Students taking these classes are developing their skills as scientific practitioners. They are likely to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). While they will explore the same concepts as students in the academic course, the approach is intended to help them develop science process skills and scientific thinking. Additionally, they will be expected to develop an understanding of the nature of science in order to recognize it value and limitations. 

Goals of Research Courses:

  • Understanding the nature of science (especially its strengths and limitations)
  • Understand how science proceeds and shapes new knowledge 
  • Construct knowledge of science discipline knowledge 
  • Develop scientific reasoning skills 
  • Develop scientific process skills

Students will develop specific science process skills that will allow them to effectively engage in the various components of research culminating in a final project of their own design (these can be done as individuals, pairs, or teams of up to four).  

In order for students to develop science process skills, students: 

  • Will conduct in-class science research projects related to class that will support learning science content (SOL and beyond) 
    • Early projects will be largely guided by teacher and focus on particular science process skills 
    • Later projects will allow students and teacher to work as a team reinforcing skills already learned and building new skills 
  • Will produce a final project, in small groups, related to questions developed by the class and is specifically related to class concepts