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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
     

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