Project design is novel, but it addresses a real problem that needs to be solved
Marion Zeiner,Director of Scientific Research,Episcopal School of Jacksonville
To Motivates students
Science projects and research: helping students in their career
Doing science projects helps when applying to college and looking for a job by:
- Giving them confidence in communication skills
- Gives high school students an impressive topic for college entrance essays and interviews
- Demonstrates the ability to delve deeply into a project
- Demonstrates the ability to problem solve and to be creative
- Making the student an expert in a particular field
- Demonstrates highly developed skills in critical thinking, scientific writing and scientific reasoning
Gearing up for a science fair
- Choose a topic that you are passionate about
- Become very knowledgeable about your topic by reading lots of scientific journals and books on your topic and by meeting with experts in the field
- Be certain that you will have the resources necessary to do the project that you have chosen
- Students benefit greatly if the school does not give you a mentor or lab. Finding your own mentor and/or lab helps you develop stronger skills. Contact the researchers that are doing research in your field of interest. Don’t be afraid to travel to a research lab.
- When talking to a potential mentor, be humble and appreciative of their time. Do not ask them to be your mentor firs thing. They will probably say no. Let a partnership develop over time.
- Before judging, read more journal articles and books. Be certain that you have thoroughly analyzed the data.
- Before judging, present your projects to adults who know something about the topic. Ask them to give you constructive criticism.
Support from parents
- Parents should provide transportation, funds for purchasing supplies and encouragement.
- Parents can also help with some phone calls, when they need to be made during the school day.
- Parents should remain positive about the project, especially when things go wrong.
- Parents should not be critical of the time spent on the project.
About yourself: background, college, work experience etc.
- University of Connecticut, B.S.; University of North Florida, M.Ed.
- Presently teaching at Episcopal School of Jacksonville
- Science Teacher for 30 years; Science Department Chair for 10 years
- Director of Scientific Research for 6 years
- Director of Northeast Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair
- Served on the Advisory Council of the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for 3 years
- I have had winners at ISEF for 12 years straight
- My students have also been winners at the state science fair, Seimens, Intel Talent Search, ISWEEEP, Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, Florida Junior Academy of Science and other
Garnering proper ideas
- Project design is novel, but it addresses a real problem that needs to be solved.
- Plenty of trials conducted and plenty of data collected
- Evidence of thorough background research
- Researchers in the field of study are impressed with the work, because they wanted to know more about the work that is being done
Accomplishments: rewards and other achievements
- Development of problem solving, communication, scientific reasoning, writing and analytical skills
- Confidence in those skills
- New friends who love science
- Great memories