How many teenagers get to conduct research projects? This past week during Parents Weekend every Island School student did. In total there were 9 research projects which the 50 students were a part of, ranging from sea turtles to deep sea sharks. Conducting a research project when you are only 16 is a pretty amazing feat. Students worked all semester on one of 9 projects: Conch, Stingray, Lemon Sharks, Deep Sea Sharks, Sea Turtle Habitat, Sea Turtle Knowledge, Plastics, Bonefish, and Ponds. Students worked with 4 or 5 of their peers to culminate a final project of a scientific poster and a presentation during Parent’s Weekend.

For our research project, we tested the behavioral and physiological responses to capture of a lemon shark. We were testing to see if the behavioral response had a relationship with the physiological response.

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As much fun as it would be to drone on and explain our entire research project to you, I’d like to talk about the process. Trying to create a research presentation and poster, both which are at the collegiate level, is a daunting task when first presented.

When I first arrived at The Island School, I thought, “I'm excited to be here and am ready to learn, so is everyone else.” Team work was an important skill to learn. Being in the field chasing after a lemon shark is difficult alone, but if you work together, it becomes a lot easier. The same was true for work in class, if we split up the work, it got done better and quicker.

Before coming here, I was a driver leader, which means getting stuff done and I didn’t know how to be a spontaneous motivator and rally the troops. Working in a group with a topic I was passionate about (sharks), definitely improved my leadership skills.

In the end, our presentation went well and our poster looked great, it just took a couple bumps in the road to get there. To look at the posters and videos of the presentations, check out the CEI website and The Island School Research page.