|Scientific Method | Create a Portfolio|
If you want to involve your community in your research, you can research an issue that's important to the community, study a site or sites out in the community, and involve community people in the project as advisors or data collectors, etc.
The following questions might help you think of ways to design your research project for your community:
What is the geography of your community?
What is your community's population/size?
What is your community's history? Any legends?
What does your community value? How do you know?
Do you know of any science projects that are going on now in your community?
Now brainstorm topics or questions you think might be interesting to explore in your home community. Here are some suggestions on how you can connect with people in your community about research topics that interest you:
1. Reach Out for Support
Talk to as many people as you can about your plans and goals for your science project. You will be surprised how many people will provide ideas and support. Your family , friends, neighbors, local business people, and people in state and federal agencies (such as the Forest Service and the Fish and Wildlife division) are all good sources for information and support. It is very likely they will all be interested in your ideas. They can even help you identify how your science project is related to community concerns and issues.
Do you know of people or organizations already working on the subject that interests you? If not, how can you find out who they are?
2. Keep an Open Mind
Even if you have already created your research design and are confident about your results, continue to keep an open mind about other methods for reaching the same conclusion or other interpretations of your data. A person with very different ideas than your own can still contribute an important dimension to your project. Practice listening to and reading about many different viewpoints and ideas on your subject. You don't have to agree, instead practice your critical thinking skills and develop your own opinion.
How will you learn about different points of view? How will you deal with differences of opinion?
3. Maintain Visibility
Here are some suggestions on how to keep your project visible in your community.
Rural Girls in Science Program
Imogen Cunningham Hall Box 351380
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195 (206) 543-7476 FAX (206) 685-4490