Meeting of Scientific Minds Leads to Research Textbook

Posted: August 16, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jennifer Mitchell

Educators from around the country converged on Mason’s Fairfax Campus for a working session earlier this month on ways to enhance student research programs. George Mason, along with partner-affiliate Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, hosted the conference for the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (NCSSSMST). During the conference, science program coordinators from specialty high schools across the nation collaborated on the forthcoming book, Research in the Real World: A Guide.

NCSSSMST is known as the nation’s foremost alliance of schools dedicated to transforming mathematics, science, and technology education. Member schools are recognized as pioneers in the field for their student-conducted research.

“The publication that results from this conference will have national impact on science education and help to develop new research opportunities for high school students throughout the country,” says Ann Palkovich of Mason’s Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and the Center for Social Complexity, who joined the program this year to help provide ideas and suggestions for the college side of mentorships. She states that the group has “many years of experience in teaching how to conduct scientific research to high school students, how such pedagogy works, how to set up such a program for other high schools, and how to connect students to mentors who are scientists.”

The conference members hope to complete the book by spring 2005. Upon publication, NCSSSMST will sponsor educator workshops throughout the country on teaching students how to conduct original research using the guide as a text.

The collaborating chapter authors who met at Mason are John Goudie, Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center; Bob Kolvoord, Integrated Science and Technology and Educational Technologies, James Madison University; John Kowalski, Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology; Cheryl Lindeman, Central Virginia Governor’s School and NCSSSMST national office; Anne Manwell, Stuyvesant High School, New York; Michael Prichard, Western Michigan University; Judy Scheppler, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy; Marty Shapiro, Center for Advanced Technologies; Eileen Steinkraus, Montgomery Blair High School Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science Magnet Program; Jean Stevens, Thomas Jefferson High School; Jay Thomas, Aurora University; graphic designer Lynne Eccard; and Palkovich.

For more information on the guide and affiliates, see

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