In Chris Spenner’s Research Methods Class, upper school students are learning about research methods by researching, planning and conducting their own studies. Spenner’s emphasis in the class has been the teaching of “proper scientific practices” that have included the study of experimental design and statistics.
The projects that the students are currently working on range from human subject studies, such as the effects of caffeine on short term memory, to the hot topic of alternative energy, with a study being conducted on solar panel efficiency. These studies are currently ongoing and represent the culmination of a semester’s worth of effort; about 80 percent of class time is devoted to it. The students have to collect the data for their studies, analyze their results and compose a formal report.
For more information on the research methods course, contact Chris Spenner at ChrisS@harker.org and for more information about Harker students’ research, search “research” at news.harker.org.