Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TIPS FOR TEAM ADVISORS: Selecting a Mission Challenge

Registration for the 2009-2010 eCYBERMISSION competition year is open and many students and teachers have already registered to participate. If you are thinking about registering, do it today! If you have already registered, you should start thinking about your research topic, also known as the Mission Challenge!

Selecting an area of interest
We know, the hardest part about starting a research project can be selecting a topic to research. The easiest way to make this decision is to decide which of the four common areas of science interest you most. This can be done by holding a brainstorming session with the team, or try this
survey I stumbled upon from ScienceBuddies.org as one of the many resources online to give you some ideas!

Identifying a problem
The next step is to research your area of interest and come up with a problem to test. Think about your community and your classroom. Is there a particular problem that you wish you could solve using math, science or technology? Also found on ScienceBuddies.org is this cool
worksheet to help build a research plan that can help you shape that problem into an experiment that can be researched and tested. How did you decide on your Mission Challenge? We’d love to hear experiences from both new and past participants!

Additional resources
In addition to your school or community library, here are my favorite web sites for science, math and technology websites to help conduct your research:

Also, don’t forget to take a look at last year’s winners and look at how they came up with their topic and methods of research. This might help spark some of your own ideas!

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