Fact or Fiction: Research Writing. Bonnie Belshe, Kavita Gupta Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, CA. CONTACT INFORMATION. PRESENTER INFORMATION. Why Research at high school level?. NGSS. Common Core. College Board.
Fact or Fiction: Research Writing Bonnie Belshe, Kavita Gupta Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, CA
Why Research at high school level? NGSS Common Core College Board
Alumni Data Supporting the Need for Developing Research Skills in High School Total Sample Size= 131, 2012-2013
Data from Former students, College Profs and NY Times “To make knowledge, which is the foundation of learning, it is necessary to apply thought to information, to think about the facts that have been gathered, and this is work only an individual can do. “ ~ William Fitzhugh, editor of The Concord Review in The New York Times on“Why a Research Paper is Valuable”
So, we agree that it is important to teach research and technical writing skills. But HOW? Formation of Research PLC
RESEARCH PLC Identified Common Research Process Examined student work from different content areas with the idea of identifying overlaps, so common research and writing skills can be carried over across the content area Research PLC
FACT OR FICTION PROJECT: AP CHEMISTRY Objective The objective of this year-end project is to emphasize research and technical writing skills by finding a chemistry related concept in a movie/media clip and testing the validity of its claim by doing extensive research. Expected Products 1. Oral Presentation on Research Findings: Power point or movie with the media clip (under 2 minutes) inserted(7 minutes total) 2. A scientific research paper (with the five components of research) evaluating the validity of the concept through academic research.
Fulminated Mercury The Next Frontier of Explosives?
Video Background • In Breaking Bad, Walt is a high school chemistry teacher turned criminal producing metamphetamine (crystal meth) to sell on the black market. • At one point his partner, Jesse, gets swindled and beaten up by a psychopathic gangster called Tuco. • The following video shows Walt's confrontation with Tuco and subsequent explosion using Mercury Fulminate.
Research Problem Could a small crystal of mercury fulminate really do so much damage?
Properties of Mercury Fulminate -It is prepared by reacting mercury with nitric acid and then adding ethanol. -The crystals are usually brown to grey (due to colloidal mercury) and large crystals are extremely unstable -Pressure changes, vibrations and shock can lead to detonation. The explosive properties can be demonstrated in the lab by hitting a very small crystal with a hammer
Properties of Mercury Fulminate • insoluble in water • exists as white powder Mercury (II) fulminate comprises two fulminate ions (CNO-) bonded to a central mercury atom. Mercury (II) fulminate is very sensitive because of the instability of the fulminate ion.
Reasons for Instability • single bond is unstable-->immediately break in most reactions • nitrogen will most likely bond with other nitrogen atoms, forming nitrogen gas.
Detonation of Mercury Fulminate • Detonation produces mercury vapour, carbon monoxide and nitrogen. • One explosion pathway could be: • 2Hg(CNO)2 → 2CO2+N2+Hg+Hg(CN)2
The explosion • Size: approximately his thumb, around 1in3 • grams: 72.43 grams • energy released: ~125.666kj • Energy density on the blast front = E/(4πr^2) • Layout of Room
-Ultimately only .9-1.8 kJ of energy received by windows which is not enough to shatter them -Our Verdict based on the research: FICTION!!
The Process of Research Identify an area of interest Search sources for relevant information Evaluate Resources No valid resources found Can not answer the question, invalid resources
Begin Research Research Resources: http://www.lib.uci.edu/how/tutorials/BeginResearch/public/ MV Library: http://www.montavista.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1314006552580
Research Question Good Resource from UCSChttp://library.ucsc.edu/help/research/start-your-research When writing a research question, it is important that the magnitude of the question matches the expected outcome. For example, if you are writing a 4 to 6 page research paper you do not want to try and answer the question, “What is human nature?”. As a general rule when writing historical research questions, stay away from ideas of human nature, civilizations as a whole, and philosophical debate
Choosing a Topic Good Resource from UCSC http://library.ucsc.edu/help/research/start-your-research
Research Question Good Resource from UCSC http://library.ucsc.edu/help/research/start-your-research Or too narrow.. Example of too broad a topic: Is there a material that can pull the weight of an average sized human without breaking? Example of too narrow a topic: What is the numerical value of the tensile strength of a nylon-based material?
Databases and Primary and Secondary Sourceshttp://library.pdx.edu/tutorials/knowledgecycle/10 Primary Sources: Academic Journals with original research Jstor (www.jstor.org)Screencast on using jstore Choose Advanced Search Combine keywords with “AND” (already displayed) When you open a record, click on the “Summary” tab to help decide if an article is useful. Create your own log-in to save searches. • EBSCO Electronic Database • Limit your search to “Full Text” • Check off “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals to limit your search to primary sources. • Try narrowing your search by combining keywords by “AND” • Create your own log-in to save searches. • Google Scholar • Go to: http://scholar.google.com • Choose Advanced Search. • Use a combination of keywords and/or phrases. • Choose Subject Area for search > Chemistry and Materials Science
Secondary Resources Secondary Sources: Articles reporting on various research • Use Google wisely: • Use effective search strategies to find relevant results. • Evaluate each website to make sure that it is reliable. • Fill out an evaluation form for each website used. Find the form in the lower right hand side of: www.mvhs.fuhsd.org/researchresources Scientific American Magazine: http://www.scientificamerican.com/ Popular Science Magazine: http://www.popsci.com/ ChemMatters Magazine Online (type into Google to find link); published by ACS • EBSCO Electronic Database • www.mvhs.fuhsd.org/researchresources • Choose “Science Reference Center” • Expand your search by adding databases: TopicSearch, Newspaper Source, Health Source, and Mas Ultra
Synthesis Document Supporting Argument #2 Include intext citation Supporting Argument #3 Include intext citation Supporting Argument #1 Include intext citation Finding Fact or Fiction Limitations Conclusion Reflection: What further research/evidence do you need? Credit: Adapted from document created by Susan Marks What are your next steps?
Google Doc for Collaboration and Writing the Research Paper Video on Google Docs: http://learn.googleapps.com/gmailvids Good Resource on Google Docs: http://shs.bellinghamschools.libguides.com/content.php?pid=317319&sid=2721663
Lessons learned • Start small and jump in, jump out • Here are some ways in which you can “chunk” the research paper or break them into smaller activities: • Read literature- teacher models and students create research questions • Evaluate Resources- activity on what is primary, secondary or tertiary resource or use annotated bibliography • Synthesis- organizing ideas using Google docs or synthesis document • Research Product- oral presentation with power point (minimizes writing)
Lessons Learned • Pre-approval Form: Helps students be organized and fights procrastination • Use benchmarks • For Skill/Content • -Teacher Check-Ins • -Revision • Procrastination Avoidance/Stress Management • -Completion Check • Seek help and collaborate with the other teachers since research is done in EVERY discipline.