We had the privilege of working with some great students from San Francisco University High School in late September. Their enthusiasm for research and the variety of their interests were amazing. The students did a great job at picking projects that really interested them. Their enthusiasm for their work showed throughout the whole process.
First, they spent time forming well thought out hypotheses and predictions which turned out to be super helpful to making very successful projects. This is a process that students often want to rush through so that they can get outside and collect data. However, all of these students put in the time; they made and revised hypotheses many times before moving on. They also successfully used their hypotheses and predictions to plan their project’s materials and methods. Their hard work and attention to detail really showed when they were collecting their data. In addition, SFUHS students were able to problem solve things that weren’t going well in their projects, such as revising how long and where to put out sticky traps to catch insects.
I have to say the extra time and energy these students put into the revision and planning of their projects really paid off. Not one group had to make major changes to collect the data they needed for a great project.
Another thing that really stood out with this group was how well they worked independently. Once they got through our Student Driven Research framework and developed their research questions, they needed only minimal direction to complete their projects. They weren’t afraid to ask questions when they needed advice, but were very willing to go the extra mile and solve problems on their own. With very little guidance on statistics, graphing, and how to make a scientific PowerPoint presentation beyond our Presentation Guidelines they produced great projects and presentations.
I recommend looking at the PowerPoint presentations that they concluded their program with (below; we turned them into PDFs to make online viewing easier and to make the files smaller). We think that you will be impressed with these projects.