Research is the focus of Jamie Rowe’s Science Research Year 1 class where sophomore students participate in scientific research by selecting a topic of their choice and studying it throughout the year. In Rowe’s class students are taught skills and methods required to do original research, which may culminate in a senior research project being entered into regional, state and/or national science competitions.
Additionally, students develop skills in using the Internet’s capabilities, conduct online bibliographic searches of international databases, conduct statistical analysis using appropriate software and incorporate visual presentation techniques.
Starting on Thursday, Dec. 15 through Tuesday, Dec. 20, Rowe’s class began to give their third round of presentations on their chosen topic. These students have been researching and assessing peer reviewed professional research journal articles for 14 weeks.
The students are also able to learn the process of peer reviewing through grading their peers. Students receive a Microsoft Surface tablet at the start of class and grade the presenters based on presentation skill and content. Each presenter has six minutes to present their findings and then the class moves on to the next presenter.
The next step for students is to look for research mentors with whom they can do an internship with over the summer and continue into their junior year.
“My hope is that they are able to find a mentor who can get them into a lab to see firsthand what science research is all about,” said Rowe.
Learn about some of the existing and new high school Science & Technology programs at the high school and hear from some seniors currently in their third year of the Science Research program who shared their class and research experiences at a Board of Education meeting in October here: https://youtu.be/i-4UirF-ww0?t=1085
Rowe also hopes that the students choose to continue with the class and study the topic all the way to their senior year. The senior year will be utilized in writing the research and presenting it at science competitions.
“They can spend as much time as they would like learning about it,” said Rowe. “And receive credit for it.”
Rowe is no stranger to research herself. She was one of 4 to 6 teachers in the nation selected for the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) that gets teachers involved in authentic astronomical research. Rowe will travel to Texas the first week of January for the American Astronomical Societies (AAS) winter conference where she will meet her teammates and decide upon a research problem to pursue. The research is a year long project and at the completion Rowe and her teammates will be expected to present their findings at the AAS conference in January 2018.