Fall 2019 *STAR* Projects

Congratulations to Fall 2019 Star Project award-winning teams!

Sharing information and ideas to improve thinking for all is a very important part of science. In this section, we highlight a few exemplary research projects. We profile student teams at each age level whose overall research was strong, and who did an exceptional job at one or more aspects of scientific research and communication. The Star Projects listed on this page highlight some of the best projects nominated by our scientist mentors and teachers. Take a look at the hard work middle and high school students are doing around the world!


Team Name Why is it a STAR project? How can other teams learn from what this team has done? School Category(ies) Nominated by:

bhsdobsonfall2019 project 4

This team did a great job designing an investigation around the different types of aquatic plants. They applied what we were learning about to what they see in their lives. Its great when what kids are doing in school melds with their experiences outside of school! Their mentor did a great job sparking their curiosity and prompting them to take each step of their investigation to a higher level. Bristol High School Doing Investigations, Innovation: Going Beyond the PlantingScience Project Rebecca Dobson, Teacher

Planting Science M.A.P.S.

This team came up with a creative investigation question that tested their prior knowledge, and showed persistence and curiosity as they figured out how to test their question. They communicated well with their mentor, especially when working to design their investigation. They showed great enthusiasm throughout the investigation! DeWitt Middle School Planning Your Study, Doing Investigations, Making Sense of Findings, Online Communication Aline Rodrigues de Queiroz, Scientist Liaison

Sunflowers

This team came up with a creative investigation question that tested their prior knowledge, and showed persistence and curiosity as they figured out how to test their question. They communicated well with their mentor, especially when working to design their investigation. They showed great enthusiasm throughout the investigation! DeWitt Middle School Planning Your Study, Doing Investigations, Making Sense of Findings Kristen Stiem, Teacher

Scientific Smarties

Scientific smarties were attentive to their project. They took active participation in online disucssions and presentation of data. DeWitt Middle School Doing Investigations, Making Sense of Findings, Making Presentations, Online Communication, Recording Your Ideas Kaushal Kumar Bhati, Scientist Mentor

nutrient stress project 3

The Zinc (Zn) Team had a challenging project ahead of them, which leveled up with postgraduate research work. Not only they were testing an environmental variable that was very subtle and difficult to control (Zn nutrition status), but they increased the complexity of their experiment by testing the effect of increased Zn levels (relative to control) on Arabidopsis plants with different genetics. They compared different mutant lines, where particular genes and processes were not functioning, to Columbia wild-type plants. The team initially developed a research proposal, and allowed time for mentor feedback, showing that they put some time and effort planning their project. The long-term plant physiology experiment also required a lot of dedication, since plants required daily monitoring of plant growth and development, water status and Zn toxicity symptoms. While the students faced setbacks in their experimental setup (i.e. fungal contamination and drought) which are normal when performing a pilot study, they were fast in detecting issues and reporting them in the PlantingScience platform, as so to ensure their experiment was not lost. Finally, the Zinc Team also produced a nice poster to report their findings and conclusions to their school community. In this poster, they also made sure to realistically point out the setbacks faced, and came up with possible research directions based on their observations and overall research experience. Absolutely great work! Glenbard East High School Doing Investigations, Making Sense of Findings, Online Communication, Recording Your Ideas Marina Osorio, Scientist Liaison

Plants of the World!- Project 7

This fifth grade team planned their project in great detail and executed it well! They took their project (how does salt affect plant growth) very seriously and communicated with their mentor cheerfully and productively. Lake Michigan Catholic Elementary School Planning Your Study Lindsey Goshgarian, Teacher

lhsbradleybgfall2019 project 2

This team engaged well with their mentor and asked thoughtful questions about how to best execute their experiment. Team members conveyed genuine interest and investment in their experimental design, data collection and plant growth. Lincolnton High School Making Sense of Findings, Online Communication Elizabeth Stunz, Scientist Liaison

lhsbradleybgfall2019 project 2

The students that did this project went beyond just analyzing which plants germinated the quickest and grew the tallest during their experiment. They observed that maybe while red light caused the plants to germinate early and grow very tall, they were spindly. While natural light was the slowest at germinating, they grew more sturdy and healthy looking. Blue light produced an in between plant. These students did a great job journaling their experiment results and going beyond normal observation. ROWVA High School Making Sense of Findings, Recording Your Ideas Nadine Nice, Teacher

wmacostfall2019 project 2

Students on the team organized their experiment so well that I did not need to remind them to collect data from day to day or to communicate with their scientists. They came in ready to measure their plants and asked questions of the mentors as they came up with them. They organized the data charts and the lighting as the plants grew. They even designed chamber that separated the plants from ambient light without being prompted to do so. Wilbraham & Monson Academy Doing Investigations, Online Communication Diana Cost, Teacher

wmacostfall2019 project 4

Despite finding issues with their seeds germinating this team kept on trying and communicating with their mentor. They addressed issues of watering and found in the end that [the treatment that] did not have fertilizer grew. They began to suspect that the fertilizer had something to do with their lack of growth, asking their mentor, "Is it possible that adding too much fertilizer may affect or actually cause damage to the seeds?" They provided evidence to their mentor and at the end she believed the fertilizer was indeed toxic. Wilbraham & Monson Academy Making Sense of Findings, Online Communication Diana Cost, Teacher

Look Through Previous Star Project Galleries:

To see ALL PlantingScience Star Projects, click here!

Fall 2016 Star Projects Spring 2018 Star Projects
Spring 2017 Star Projects Fall 2018 Star Projects
Fall 2017 Star Projects Spring 2019 Star Projects