ISM Research Showcase cancelled due to COVID-19

Senior+Annie+Tian+presents+her+studies+on+orthodontics+at+the+ISM+Research+Showcase+at+The+Star+last+school+year.++The+event+was+cancelled+this+year+for+ISM+students++due+to+COVID-19.+

Sarah Boutouis

Senior Annie Tian presents her studies on orthodontics at the ISM Research Showcase at The Star last school year. The event was cancelled this year for ISM students due to COVID-19.

Urja Joshi, Guest Contributor

The Frisco ISD Independent Study and Mentorship program holds its annual Research Showcase every January, which is a wide attraction for students and parents alike. However, due to COVID-19, the showcase has been cancelled this year. 

“The ISM Research Showcase was developed as a way in which students could highlight their progress midway through the school year. The event has always afforded our students the opportunity to share their first-semester research, product development, and related experiences with ISM students from other campuses, their families, their friends, and their community,” ISM teacher Kelli Secord said via email. “Not only is it a wonderful learning experience for the district’s ISM students, but it also is a wonderful public relations tool for our district and the individual ISM programs throughout the district that shows how much FISD values and supports the ISM program and how vital of an impact our ISM students have throughout our community.”

The Research Showcase is often eagerly anticipated by prospective students and families of ISM students, as well as those in ISM themselves. 

“Since I knew that the annual ISM Research Showcase wouldn’t be a viable option this year in ISM, I decided to focus on the quality and content of my research for my original work rather than the appealing nature of its presentation,” senior Nandika Chirala said. “Doing this helped me learn a lot more about my actual subject but I feel like I missed out on how to improve my project’s visual presentation and my speaking and presentation skills.”

The opinions of those who have never participated in the showcase are different than those who have been in the Research Showcase.

“The showcase was one of the highlights of ISM last year because we were given the opportunity to share our work with people from all over Frisco,” senior Anica Liu said. “I’m sad this year will be different but hopefully it’ll be safe to hold the final presentation night later this semester. I hope that the ISM 1 students get the opportunity to share their projects and meet other ism students because it’s truly an amazing experience!”

The Research Showcase is an opportunity for ISM students to share their research and extensive knowledge about their field. The cancellation of the showcase is a real disappointment to ISM students and others looking forward to seeing all of the different projects and presentations.

“Obviously, we are saddened that this year’s ISM students have not been able to experience the annual FISD ISM Research Show where they are traditionally able to showcase their first semester of work and share their learning goals for the rest of the year,” Secord said. “However, we certainly understand the difficult decision that was made by the district in an abundance of caution to protect our students, their mentors, and other community guests during the pandemic.”