Henry County High School science teacher Jessica Elliott is one of 95 teachers who were recently awarded a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) research grant from the Society for Science that will enable her students to engage in independent research. The grant, valued at $1,000, provided a collection of equipment that students will be able to check out in order to conduct their own scientific research projects.
“Students will need to think of something they want to investigate outside of school,” Elliott said. “Then they will collect their data and present it to me for extra credit.”
Elliott said most of the equipment is geared toward the study of living things. Included in her award are: four Arduino Starter Kits, an open-source hardware and software platform that helps students get started on learning about electronics; two PocketLab Voyagers, a pocket-sized laboratory that enables students to conduct research from anywhere to explore physics, weather, climate studies and engineering topics; four trail cameras, along with SD cards and batteries that will allow students to conduct many types of research remotely — from surveying local flora and fauna and animal behavior to monitoring conservation challenges, changes in biodiversity and even observing how humans are impacting local wildlife; and four water monitoring kits, portable kits to support students who want to investigate water quality and contamination.
“I’m super excited to give students an opportunity to do some independent scientific research,” Elliott said. “They will be able to develop a question about the world around them, and then determine the best way to figure it out.”