Student Research Symposium (April 15, 2014) – A Great Success! Thank you to everyone that participated.
Students participating in Project PARKA had the unique opportunity to conduct their own investigations related to the topics and data of this project. The students worked on these investigations throughout the winter and spring 2014 and then presented their results and findings to the Science Team and to one another at the April Student Research Symposium.
This component of Project PARKA encouraged students to develop questions and an inquiry-based scientific investigation that built upon the knowledge they learned about the science of the research mission. The goal of the Student Research Symposium was to excite and engage Kansas high school students about the ocean by providing a platform for students to share their science investigation results with one another and the Science Team. This allowed the students to act as science communicators and peer educators.
* Students worked in groups no larger than 6 to conduct their investigations, prepare their posters, and present their results. *
Investigation Topic Areas:
The students were able to choose from a variety of suggested research areas or choose their own. The suggested research areas included:
- Impacts of other variables on brine shrimp survival and growth
- Impacts of more extreme pH or temperatures on brine shrimp survival and growth
- Effects of increased acidity (ocean acidification) on shell strength
- Effects of increased CO2 on water chemistry (pCO2/pH)
We compiled some resources to assist the teachers and students in conducting scientific investigations.
- Darci Harland provides a good description of how to design a STEM research project, develop a hypothesis and background questions to drive the research project. ( )
- The “Understanding Science – how science really works” website produced by University of California, Berkeley is a helpful resource when developing a scientific investigation.
- “Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions: One small change can yield big results” Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana (Harvard Education Letter, Volume 27, Number 5, September/October 2011) – A look at how to get kids to ask questions in general, which can be used to get students to ask good science questions and prioritize their questions.
- “Ready, Set, Science: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms – Learning from Science Investigations” Sarah Michaels, Andrew W. Shouse, and Heidi A. Schweingruber; National Research Council (2007) (available for a free download or to purchase a paperback copy at the National Academies Press website)
All scientists write research proposals to get feedback on their planned research project and their work funded. As part of Project PARKA all student groups submitted a 1-page mini-proposal to the Education Team for review. The mini-proposals were submitted by February 28, 2014.
* To learn more about what goes into a research proposal, review the.
Presentations of Investigations:
After conducting an investigation or a research review of current information on a topic, scientists travel to professional conferences to present their research to their peers. The Poster Session at the Student Research Symposium enabled students, as scientists, to take part in the same part of the scientific process.
Each group developed and presented a poster on their investigations during the Poster Session. Each group had an area of the meeting room to set up their display. Members of the group rotated through presenting their investigations and observing other students’ investigations.
We adapted the Scientist Poster Rubric that was used at the Student Research Symposium for the students and fellow teaching colleagues to provide feedback to the students prior to the event.
Poster Requirements: Poster Format:
Student Research Symposium (April 15, 2014, 10am-1:30pm, Memorial Union, Washburn University)
Presentations – The students heard from scientists on the Science Team about marine science careers, how the research season went and what is planned for 2014-15, climate change, animal physiology, etc.
Poster Session – The students presented their results and findings to one another and the Science Team.
Logistics & Important Forms:
** The number of buses or cars that each school brought had to be sent to the Education team by Friday, March 28th
** Poster Entry Forms were due to the Education Team by Tuesday, March 25th
Photo Release Form – needs to be completed by every parent and brought to the event
Other Conditions & Assistance:
The IMCS was not liable for any materials and services purchased to produce the poster(s). Participants assumed all responsibility for damages, injuries, and cost. The IMCS reserved the right to broadcast entries once submitted. Forms of broadcast included, but were not limited to, posts on the MARE blog. By presenting a display, the participants granted all rights, title, and interest to IMCS in broadcasting, but still maintained ownership of the display concept. The IMCS was not responsible for copyright errors made on the posters.
For More Assistance:
The Project PARKA Education Team at Rutgers University was ready to help in whatever way they could during the investigation process. We helped the students to develop questions or design the investigation, to provide assistance undertaking the investigation, to brainstorm poster content, and many other tasks. We provided the blog post on Science Investigations to learn helpful hints for how to conduct experiments in the classroom.