An inaugural Earth Science Research Symposium at Phoenix’s John C. Birdlebough High School featured the research of 42 students from the school’s freshman class.
Earth science honors students from Susan Sharp and Andrea Ackles’ classes started tackling their research project assignments for the symposium back in early October.
Each student selected a topic of interest related to the theme of climate change and generated a statement question to guide their research.
Then, in preparation for the symposium, each student prepared a written scientific magazine-style article, designed a research project poster board, and prepared a PowerPoint presentation.
The students presented their research findings and supportive materials to a panel of judges at the inaugural symposium.
Some of the topics presented at the symposium include: How do burning of fossil fuels influence global warming? How does global warming affect snow storms? How does global warming affect tornadoes? How did Venus’ atmosphere change over time?
Research Symposium coordinator Susan Sharp indicated that the science fair-type format of the symposium provided the perfect opportunity for students to show what they know and have a dialogue about their topic.
Earning distinctions at the symposium for their research efforts, materials and oral presentation were: Group A 1st Place: Nick Bernard, What Is the Relationship Between Climate Change and Increased Snowfall?; Group A 2nd Place: Eric Leach, How Do Burning of Fossil Fuels Influence Global Warming?; and Group A 3rd Place: Kadin May, How Does Temperature Change Affect Coral Reef Bleaching?.
Group B 1st Place: Spencer Evans, Is Global Warming Just A Natural Cycle?; Group B 2nd Place: Jon George, How Does Global Warming Affect Snow Storms?; and Group B 3rd Place: Evan Logee, How Does Our Current Climate Compare To The Time Of The Dinosaurs?.
Group C 1st Place: Brian Breen, How Did Venus’ Atmosphere Change Over Time?; Group C 2nd Place: Ryan Virkler, How Will Global Warming Affect New York State?; and Group C 3rd Place: Shane Girard, How Do Melting Ice Caps From Global Warming Affect The Environment?.
Group D 1st Place: Cassady Konu, How Does Global Warming Affect Tornadoes?; Group D 2nd Place: Alexa Uttamsingh, Global Warming: Are Humans At Fault?; and Group D 3rd Place: Kea Corey, How Are Coral Reefs Being Affected By Global Warming?
The judges also presented two special awards at the ceremony.
Earning the Principal’s Choice Award for being best of show was Ryan Virkler.
Earning the Scientific Method Award for demonstrating science literacy and strong knowledge was Cassady Konu.
The long-term research projects, in addition to being part of the symposium, also represent a major portion of each earth science honors student’s grade for the school year.
The premise for the project prepares students for their next level of learning by fostering several essential skills such as identifying problems, asking questions, posing solutions, and interpreting data.
“I am very proud of the high quality of work demonstrated by our students. Their efforts exemplified 21st Century learning skills and a high level of college and career readiness,” Sharp said.