Independent Research Projects – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the independent research project component of the project?

These projects are a chance for you and your students to explore watershed related topics that go beyond the ongoing chemical water testing every three weeks. They are a chance for your students to develop research and scientific method skills, analyze data and problem solve, and explore waterway topics that interest them.

What do the independent research projects have to be about?

They should be about a watershed topic (i.e. water quality, pollutants, water issues, watershed mapping/comparisons, watershed history, hydrogeology, stream morphology, watershed creatures/aquatic life, or stream ecology). Stipend money can be spent on equipment to carry out these projects.

Who designs these research projects?

Ideally, the students; however, if you want to cover a certain topic in your curriculum that you could turn into a class research project, go for it. It should be a goal to have the students feel some ownership of the research design and work.

How many independent research projects do we have to do?

At least one involving the entire class must be completed. Some teachers have one entire class project, some divide students up into groups to each work on a different project. Individual students or small groups can study something on their own. Whatever works best for you in your class setting.

How many students have to conduct independent research projects?

Teachers decide parameters of projects. We encourage involvement of as many students as possible even if they all cannot come to the symposium.

When do we start working on these projects?

As soon as you and your students want. They must be complete by April for the Student Research Symposium. The earlier they are completed, the better, and the results / presentation will be more impressive for the Student Research Symposium. Allegheny can purchase materials for you between the Summer Institute and March 1 or provide assistance at any point during the year.