SMART (Science Mentoring And Research Tutoring)

I propose that a science mentoring program be started at Meadow Park Middle School. The program will provide active guidance from an experienced mentors (unpaid volunteers) at all stages of the science research - Help with selecting challenging research topics other than standard science fair fodder - Teaching students how to do academic research - Experimental design - Creating boards - Presentation skills

Additionally, the program will provide support in terms of materials and services needed to conduct science research and participate in science fairs. I expect around 25 students to participate in the first year of a total target population of 500 students in Meadow Park Middle School. Doing science projects is a fantastic way for middle-school children to develop a strong interest in science. What makes a science fair project such a great learning experience is that it involves so much more than science. For middle school students, the research report will most likely be the longest paper the student has ever written. Writing these reports is a great way to improve computer research skills. Most projects also involve a good deal of math, and all students get an opportunity to enhance their presentation skills when they prepare their display boards and discuss their projects with the judges. A science fair project has a longer duration than most other assignments. In contrast to the typical school homework due the next day or perhaps a week hence, a science fair project requires a student to learn to plan over two or three months, a skill of immense importance. Most students do their projects for a school science fair, but in many cases, students can enter that same project in fairs at the city or county level. Besides, in the long-term, it will encourage students to pursue science and engineering based careers, a much needed skill in the country.

The money will be used to provide the Meadow Park students with: Science research materials and equipment, Materials for creating presentation (Boards, poster paper, glue etc.), Professional services like printing of presentation boards, Usage fees for labs and specialized equipment through liaison work with local educational, professional and research institutions, Prizes and awards to encourage participation. The program will be run by UNPAID volunteers.

I am a senior in Catlin Gabel School. I go to Catlin Gabel on a full ride merit-based scholarship. I am an alumnus of Meadow Park Middle School, having graduated from there in 2012. I am passionate about applied science, and have been actively engaged in science research since Middle School. I was one of the 30 national Broadcom Masters science fair finalists in both 2011 and 2012, I also represented the US in Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition at Stockholm in 2013. My project partner is Ms. Kynah Atwood, Science teacher at Meadow Park Middle School.

My project will start in the Fall for 2015-16 science year and culminate in June 2016. The first year is a foundation year. I am hoping that this will plant the seeds for science research in Meadow Park Middle School and the project will be self-sustaining through funding from Beaverton School District. Any leftover funds will be used in the following school year.

I will evaluate the success of my project based on measurable outcomes:
Short-Term - Percentage increase in number of Meadow Park students participating in science fairs. Number of science projects selected to advance to state science fair (Intel Northwest Science Expo) Long-Term - Number of students continuing to do science research more than one year. Number of students pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) based career options. Improvement in academic performance compared to control group of students not participating in science research

Want to help? The SMART program is looking for community members who will encourage and mentor students in science research. (once a week for 1.5 hours) Perhaps you have scientific equipment the students can use or borrow. Lab contacts also appreciated. Contact: jaina(at)catlin(dot)edu and Kynah_Atwood(at)beaverton(dot)k12(dot)or(dot)us Phone: (503)531-3326

Financiado pelo capítulo Beaverton & Beyond, OR (October 2015)