Bringing Research into the
Secondary School Science Classroom

Ideas for Implementation

  1. Journal of Student Research Activities
  2. Poster Fair
  3. Continuation of Summer Project
  4. New/Modified Laboratory Investigations
  5. Classroom Analysis of your Data
  6. Ask-a-scientist (On-line Help Services)
  7. Using Sophisticated Equipment
  8. Field Trips to University Laboratories
  9. Research Presentations by University Faculty
  10. Other Collaborative Projects
  11. Use of Online Dynamic Data

Project Participant Implementation Plans

  1. Final Individual Implementation Plans
  2. HyperNews Group with Implementation Plans in Progress Post your work here as it is completed.

Successful Models of Scientist/Teacher / Student Collaborations


Journal of Student Research Activities: A major goal of this project is to encourage research by secondary school students. Student research may be published in the Journal of Student Research Abstracts. All submissions for the journal must be given to Dr. Oppenheimer by February 1, 2000..

Poster Fair: A poster fair, in which your students have the opportunity to present their research, will be held on the CSUN campus in June.

Continuation of Summer Project: If possible, it is best to continue your summer project in your classroom. You may decide to incorporate some of all your students in data collection, analysis, and interpretation.

New/Modified Laboratory Investigations: Most high school biology laboratories tend to be observational rather than experimental unless influenced by external curricula such as the College Board's Advanced Placement Program .1 2 3 4  By participating in the CSUN NSF Research Fellowship Program, you will gain greater insight into experimental research. As you proceed in your research, think about how you can develop new classroom experiments, or modify existing ones, to include a greater amount of true experimentation, data analysis, and interpretation. We intend to post your work on a page dedicated to new and/or modified laboratory investigations.

Classroom Analysis of your Data: In the past 10-15 years there has been a major shift in standardized testing at the state and national level. The new Stanford Achievement Tests, Scholastic Aptitude Tests, Advanced Placement Exams, and Graduate Record Examinations all place much greater emphasis upon data analysis and interpretation than they did previously. This emphasis upon data interpretation reflects recommendations made by numerous by the National Academy of Sciences; National Science Teachers Association, the California Board of Education,and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Analysis of data you have recently collected will help students understand the dynamic aspect of scientific investigation and discovery and help prepare them not only for the new standardized exams, but for college and the work force where such skills are essential. Spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel¡ is particularly useful when analyzing such data.

Ask-a-scientist (On-line Help Services): On the Internet there are a variety of sites such as NASA's Quest Program from which students can dialog with scientists (through email or chat) . The following is a list of some of the many "ask-a-scientist" web sites. Perhaps you can set up such email correspondence with willing professors here at CSUN.

NASA Ask-A-Scientist:
Aero-Design Team
Ask Dr. Math
Ask Dr. Science
Space Scientists Online
Ask Mr. Calculus
The Math Tutor
Scientific American: Ask The Experts
Ask A Scientist
Space Team Online
Ask The Space Scientist
Ask An Earth Scientist
Ask An Astronaut
Ask Dr Neutrino

Using Sophisticated Equipment

Equipment at CSUN: Perhaps your professor will allow you and your students to analyze samples using sophisticated equipment such as the gene sequencer.

Telescopes in Education: "The Telescopes in Education (TIE) program was conceived in response to a critical need in K-12 schools for hands-on, interactive science programs. TIE enables students and educators to operate a research-quality telescope in real time, and download charge-coupled device (CCD) images of celestial objects from the convenience of a computer in their classroom. TIE also establishes a forum where schools, teachers, and individual students can share images, develop experiments, exchange data, and work together on projects involving the TIE system. The TIE project enhances knowledge of astronomy, astrophysics, and mathematics; improves computer literacy; demonstrates CCD photography and image-processing techniques; and strengthens critical thinking skills. In short, TIE provides teachers with the appropriate tools to bring the new frontiers of science directly into the classroom. From your school you can control a research grade 24" telescope located atop Mount Wilson using Mount Wilson Institute's Telescopes in Education (TIE) program. Using an f/3.5 Newtonian focus main lens with a 10" f/6.3 Schmidt Cassagrain finderscope, students and teachers can obtain research-quality images of both planetary and deep-sky objects."

BugScope (Electron Microscope): "The Bugscope project is an educational outreach program for K-12 classrooms. The project provides a resource to classrooms so that they may remotely operate a scanning electron microscope to image "bugs" at high magnification. The microscope is remotely controlled in real time from a classroom computer over the Internet using a web browser.

Field Trips to University Laboratories: Field trips to university laboratories can provide secondary school students with a glimpse into the world of higher education. Research has shown that such exposure plays an important role in the decision making process among those students who may not have previously considered attending college.

