Student Perspectives: The Cost of Research
Plastic is in almost everything we touch—from toys to computers to this microscope. But plastics may not all be safe, and only careful research (using plastic materials!) can tell us whether we need to make changes in the way we use plastics.
The issues regarding plastics can only be resolved over time and with rigorous research. Plastics’ harmful effects need to be looked into more closely to see if the harmful ingredient(s) can be identified and removed. In case that cannot be achieved, there should be top chemists working to find an alternative to plastic. One of the major obstacles in the way of any of this happening is money. Our economy is not in the best state, and this research will take a lot of money, money that can be spent on arguably more pressing issues.
Now I cannot speak for the whole class, but I know that participating in this project has been extremely beneficial to me. All the preparation leading up to each debate made me have to stop procrastinating, which I tend to do often, and get down to business. Also for this project if I made up information, I would be called out on it; so I had to actually put time into it and learn the material, which was actually easy because all the information on the site was neatly organized and easy to access. This project has allowed the class and me to work on our public-speaking skills and become more comfortable speaking in front of a crowd containing more people than just our classmates, thus forcing us to act more professionally.
Taylor Opaliski is a student at the Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls. She and her classmates were among the very first students to participate in the Case of Plastics.