• Introduction to Science Research and the Personal Project

    Our first big change this year is the incorporation of the Science Research Program into the Middle Years Program (MYP) Personal Project Course (PP).  Since ALL sophomore students are required to complete a Personal Project, the sophomore students completing the first year of science research will be able to use their sophomore research project to satisfy that requirement.

    The underlying tenets and philosophies of the two programs are very closlely aligned, which made Science Research uniquely qualified for this type of dual-usage.   

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  • Dobbs Ferry High School Science Research Program
    (DFHS SciRes) Course Overview

    1. The science research course is designed to provide students with a chance to pursue scientific research at a college graduate level for 3 years. Motivation, enthusiasm and dedication are essential pre-requisites for success in pursuing an in depth research project of the student’s choosing.
    2. Students choose and explore a topic of interest related to: physical science, life science, computer science, mathematics, or social science. (See other panel for more complete listing.)

    3. Students are taught the process of online bibliographic researching and are able to access many professional scientific databases. Initially, students use library and Internet research tools to identify specific subjects currently being studied within their chosen area.

    4. Students prepare a list of advanced questions regarding their chosen area, based on their bibliographic research, and then proceed to find the answers to those questions. This helps them to significantly advance their knowledge as well as motivates them to analyze their topic on a professional level.

    5. Students find and study several scientific journal articles then present the information from some of their articles to the class. Their presentation to the class emphasizes how the research described in the articles was conducted as well as the significance of the findings.  This highlights the scientific method, which is an essential part of the entire research course.

    6. Once a significant amount of background material is acquired and a strong sense of understanding is gained, the student makes contact with a research scientist within their field of interest. Often this is one of the authors of the articles they have read.  At that time, the students asks the scientist to serve as a mentor, or to help in finding an appropriate scientist, in assisting them in carrying out a research project in their area of interest over the upcoming summers and following school years.

    7. Students then engage in an original piece of research that they design and conduct under the supervision of their mentor. Most often this occurs at the lab where the mentor does their research.

    8. Due to the extensive amount of time many of the research projects demand, and the continuity required, the majority of the research takes place over the next two summers with some work being done to maintain the project during the Junior year of school. Students therefore must schedule their summers appropriately.

    9. The classroom teacher meets with each student individually as well as the entire research class on a regular basis.

    10. As a Junior and Senior the student will not only actively continue their research but they will write a final research paper and enter all possible symposia and science competitions to present their research. These include but are not limited to: Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS), Siemens Science Competition, Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (JSHS),  Tri-County Science Fair, Westchester Science & Engineering Fair (WESEF), Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), International Sustainable World Project Olympiad (ISWEEEP), and Genius Olymdiad.

    DFHS SciRes and the MYP/IB Diploma Program

    The 21st Century skills and approaches to learning that are emphasized in the Middle Years Program and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program align very clearly with the skills and goals developed in the Dobbs Ferry Science Research Program.

    While all the programs are competitive and rigorous, there are significant areas where they intersect.  One example is the Extended Essay requirement for Full IB candidates. This can be met through the reformatting of the research paper written for Science Research.

    For the MYP program, the sophomore year of science research can be used to fulfill the personal project requirement for the MYP program.  

    The efforts and commitment by the Science Research Program and The MYP/IB programs to work together to align their goals and concepts make both of these two programs very accessible to high- achieving students.