ERWC Expert Projects

Karla Ramirez, Photo Editor

The Expert Project is an assignment given in the beginning of the school year to students who are taking the CSU Expository Reading and Writing (ERWC) program. For this assignment, students pick any topic they want to research and read about throughout the school year, and bring everything together to give a final presentation at the end of the year.


Mrs. Ordway-Roach, one of Downey’s ERWC teachers, talks about the importance of this project.


“This is something that helps students get informed about the world around them,” Ordway stated. “While doing this projects they learn about how it ties into the modern world, and they can teach the people around them a little more – add their little grain.”


After witnessing the effects of drugs amongst her peers, Jennifer Hernandez, 12, chose to become an expert on the subject of drug abuse. Throughout the school year, she was able to learn about various cases of teenagers and young adults whose lives were destroyed at the hands of drugs. This inspired Hernandez to inform her classmates about the risks of drugs in order to try and discourage them from falling into the clutches of this bad habit.

“I think it’s important for people to keep in mind that your actions aren’t only going to affect you,” Hernandez said. “It will also harm everyone that surrounds you, everyone that is a part of your life, the decisions you make will always affect your loved ones.”


Taking a similar route to inform her peers about their future, senior, Lisa Iniguez decided to focus her research on the history of the American education system. Inspired by the desire to become a teacher herself, Iniguez set out to find out more about the system that has been teaching her for years. All through her research Iniguez found herself disappointed with the little advancement the system has done throughout the years, teaching the new generation the same way they taught hundreds of years ago. Throughout her nine months of research Iniguez found that the education system is more flawed than she could imagine.


“I was so nervous, especially since I was presenting to a teacher: I had to make sure all my information was correct,” Iniguez stated. “I learned that the education system is very messed up, it hasn’t advanced with our generation and I hope that over time that will change.”


Going on a completely different path than her classmates, Briana Rodriguez, 12, chose her expert project topic to focus on the cons to bioengineering, mostly focusing on genetic manipulation. Rodriguez wanted to focus on the negatives in order to remind people that just because we are able to do something with modern science, does not mean we should. She wanted a reminder that when it comes to genetic manipulation things will not always turn out how we want them to be, and that it is a very risky process, specially when it comes to human beings.

“We have not really had a high rate of success from the whole genetic manipulation it’s just been a lot of bad failures,” Rodriguez said. “We need to learn what really happens to the babies and why we should just stick to natural birth.”
The ERWC expert projects have provided a way for students to learn about topics they otherwise would have never heard of, as well as teaching their peers. This project lasts nine months of the school year, with a final expert presentation at the end.