Signals of Spring
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List of "In the Spotlight" Features

Signals of Spring is Authentic Science Research™


Science Research students at Nyack High School follow the Authentic Science Research™ Program developed by Dr. Robert Pavlica, and used in high schools nationwide. Students normally begin their program their sophomore year, when they find an area of interest for their research and begin searching for a mentor in the field. As juniors, they work with their mentor, create their own hypothesis and then conduct research and prepare a report their senior year. Many of these students enter into the national Intel Science Talent Search. In fact, twenty percent of the nation’s finalists in the Intel competition came from schools following Dr. Pavlica’s program.

This year at Nyack, freshman students got a jump on developing their research skills with Signals of Spring. Under the guidance of their teacher, Ms. Kristin Oberle, students studied migrations and movements of both land and marine animals, and then presented at the Symposium. Through a grant from the Nyack Teacher Center, Ms. Oberle implemented the Signals of Spring program with eight students this spring. Each student picked one animal, ranging from red-tailed hawks, to golden eagles, to sea turtles. The students studied animal movements and analyzed their relationship to earth imagery.

student giving a presentation

“The students were so excited about the animal they were tracking,” Ms. Oberle “Their personal attachment [to the project]. . . is a crucial aspect of any part of learning.” The students’ experience with Signals of Spring has taught them the skills they will need for their research in the Authentic Science Research™ over the next three years. According to Ms. Oberle, “[Signals] provides the fundamental skills needed for conducting science research.” With Signals, students gained Internet research and organizational skills, worked on analyzing data, and even practiced in on their presentation techniques at their Symposium.

Overall, these Nyack students did a great job both on their research and their Symposium presentations. Maybe we have future scientists on our hands . . ..

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