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Paper No. 24
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM


NANCE, Raymond G., Science, The ASK Academy, 1380 Rio Rancho Blvd. #361, Rio Rancho, NM 87124,

Current research has shown that the opportunity to apply knowledge in hands-on situations serves to solidify students understanding of scientific concepts and practices. This is particularly true when hands-on applications involve student directed, original research. This paper will describe a program in southern New Mexico that engages students in the study of original ideas and encourages the presentation of that research in appropriate educational and professional settings. This paper also summarizes recent studies of programs utilizing student-directed, project-based learning experiences and examines the program described in light of that existing research. The projects described in this paper include a study of cricket populations, isolation of microbes within karst environments, and assorted studies of karst geology. Students in this program have conducted multi-year original studies and have presented their research in such venues as the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and at various Geological Society of America state and national meetings. The progress of four students in terms of scientific thought, professionalism and development of long-term educational goals as they worked on multi-year research projects in high school will be described.
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