Research (late 16th century: from French re- 'again' + cerchier ‘to search’) is activity undertaken with the goal of discovering something that is previously unknown, and it is a tool or technique used by scientists and historians to increase human knowledge.
Research in ALERT will differ from previous elementary-level projects. Up until now, research projects likely took the form of--
- paraphrases or summaries of existing literature on an assigned topic or a subject of personal interest;
- exercises in informational or nonfiction writing;
- journalistic reporting of what may be new or novel in a field of inquiry;
- unusual examples or "fun facts" listings to attract reader or viewer interest.
In ALERT, student personal interest in a topic of their choosing will serve as motivation for a 12-week inquiry to include--
- Reviewing existing literature and knowledge about the topic;
- Identifying a question, issue, disagreement, or controversy among knowledgeable observers or commentators; and
- Refining and focusing into a project with findings that can be addressed within a 10-week timeframe.
- Developing personal knowledge about the issue through inquiry;
- Gathering and analyzing ideas and details about the issue; and
- Acknowledging sources to recognize the debt owed to previous researchers, serve as a foundation for future inquiry, or support the future inquiry of the audience, readers, or viewers.
- Designing a survey or questionnaire to collect data, or locating data from other sources;
- Displaying data from surveys or other sources in graphs, tables, or charts to show patterns and trends visually; and
- Creating a product or artifact to illustrate ideas and concepts from the research.
- Delivering a 5-to-10 minute oral presentation on the issue;
- Experimenting and exploring a variety of media and modes of communication; and
- Entertaining questions about the topic or issue from the audience as an expert.