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New Jackson High School class teaches science research and project collaboration

A new class at Jackson High School requires science students to consult with statistics students on their research projects.
Innovation at Jackson High School

From an Everett Public Schools news release.

A new science class at Jackson High School is a “field test” for other high schools in the Everett School District. One innovative aspect of the Introduction to Engineering and Science Research class is that it requires science students to consult with statistics students on their research projects.

Jackson High School science teacher Kim Griggs is teaching a competitive Introduction to Engineering and Science Research class at Jackson High School for the first time this fall. Science research is a yearlong independent course designed to give high school students a hands-on opportunity to be real scientists.

The class introduces the nature of science research, literature review, individual project design, data collection, statistical analysis, and presentation creation. Students are required to collaborate with researchers and industry experts in their fields to enhance the project depth and validity.

The challenge is for students to fully develop and execute an innovative defensible project that can lead to participation in regional, state and international competitions. Many produce a contribution to scientific knowledge; others win scholarships, internships and other prizes.

The class is being piloted this school year in preparation for infusion at the district’s other high schools and some of the school’s math students also play key roles as “consultants.”

An exciting component of this class involves consultation and collaboration with students enrolled in a statistics class taught by math teacher Brittany Elliott. “This cooperation between departments enables our students to learn from their peers and be competitive nationally and internationally at research competitions. With Elliott’s assistance we’ve worked out a strategic way for her statistics students to support the research students in my class and to enhance statistics through real-world examples in her class; both will benefit from the other’s expertise and experiences,” explained Griggs.

Elliott’s statistics students are serving as “consultants” for the research students. Three statistics students are assigned to one research student. The research students have explained their projects to the statistics consultants and have already had a chance to brief the statistics students on the type of data being collected. “Statistics students are responsible for suggesting the best ways to present the data for determining statistical significance. Students have many avenues to determine the best method for data manipulation, including analyzing previous research statistics, statistics websites/textbooks and collaboration with statistics teachers/professors,” said Griggs.

“Statistics students are getting a chance to analyze real data which will lead to a better understanding of statistics’ role in research. Research students have help understanding how to use and present statistics,” added Elliott.

Principal Terry Cheshire is excited about the new class and the innovative way the teachers and students are linking what they are learning in one classroom to another classroom. “Students can learn from each other as well as from these exemplary teachers. This is just one of many outstanding examples of how students are gaining 21st century skills and academic knowledge they need for their futures.”

Please contact the following for more information:

Mary Waggoner, Director of Communications, Everett Public Schools, 425-385-4040
Carl Fender, Career and Technical Education Director, Everett Public Schools, 425-385-4073
Bob Sotak, Curriculum and Instruction Director, Everett Public Schools, 425-385-4048
Terry Cheshire, Principal, Jackson High School, 425-385-7000

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