Research Project Student Expo 2014

Expo highlights

School groups from across the state came to the Research Project Student Expo to learn about a fascinating array of Research Projects and to draw on valuable advice and strategies from key organisations and industry experts.

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Student exhibitors

Students from a range of schools were on hand to share their experiences of the Research Project. They discuss what they enjoyed most about the process; the benefits and challenges, reflections on the journey, and some handy advice to other students beginning their research.

 
 

Student stories

These videos are aimed at inspiring Year 11 and Year 12 SACE students who are preparing to start their Research Projects.

They feature students who have completed the subject providing insight into:

  • how they formulated their question
  • their research strategies
  • how they overcame project challenges
  • other tips based on their experience.

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Elsie

How can the mortality rate of Indigenous women with cervical cancer be reduced?

Indigenous health is an issue that has always resonated with Elsie. She wanted to choose a Research Project question that aligned with these interests and that was relevant to modern Australia. After preliminary research into Indigenous health, Elsie found that there was a significant difference in the mortality rate of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in Australia.

 
 

Charlie

How will first time voters decide who to vote for in the 2013 Federal election?

Charlie initially chose a broad topic around voter choices. He found that there were too many factors involved to allow any in-depth analysis. He then refined his research question to focus on high school students so that he could share his findings with his peers.

 
 

Brittany

What are the positives and negatives of stem cell therapy?

Brittany's focus was on choosing a contemporary issue currently being debated in society. She had an interest in science and had also studied stem cell therapy at school. Brittany knew it was important to choose a research question that would sustain her interest across the life of the project and lead to further study at university.

 
 

Joel

Is there a link between the number of drowning deaths and the South Australian swimming and aquatics funding model?

Joel chose his topic by mind-mapping all of his interests before refining possible questions around this. He chose a question that he found intriguing, as he knew that this would hold his interest across the life of the project.

 
 

Samantha

How important is reading to children's language and cognitive development?

Samantha has always had an interest in her own learning aptitude and wanted to know if it could be attributed to her experiences as a child. Her research enabled her to substantiate these links. Samantha found the skills she honed during the Research Project – researching, finding credible sources and referencing – helped her succeed in her other Year 12 subjects.

 
 

Kate

Is modern digital media causing the demise of traditional print media?

Studying journalism was always top on Kate's agenda after she finished school, so she chose a Research Project question associated with the industry. At first she selected a general question about the demise of print media but had to refine her question after initial research. Kate also made valuable contacts for her future career during the research process.

 
 

Oliver

What are the physics and factors involved in designing a surfboard for Victor Harbor?

For Oliver, a Research Project topic about surfing was an obvious choice. He has spent a lot of his life at the beach and has been interested in surfing for a long time. He took that interest a step further by researching the physics and factors involved in surfboard design. Oliver also wanted to make his topic unique so he specified a local area and conditions for the use of the surf board.

 
 

Hattie

How would I create a screenplay inspired by the work of Woody Allen?

Hattie loves films and film-making and the Research Project allowed her to pursue a topic of personal interest. Her Research Project question came about after watching her first Woody Allen film. Hattie liked the idea of choosing a director whose work she didn't know well but would make for interesting research.

 
 

Dylan

How can exercise help improve academic performance at school?

The key motivator for Dylan was choosing a Research Project question that would help her perform better at school. She enjoys exercise and thought the link to academic performance would be particularly relevant during her Year 12 studies.

 
 

Videos of student presenters

The Research Project Student Expo was a unique opportunity for Year 10 and Year 11 students and their teachers to learn about a fascinating array of Research Projects, including a number of in-depth presentations from inspired students. 

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Tajwar

How do black holes cause problems for the world of physics, and how can we unify our understanding of them to get a better understanding of the universe?

Tajwar presented his Research Project about black holes to students, parents, teachers and members of the public at the Research Project Student Expo after-hours session. He delighted the audience with his passion for black holes and the mystery surrounding their origins. Tajwar spoke of how his Research Project question remains largely unanswered, which has fuelled his interest in pursuing this field in further study.

 
 

Amelia

What is the role of Omega-3 in neurological development and subsequently ADHD?

Amelia also inspired visitors at the expo after-hours session with her passion for health and childhood development. This keen interest led her on a unique journey through the Research Project, exploring the links between Omega-3 and ADHD. Amelia's passion for her Research Project topic saw her forge strong networks with industry, which included endorsement of her findings and valuable support for future study in the field. 

 
 

Fred

How can surfers develop their lung capacity?

A passion for surfing and a freak wipe-out set Fred on an interesting path for his Research Project. He wanted to know how surfers could increase their lung capacity to withstand the dangers of rough surf conditions. His display at the expo showcased his findings, which included research into meditation, yoga and free diving.

 
 

Videos of expo presenters

Visitors to the Research Project Student Expo were inspired by a range of industry experts and organisations who shared advice on the wealth of opportunities the Research Project can provide.

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Prof. Martin Westwell

Why Australia needs your Research Project

Prof. Martin Westwell is the Director of the Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century at Flinders University. He speaks of the value of the Research Project in developing a new generation of "resilient questioners".

 
 

Videos for teachers

The expo provided a valuable setting for new and existing Research Project teachers to network with other teachers to gain advice and strategies on how best to support students.

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Tracey

Tracey explores the value of harnessing students' passions through the Research Project. She speaks of the importance of supporting students to refine a research question that enables them to conduct meaningful research in an area they love. Tracey supports the idea of explicit teaching of essential research skills to help students conduct ethical research with valid and reliable findings.

 
 

Stephen

Stephen's key advice is about encouraging students to contact a range of organisations who have developed meaningful resources to support students with their Research Project. He also recognises the importance of teachers supporting students through this self-directed inquiry – with some critical points of intervention – to ensure the progress of students' research.

 
 

Lisa

Lisa discusses the significance of a whole-of-school approach to supporting student research. She says teachers must embrace the role of ‘facilitator of learning' to give students the autonomy to undertake independent inquiry. Lisa is also excited about the formation of the Association for Secondary Research Teachers.