Which French fries are the healthiest? What marshmallow cereal tastes best – name brand or “off-brand”? Should athletes use resistance bands for “gassers” (sprint training)?
These are just a few of the questions eighth-grade physical science students sought to answer as part of a long-term research project involving consumer products. The students were given the assignment in early Fall and have been working collaboratively in teams since then: planning, hypothesizing, analyzing data, and forming conclusions. As a first step, the students had to write a proposal about their research to the “FDA” (aka science teacher, Mrs. Jessie Copeland).
On Dec. 16, the students had an opportunity to show off their work as they enthusiastically presented The Independence School 2019-20 Consumer Product Showcase. Local professional scientists and engineers from companies such as Agilent, DuPont and Dow, and a spinal implant company in King of Prussia, plus a few retired from the field, attended the showcase to give critical feedback.
The Consumer Product Showcase is an impactful aspect of the Independence experience. It is a sophisticated long-term project that inspires and challenges students to utilize and demonstrate their abilities in research, critical thinking, writing, design, and public speaking.
The students were excited to conduct their own experiments, and it was very evident at the showcase that they were also very proud of their efforts.