Motivating Struggling Students Through Authentic Field Research

Thanks to a $3,700 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education, fifth graders at Millstone River School in Mercer County learn all about the world of insects through hands-on, nature-centered research activities.

West Windsor-Plainsboro School District educators Sven Strnad and Vickie Gurzau co-teach the inclusion classroom of fifth graders who apply their knowledge by conducting a field study of the population size and diversity of carrion beetles. The field study design is student generated based on current entomological literature used by students. They share their findings with their school community through classroom presentations and a website publication of their own scientific paper. Students also prepare and present a PowerPoint summary.

The paper includes a methods section so that other interested schools accessing the website could replicate the project.

Students collaborate with the district’s technology group to carry out the actual on-line publishing, PowerPoint presentation, as well as utilization of the dataloggers.

If you'd like to read more about the progress and conclusion of this project, feel free to read the Final Report.

Motivating Struggling Students

For further information, contact:

Sven Strnad
School – (609) 275-5500