FHS student, teacher participate in JASON Argonaut program

Published 6:13 pm Monday, December 21, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...


brandon lilley

Brandon Lilley

Franklin High School ninth-grader Laney Phillips and her teacher, Brandon Lilley, recently participated in JASON Learning’s 2020 Argonaut Program: The Sounds of Science. The program combined visual and in-person experiences to help build participants’ knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

JASON Argonauts teamed up with entomologists Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker of “The Bug Chicks” on a “virtual expedition” to explore the world through sound. Phillips’ project looked into how crickets react to being certain distances away from each other. Her hypothesis stated that if a group of male crickets are distanced from females, then the volume and frequency of the males’ chirps will increase.

During her presentation on Nov. 19, Phillips described her research process, her conclusions and future research considerations. FHS teacher Brandon Lilley assisted Phillips with her project.

I want to thank Mr. Lilley for going through this and helping me refine everything,” Phillips said before presenting.

I feel this opportunity has allowed me to get more exposure working on scientific research and also in gaining exposure working with insects and caring for them,” she added. “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to work with JASON Learning and the “Bug Chicks.”

JASON Learning developed this virtual experience for the Argonauts after their planned expedition to Costa Rica was canceled due to COVID-19. In addition to conducting their own research, Argonauts helped JASON develop protocols, instructions, tools, techniques and outreach approaches that will ultimately allow JASON students and teachers across the country to become scientists and investigate soundscapes in their communities.

The reason we do what we do here at JASON is to inspire students and teachers out there to love science, to pursue STEM careers, and do all the things we believe in,” said Patrick Shea, executive vice president of JASON Learning, during the virtual presentation. “I think it’s safe to say that you guys have inspired us even more than we probably inspired you this time around.”

The full JASON Argonauts 2020 Sounds of Science visual presentation can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfLP-CqCNZQ&t=1855s.