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Independent Science Research

This non-traditional course provides the student who enrolls the opportunity to further develop a keen interest in science through cooperation with a mentor and the coordinating George School teacher. Students who enroll must identify and cultivate a relationship with a mentor in order to design and carry out an independent scientific research project. The project can be done either on or off campus. Projects may incorporate any step(s) of the scientific process, including grant writing, experimental design, sample collection, sample testing, data analysis, and presentation of findings.

Because of the independent nature of the work, the course does not meet during an arrangement. The project may be implemented after school, on weekends, and/or during vacations. The number of credits awarded will be dependent upon the time required to implement the project. Typically, a 50-hour project will earn 1 credit, a 75-hour project will earn 2 credits and a 100-hour project will earn 3 credits.

Students should contact the science department head for detailed instructions on developing a proposal. Proposals for summer, yearlong, or Term 1 projects are due May 1. Proposals for Term 2 projects are due October 15. Proposals for spring break or Term 3 projects are due February 1. Decisions on proposals will be made by the coordinating teacher no later than the first day of exam week during the term in which the proposal is made.

As part of this course, students complete an online curriculum in which they explore the scientific method and develop skills in reading scientific literature, and each student makes a public presentation on their project. The exact nature of the presentation is developed in consultation with the coordinating teacher.

Open to: juniors and seniors