Middle School Blog

Sacred Heart in Action - Student Reflection of Independent Science Project

Head of Middle School Kathleen Humora

The ISP - Independent Science Project is an engaging and purposeful experience for Middle School students.  It builds passion, inspires curiosity, and respects the process of questioning and problem-solving.  Deacon Bowne, Grade 8 student, reflected on the journey of the ISP from Grade 5 to Grade 8.  He remembered each ISP:

  • Grade 5 - How do different types of butter affect the taste of chocolate chip cookies? 
  • Grade 6 - How does temperature affect the bounce height of a ball? 
  • Grade 7 - How does storage affect the growth of bread mold?
  • Grade 8 - How does sunscreen affect ultraviolet germicidal irradiation of E. Coli bacteria?

As a Sacred Heart student, Deacon Bowne persevered each year in the process of learning as he moved through the six steps of the scientific method. He shared that Grade 5 was an exciting adventure filled with discovery and a bit of fear. As a student in Grade 6 and Grade 7, he was an experienced scientist, who could design an experiment, carry out testing, and chart and graph data with ease. As a Grade 8 student, Deacon decided to challenge himself, take an intellectual risk, and carry out a study on bacteria.  Although he planned his work and worked his plan like a true scientist, he encountered the unexpected in experimental data.  He reworked his experimental procedure through the process of troubleshooting to aim for a more controlled testing instrument for accuracy and precision. This year, Deacon 's experience is strengthening his evaluative thinking skills, his science process, and his application of the scientific method.   

Deacon Bowne's journey is an expedition in Sacred Heart meets ISP!  This year, the Middle School Independent Science Project, ISP, will come to an end as the Middle School students share their projects at the community Science Exposition on Friday, March 6, and ISP Judging on Monday, March 9.  Students have moved through the project with the spirit of the Sacred Heart as all of the Sacred Heart Goals have guided the students.  Believe!  Persevere!  Serve!  Respect!  Grow! During the last few weeks, the Middle School was "ISP Central" as science was taking place everywhere you looked!  It was not only in Science Lab 311 and Science Lab 312; it was in the common areas, choir loft, chapel, music practice rooms, school library, hallways, school driveway, MACC, and athletic fields.  Growing plants, shooting rockets, breaking bridges, distilling liquid solutions, and flying soccer balls are just a few of the many amazing project topics that were carried out this year. There have been so many special moments between students and students and students and teachers.  Students helping students as fellow scientists, test subjects, and presentation board guides.  Students and teachers designing, troubleshooting, and analyzing in scientific collaboration. It was a pleasure to witness students through the eyes of the Sacred Heart as they showed kindness and compassion to each other, they persisted in thinking, imagining, and creating, they helped one another, they built community through scientific endeavors, and they held themselves accountable in taking responsibility for carrying out the scientific process. As the sign at the entrance to Science Lab 311 states "Keep calm and let science handle it." Truly, the Middle School students are guided by the spirit of the Sacred Heart and the process of the scientific method.