Mashpee Science and Engineering Independent Study

BY Stephanie Soares 

Mashpee High School

Project Description

At Mashpee High School, we will be conducting a Science Fair in January for the first time in many years.  We hope that this will be an ongoing event that spurs students into conducting independent research projects in addition to classroom learning time.  In order to facilitate student inquiry and project design, it would be extremely helpful to be able to support projects financially as well.  Students will need access to perishable chemicals, structural supports, and living organisms, many of which can only be purchased through the school.  Projects that qualify for regional and state exhibitions will need additional financial support to replenish supplies in order to make their projects competitive on a national level.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

Independent research will be evaluated as students present at the school, regional, and state levels.  The number and quality of studies conducted will be an effective indicator for the project success.  Also, increased student engagement when the next school year begins (2019) as students realize support both academically and monetarily will indicate project success and growth in the future.

Benefit to the students and the school

Inquiry-based learning is becoming an ever-important topic in the science community.  When students engage in
independent learning projects, they become more invested in the topics and have better recall long-term.  Our hope is that the overall science curriculum will become increasingly inquiry-based inside the classroom as well as in students’ lives outside the classroom.  We also hope to increase our student participation with mentors in the scientific community that is present here on Cape Cod.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)

Student projects will be starting in November 2018 and will need replenishing in January, March, and May of 2019 as projects become eligible for regional and state competitions.