Research Presentations by University Faculty: Students rarely have the opportunity to learn from research specialists. Collaborative presentations on your research by you and your professor/advisor may not only stimulate student interest in research, but also familiarize your students with the research mission of institutes of higher education. Research interests of CSUN biology professors are posted on the web.

Collaborative Environmental Monitoring Projects: There are a variety of well-established collaborative environmental monitoring projects. Perhaps some projects are related to your research and can be used when implementing student research based upon your summer research

Globe Project: "Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) is a worldwide network of students, teachers, and scientists working together to study and understand the global environment. Students and teachers from over 7,000 schools in more than 80 countries are working with research scientists to learn more about our planet. GLOBE students make environmental observations at or near their schools and report their data through the Internet. Scientists use GLOBE data in their research and provide feedback to the students to enrich their science education. Global images based on GLOBE student data are displayed on the World Wide Web, enabling students and other visitors to visualize the student environmental observations."

Journey North: "Over 4,000 schools, representing approximately 200,000 students, are expected to participate in the Spring, 1999 Journey North Program. These students hail from all 50 U.S. States and 7 Canadian Provinces. The journeys of a dozen migratory species are tracked each spring. Students share their own field observations with classrooms across the Hemisphere. In addition, students are linked with scientists who provide their expertise directly to the classroom. Several migrations are tracked by satellite telemetry, providing live coverage of individual animals as they migrate. As the spring season sweeps across the Hemisphere, students note changes in daylight, temperatures, & all living things as the food chain comes back to life."

Other Environment Monitoring Projects; Students can participate in a variety of environmental monitoring projects such as acid rain (Students monitor pH levels for all forms of precipitation).BirdWatch - (students collect data on bird populations at feeders in two week intervals.), RoadKill- (Students develop a "year-round" RoadKill database to bring about awareness of fragmented wildlife corridors in the participants community), SaltTrack -(A monitoring project which shows the results of chemical treatment for highways in winter.), VernalPools (The Vernal Pool project is conducted by Leo Kenney who is the director of the the Vernal Pool Association at Reading Memorial High School in Reading, MA. Leo has been working with vernal pool certification procedures for the past twenty years and will offer background information on the process of certifying these important wetland habitats and WhaleNet (students collect and analyze data on many whale species right from their classrooms.)

Other Collaborative Projects: Teachers and their students may become a part of many collaborative data collection and analysis projects such as those listed below. Perhaps your research lends itself to such data collection and you can develop and advertise your own website, or contribute your data to existing sites.

Car Color Counting -- "certain colors of cars may be more prevalent in certain parts of the country. Count the number of cars in a parking lot and classify them by color. Develop skills in comparing,observing, hypothesizing, graphing and communicating."

Collaborative Learning Environments Online -- "where classrooms engaged in math and science inquiry projects can exchange, analyze, and discuss data with others around the world."

Global Temperature Project -- "Join schools from around the world as they try to figure out how proximity to the equator affects average daily temperature and hours of sunlight."

Global Water Sampling Project -- "Join this collaborative project and compare the water quality of your local river, stream, lake or pond with other fresh water sources around the world."

Journey North Tulip Garden -- students share data to investigate the relationship between geography, temperature and the arrival of spring.

Passport to Knowledge -- an ongoing series of "electronic field trips to scientific frontiers" that encourages students to collaborate with real scientists and with other students. Projects have included Live from Antarctica, Live from the Stratosphere, Live from the Hubble Space Telescope, Live from Mars, and Live from the Rainforest. Supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA, public television, and other collaborators.

Save the Beaches: An International Project for Global Awareness -- students visit local beaches, do a beach sweep and analyze and categorize the litter. They then share the data with participating schools.

Use of Online Dynamic Data

There is a growing mass of dynamic scientific data on the web. Teachers and students can use such data to analyze real-time problems. Perhaps there is similar data related to your research interests. You may search for it using Internet search engines such as AltaVista.

Seismology: this sample lesson shows how dynamic seismic data can be used in the classroom.

Athena: Lessons with dynamic data in oceanography, geology, meteorology and space science.


Dr. Steven Oppenheimer, Director       Dr. Norm Herr, Implementation Advisor

Biology | Chemistry | Geoscience | Physics | College of Education
References | WWW Search | Courses | Science Education





1Herr, N. (1993). National curricula for advanced science classes in American high schools? The Influence of the College Board's Advanced Placement Program on Science Curricula. International Journal of Science Education. 15 (3), 297-306.

2Herr, N. (1992). A comparative analysis of the perceived influence of Advanced Placement and honors programs upon science instruction. Journal of Research in Science Education. 29 (5), 521-532.

3Herr, N (1991). The influence of program format on the professional development of science teachers: A within-subjects analysis of the perceptions of teachers who have taught AP and honors science to comparable student populations. Science Education 75 (6). 619-621.

4Herr, N. (1991). Perspectives and policies regarding Advanced Placement and honors coursework. College and University. 62 (2). 47-54.