Articles

Ultimate Guide to Pursuing High School Research Projects

by Kevin Smith Author

Most common high school pursuits and interests can be fit fairly neatly into the academic or extracurricular categories. There are of course required courses that you take, and then there are the activities that you pursue outside of school hours, usually for your own enjoyment. You may play on a sports team, participate in a service project, or pursue visual arts. In most cases, even if your interests are somewhat untraditional, you can somehow package them in a way that neatly qualifies them as an extracurricular activity.

But what if your interests outside of school are more academic in nature? What if we had long been fascinated by carbon sequestration that limits the impact of climate change? What if you were interested in the history of civil disobedience or the ability of the test to measure actual reading comprehension? Even so, there are interesting topics for high school research program journals that do not fit into a tutoring club or event.

If you would like to pursue such an interest, you may consider running your own research project. The concept may seem daunting at first, but break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks, and you'll quickly find that you already have the skills you need to get started.

In this post, we will outline the process for conducting a long-term research project independently, including several avenues for pursuing recognition of your work and a step-by-step guide to completing your project. If you’re interested in pursuing an independent research project during high school, keep reading.

 

How to Choose a Subject for a Research Project

If you are interested in a research project, you probably already have a topic. In fact, the desire to undertake a research project usually stems from an existing interest, not from the idea of ​​conducting research on a vague or ambiguous topic.

Attempts should be made to narrow research projects to those of academic value. It may be relevant to your current curriculum. Maybe it reflects work you hope to pursue in the future, either academically or professionally. Try to finetune your project enough that you can easily explain the driving force behind it and its relevance to your future career path.

While you don’t need to decide on your exact topic or thesis quite yet, you should have a general idea of what your project will entail before moving forward.

 

Are There Existing Avenues for Undertaking a Research Project At Your School?

While you could certainly conduct your research project completely independently from your school, it is usually easier and more productive to conduct it in a way that is somehow connected to the rest of your schooling.

If your project is STEM-focused, consider whether it is a good fit for a science fair or other STEM competition your school is already participating in. Also, consider the AP Capstone program offered by your school. The second course in this sequence is AP Research and requires an in-depth research project as a final assessment.

If none of these formal methods are available or suitable, consider conducting the project as an independent study. If your institution offers credit for independent study, you can usually get information about this from a consultant. These types of projects usually require an extended application process that must be followed closely if you want to gain approval.

 

Final Words

Even if you can’t take advantage of one of the options above, if you have achieved advanced standing or enough credits, your school might still allow you to undertake an extended individual research project through some type of formal arrangement. For your high school research program journals, you can talk with a teacher, mentor, or adviser to learn what your options are. Clearly communicate your innate desire to learn more about this specific topic and be prepared to give some background on the issue that you want to research.

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About Kevin Smith Senior   Author

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Joined APSense since, December 7th, 2016, From Utah, United States.

Created on Jan 5th 2022 03:40. Viewed 373 times.

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