stay is 4 years in prison, they could send these would-be convicts to private school from K-12 and save money in the long run.

    • Nice idea, but the teachers’ unions would rather have drop outs than money diverted to private schools. Then they can argue that if they were paid more, the drop out rate would decline; despite all of the empirical evidence to the contrary.

  30. The Dude Abides

    The D.C. super offered teachers a 33% raise if they dropped tenure. Wouldn’t even put it do a vote. Need some union busting but of course, they have the politicians in their back pocket. Sorry mess. You mentioned charter schools and vouchers before as I have. Any ideas on solving the problem?? Would not the free market fix this? A guy joked the other day that if they put a hedge fund manager in charge of each school system, the problem would be gone. You are one of those guys, what you say?

    • I am not a hedge fund manager, unfortunately. I don’t see much hope of improving the public school system. My advice would be to save yourself, send your children to private schools. Vouchers and charter schools are helpful innovations, but as you say, the unions have bought enough politicians to minimize the impact of such efforts.

  31. The Dude Abides

    You are a financial whiz with math background, no? Don’t you John Nash guys have an explanation for all? Not being smart here. I am told vouchers will not work because of the logistics. Bridgeport kid will not get up at 4:00 a.m. to take a bus to Staples and only one out of 5 charter schools are being successful. Mine are all grown (if that is possible) but if you watch the movie, I don’t know why people just don’t move? Hell move to Westport from the city for three years and live in a dump apartment so your kid can at least get out of the continuing “dropout factories” of the inner city. It is a predetermination certificate of life failure by the age of 13 to be there.

    • There are students in the Westport School system from families who do not live in Westport. Remember the thread about all of the students being driven to school? Well, if you don’t live in Westport but go to a Westport schools, you are driven. Much cheaper than actually moving to Westport. Milton Friedman had the best analysis of vouchers. If the demand were present, the schools would be built in Bridgeport. The travel issue would be a transitional problem.

      • The Dude Abides

        Anonyomous: Special needs kids get to pick their county schools but I am not sure how many non-residents attend Staples??? Hell, they are driven because they don’t like the bus. Milty may be right but would the Bridgeport school system be able to afford the best teachers and necessary facilities? An interesting sidenote from “Waiting for Superman” is that urban analysts once believed that a neighborhood brought down a school but believe the reverse may be true now: lousy school=ghetto.

        • The demand for private schools would bring forth a supple of private schools. How good those schools would be would depend on a number of factors. However, as you have pointed out above, competition for students and dollars would not be a bad thing.

  32. Could we get back to the topic of the story that sprouted this interesting exchange?
    Science is NOT thriving in Westport. The elementary schools invest next to ZERO in trying to instill an interest in (let alone a love of) science in our children. And it seems that it doesn’t get much better in middle school — I am told that the Coleytown District Wide middle school science event referred to in the original story hosted eleven participants from BMS. Eleven?! (Well, at least you need more than two hands to count them on.) The offerings at Staples are indeed impressive, but are available to our children only after they have been subjected to a decade of indifference throughout their elementary and middle school years. Involved parents can make a difference, but a little support from the school system would be appreciated!

    • The deficiencies of which you speak are a consequence of a number of factors that have been discussed above. Lack of competition and an unwilligness to innovate are linked. Have you looked at the curriculum for elementary schools students? Who establishes the priorities reflected in the curriculum? There is a consituency for each part of the curriculum; the subject matter is not there by accident. After you cram in all of the courses desired for the appropriate enculturation there is not much time left for science.

    • At least they have Staples courses. Most don’t even have that. I do agree that science and math skills need to be emphasized more in elementary and middle schools. For many, their interest or ability to play catch up is gone by high school.

  33. The Dude Abides

    Perhaps, Anon, it is a question of good teachers? Are they available?? Also, mentioned above is my comment coming from an Indian who just moved here and found his Bedford Middle daughters way behind in math/science from schools in New Delphi. You answer me: why is it not up to snuff? Bucks are there. Focus should be. Misdirected administrators?