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Teaching Research in the High School: Scientific Research as a Course Teaching Research in the High School: Scientific Research as a Course Ryan Templeton Ryan Templeton Mathematics and Science High School at Clover Hill Chesterfield County Public Schools, Midlothian, VA

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Teaching Research in the High School: Scientific Research as a Course

Teaching Research in the High School: Scientific Research as a Course

Ryan Templeton

Ryan Templeton

Mathematics and Science High School at Clover Hill

Chesterfield County Public Schools, Midlothian, VA

Mathematics and Science High School at Clover Hill

Chesterfield County Public Schools, Midlothian, VA

the math and science high school at clover hill
The Math and Science High School at Clover Hill
  • A school-within-a-school
  • Approximately 400 students inside a 1500 student comprehensive school
  • Grades are taught by a team of core teachers: math, science, English, social studies
  • Electives are taken in the comprehensive school (band, sports, chorus, etc.)
our research program a past view
Our Research Program: A Past View
  • Freshmen complete a research project within their biology class
  • Sophomores complete a research project in their chemistry class
  • Juniors have a choice: complete a science research project in physics, or take Historical Research as a separate class
  • Seniors have no research requirement
our research program recent changes
Our Research Program: Recent Changes
  • Freshmen and Sophomores still complete a research project within their science classes
  • Juniors now have a third option: take Scientific Research, which exempts them from their physics class research
  • Seniors can also choose this new class if they wish to continue research
advantages of a stand alone research course
Advantages of a stand-alone research course
  • Allows for a deeper and authentic research experience
  • Students are paired with mentors in the community
  • Students receive research and technology credit
  • Competition skills are emphasized
challenges to creating a stand alone course
Challenges to creating a stand-alone course
  • Administrative
    • Generating the “buy-in”
    • Making allowances in curriculum
  • Logistical
    • Curriculum – what to teach?
    • Time – fitting it into existing schedules
    • Resources – what materials are needed?
  • Expectations – students must commit to significant after-school time
influences
Influences
  • NCSSSMST
  • Science Research in the High School
  • Science Experiments and Projects for Students – Cothron, Giese and Rezba
  • Integrated research in current science courses at Math/Sci
slide8

Course Design

  • Student-centered design; emphasis on sharing information
  • Lecture component diminished
  • Peer-review central to the process
slide9

Curriculum Outline

  • 1st Semester
    • 1st 9 weeks
      • Present of summer assignment
      • Select of a topic
      • Introduce database resources
      • Learn presentation and visual design
      • Select of a mentor
      • Complete research plan / safety check
slide10

Curriculum Outline

  • 1st Semester
    • 2nd 9 weeks
      • Learn Data Notebook formatting
      • Meet with mentors and students
      • Discuss preliminary data
      • Conduct portfolio and notebook checks
      • Begin writing the research paper
      • Discuss data for competitions
slide11

Curriculum Outline

  • 2nd Semester
    • 3rd 9 Weeks
      • Complete competition applications
      • Prepare competition visuals
        • Slideshow presentations
        • Poster board displays
      • Conduct oral presentations
      • Attend competitions
        • Regional and State ISEF
        • State JSHS
slide12

Curriculum Outline

  • 2nd Semester
    • 4th 9 Weeks
      • Continue research projects
      • Continue data seminar
      • Plan and execute school research symposium (early June)
      • Prepare portfolio for final check
      • Juniors: prepare applications for Siemens-Westinghouse and Intel STS
slide13

A Typical Classroom Day

  • Students arrive and questions are answered regarding competition forms
  • Students scheduled to present that day ready their slides on the computer
  • Students offer oral and written feedback
  • On some days, computer lab time is scheduled; allows individual conferencing and writing groups
slide14

A Typical Lab Schedule

  • Some students work as much as 4 days a week for 1-3 hours
  • Others work for 1-2 days a week, 3-4 hours at a time
  • Students drive to their mentor’s lab after school
  • Many attend lab meetings and participate as members / share data
slide15

Starting “bare bones”

  • Start-up costs were negligible
  • No textbook
  • Statistical knowledge of the instructor was minimal
  • All of these points represent potential areas of improvement
slide16

Mentor matching

  • We proceeded with an informal matching process; some programs have personnel devoted to this
  • A contact at Virginia Commonwealth University served as a liaison
  • Students’ interests were considered first, then matched to scientists
  • Some students worked with private organizations
slide17

Things We Learned

  • Software standards
  • Digital media storage
  • Student work load
  • Scheduling: stick to your plan!
  • Competitions: data determines participation
slide18

Our first class

  • Eleven students
  • 55% Female; 45% Male
  • Juniors 73%; Seniors 27%
slide19

A Few of Our Students

Erin Kim

Engineering of Staphylococcus aureus Sortase A (Srt A) by directed evolution

slide20

A Few of Our Students

Hannah Meredith

A wound with no scar: perfecting the wound healing process

3rd Place Virginia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium; Outstanding Research Award

slide21

Please contact us

Ryan Templeton

ryan_templeton@ccspsnet.net

www.mathsci.info