Scientific Research | Summer: Galapagos

Department Lead: Julie Munoz Room: 210 310-378-8471 Ext. 43230 [email protected]

Science Research Program Overview

Science Fair 2021

Science Research is a one-to-four year sequential course designed for highly motivated students to advance an understanding of research. Emphasis is on both laboratory and bibliographic research and will cover the Next Generation Science Standards for experimental design. This course engages students to work in conjunction with research scientists and professionals within their field of work. Students create their own unique investigative question, create a research plan, conduct their own experimentation, write a research paper, analyze past and present scientific research for scientific methods, and discuss solutions to current dynamic issues. Students can undertake their independent research in mathematics, life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, computers, or social science. Students are taught the process of online bibliographic researching. Student commitment to long-term focused research, demonstrating initiative, perseverance, and creativity is fostered. Science Research is offered as a Period 7 course where students meet monthly at lunch and by individual conferences with the teacher. All PVHS Science Research students compete at the local PVPUSD Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The top 13 projects advance to the Los Angeles County Science Fair to compete for awards and prizes with the opportunity to advance to the California State and  Regenron International Science Fairs. Award-winning PVHS Science Research Program

Los Angeles County Science Fair PVHS researchers compete at a high level and have won numerous awards including cash prizes, an Earthwatch expedition trip and a trip to the State Science Fair for placing in the top 3 in their respective categories.

Regenron Internation Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) Last year, in 2020, two PVHS researchers were selected to compete in the 2020 Regenron Virtual ISEF fair.  The ISEF fair is the pinnacle fair where students from 80 countries converge to present their research.

Summer Science Research in the Galapagos Islands

Are you interested in studying Blue-Footed Boobies? Have you ever dreamed of observing the Galapagos Giant Tortoise in its natural habitat? Did you know that there are Marine Iguanas found in Galapagos that are found nowhere else in the world? The Galapagos Research Expedition is a summer program that includes a ten-day research excursion to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands that focuses on the ecological niche of organisms through observational studies. This is an intensive course in the use of field-based and general research methods related to Galapagos wildlife. The aim of this course is to help participants acquire skill and gain experience in using research techniques and give an in-depth study into the history and biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands. The emphasis of this course is on the collection, management, analysis and interpretation of data and information about the Galapagos Islands with relevance to evolution, natural selection, and adaptation. The format of the class will include a range of activities: class discussions of course readings, collaborative analysis of data, small group exercises, lab exercises, talks by local island naturalists and Charles Darwin Research Station scientists and lectures by the instructors. Students collect data on the ecological niche of a selected organism and prepare a written research paper based on their data and observations. Students earn a full year of Science Research credits in the summer as we partner with the PVPSS Summer School program and then they are enrolled in another full year of Science Research credits upon our return as we focus on synthesizing the information from our field research and writing an APA-style Research Paper. Amid the pandemic, we did not host the Galapagos trip in 2020 or 2021 but will continue to plan for this amazing research experience and evaluate travel and safety regulations in the future.