Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall brings us, "Back to School," ...Time to think about Science Research

In the United States, fall is the season that the new academic year begins. The beginning of the year is a good time to start reflecting on student science research projects even though the science fairs and exhibitions seem a long way off. Engaging students in science research develops, for many, a lifelong enjoyment and understanding of the natural world. For others, it is the beginning of a passion that drives a science career. Students doing research increases science literacy. Let's look at what some schools are doing:

In the following example, the papers are due in February, but, some schools have science fairs in March. Winter and spring come quickly, so, for many students, the time to start work on their science project and research is, "now." Students will have time to do experiments, reflect on the data, read technical journals related to their research and write well-done laboratory reports.
Students who complete experimental research projects write a formal scientific paper based on their research and submit their paper with their application to the ASHSSS. Written papers are due the first Friday in February. Submitted papers are reviewed and edited by scientists and returned. Students whose papers are accepted for competition then present the results of their work orally at the symposium in a manner similar to that of a scientist presenting their work at a conference of their peers. The symposium is held at the UAF during the first weekend in March.
(Source: http://www.ashsss.uaf.edu/about.php. Accessed 14 September 2010)

The link, http://www.ashsss.uaf.edu/students.php, goes to some high school science resources and to a school in Alaska, USA. (Source: http://www.ashsss.uaf.edu/about.php . Accessed 14 September 2010)

Across the continent, in New York City, York Prep has a garden and an apiary. You can read about them here: http://www.yorkprep.com/yorkprepblog/york-prep-principal-chris-durnford-leads-beekeeping-efforts-for-new-york-private-school

Maybe you have a student more interested in art than in science. He or she may be interested in the following images from a student competition, and, be inspired by them to do some photography on science subjects:


An artistic view is excellent for conveying science to the public. There are careers that bridge art and science. Perhaps one of your students will be a leader in that field. Have you thought about art as a tool for conveying science research? Art is also a way to engage some students in research.

As the school year starts, head into it with enthusiasm and show students the joys of science. Enjoy involving students in research for that is science. Be patient. One of your students might win a Nobel prize! Have a great year.

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