STEM Fair Tutorial Post #10: Dive in to Research
How do I conduct research?
Well - the first rule of research is:
Do not become overwhelmed by research. Of course, this is easier said than done. One of the most difficult tasks of conducting research is staying focused on the problem.
All too often people become distracted by the ocean of information that can be found while researching a subject; however, the key to success is paying attention to the topic and make sure that what your are researching applies to your problem. Running down the rabbit hole of research produces a convoluted project and leaves everyone confused about the goal of your research.
One important research factor is to utilize reliable information. This DOES NOT include blogs, social networks, out-of-date information, personal websites, forums, websites with biased information and Wikipedia. When researching for your project, make sure to go to reliable internet sources and always check your sources.
Whenever we begin with a research project – we employ the very basics to help us get started and use the 6W’s and an H method.
These seven one syllable words are invaluable to help you get started. Do not ignore this process. Do not skip this step. Ask the questions and find the answers and before you know it – Your Researching!
Who can help you conduct research? This is where you are your adult mentor / qualified scientist can help you. Your first stop should be the library. Librarians are phenomenal at research and know exactly where to point you in the right direction. Do not underestimate their value and dedication in helping you learn. We all need a guide on a new journey – the librarian is exactly that – your guide.
What can be researched? To be honest with you – anything!
Where can you go to conduct research? Aside from the Library, there is the internet – however, you must be careful. With Covid – you may be experiencing a difficulty in accessing the resources at the Library – so naturally, the internet is your next stop. However, you must be aware of sites that are less than reputable and understand that not all information is good information. You can always access the Library of Congress for information. In fact, the Library of Congress has a section called “Ask a Librarian.”
When should you research? Well, believe it or not, anytime! Are you looking for a new video game? Do you look for the best game available at the best price with the best reviews? That is research. Perhaps you are looking for a new bike. You may begin researching all the bikes that possess the qualities you want. Is it a road bike or mountain bike? How are the reviews? It is hard to believe, but you are conducting research all the time; the only difference now is we are asking you to write it down.
Why do you need to conduct research? Conducting research allows you the opportunity to learn more about the subject you are studying while demonstrating an ability to gather evidence to prove or disprove your hypothesis. Research demonstrates organized thought and action. If you can recognize a problem, developing a plan to understand the problem and find a solution to the problem – you can apply this strategy to almost anything you want to do.
Homework and Materials:
Composition Lab book and pen
Entry #9: Based on the Problems you listed in last weeks entry. Pick one that you feel is the easiest to research. Taking into consideration this posting - Who do you think can help you with researching this problem? What resources would you use to research this problem? Where could you go to learn more about this problem?