Independent Science Projects are a chance for students to develop and explore their own interests related to Science. Students are asked to identify an area of Science that interests them and develop a question related to it. Once they’ve come up with an experiment design to test their question, we do class critiques. Students ask questions and offer suggestions to their classmates that often point out variables that hadn’t been controlled for. This not only helps students improve their experiments, but each student in the audience has a chance to think critically about a couple dozen experiment designs rather than just their own.
This year, Dr. Yakelis, a Chemistry professor at Pacific Lutheran University, sat in on the critiques to help the kids hone their ideas for their projects. Dr. Yakelis offers great insights into the Scientific Process and helps students think the way a working scientist thinks. Many thanks to Dr. Yak for taking time out of his busy schedule once again to help out!