Passion Project

What is a Passion Project?

A Passion Project is a personal, science-based enrichment project chosen by the student as a topic of independent study to be presented towards the end of Trimester 3. This is a project for which the student shows a keen interest or passion, a project through which the student is encouraged to explore a topic in depth. It could be a topic already presented that he or she would like to study more extensively, or perhaps this topic is not ordinarily available for study at this level. A couple ideas (more to follow) for this Passion Project are “Determining the Velocity of Arrow Flight” and “Birding in My Backyard”.  This is an opportunity for students, with the support and collaboration of parents and educators, to challenge themselves to achieve beyond the usual.

 

            Although this Passion Project is a Science based activity, we acknowledge the importance of connecting between academic subject areas. Besides using Science techniques, the students are also encouraged to include the use of Mathematics, Social Studies, Literature & Language Arts, Technology and any other areas as appropriate to the chosen project.

 

            Students will be allowed to work in groups of two, but special guidelines will be followed.  Students will have until Friday, March 9th, to determine if they will do their Passion Project individually or with another student of their choice.  After Friday, March 9th this group will be responsible to stay together and will be graded as such.  NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE!!!  If you CHOOSE to do this project with another student, understand that their work will also be a reflection of you.

 

            All students hoping to earn a “C” or better on their Passion Project will be required to present their project to their class on or before Tuesday, May 15th.  All students hoping to earn an “A” on their Passion Project will also be required to present their project the evening of Tuesday, May 15th to parents and other community members, from 6-8pm.  These individuals will have their project set up and parents and community members will be able to walk around and look at all the projects and ask questions.  The best five projects determined by Mr. Seamans and Mr. Kohler will be asked to present their projects at different times throughout the evening to anyone who is there.  These presentations could include a power point presentation, poster with presentation, or another means of getting the information to your audience.

 

Procedures and Timeline:

Student proposals for the Passion Project are due Friday, March 9th.  Class presentations will take place from Thursday May 10th to Tuesday, May 15th. Students will be asked to meet with their Science teacher periodically through the third trimester to check on progress. One week before the due date, students will be asked to have their projects ready for sharing with teachers for a final check on completion. The student and teachers will determine that all agreed-upon components of the Passion Project are complete.

 

Bluffview’s Science Department encourages EACH student to set personal challenges and goals. The Passion Project is a means to meet those challenges. The project will be graded as an enrichment activity above and beyond the scope of the required studies.  The Passion Project is required and it is our goal for EACH student to challenge his or her academic limits. We know the empowerment and growth in recognizing and accepting a challenge ... not only from others ... but from within. The Passion Project offers that opportunity.

 

Bluffview Intermediate School, 8th Grade Teachers: Brent Seamans, Kirby Kohler

 

Graduated Grading Procedures:

To receive an A: Students must complete a Passion Project (individually or with a partner).  They must present their findings to the class, and must be available during our public showcase on Tuesday, May 15th from 6:00 to 8:00pm.  Mr. Seamans and Mr. Kohler will hand select five of the best presentations and ask them to present to the public on this night.

To receive a B: Students must complete a Passion Project (individually or with a partner).  They must present their findings to the class.  They are not required to be at the public showcase, but are encouraged to come to the show. 

To receive a C: Students must complete a Passion Project (individually or with a partner).  Students are NOT required to do a presentation for the class.  They may still organize their information in a power point, essay, poster, etc…

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To receive a D: Students do NOT have to complete their own personal Passion Project.  They are required to research a scientific topic of their choice (with instructor’s approval) and summarize research that has been done on the topic with bullet points                       

    Passion Project Ideas

  • Physics: Determining th Velocity of Arrow Flight      
  • Physics: Investigate physics concepts that we already visited in class (velocity, acceleration, force).  Example: Redo our force lab changing variables.
  • Physics: Refine, change, or modify water rocket design (demonstrate how you would calculate velocity, acceleration, etc.)                                                                                                 
  • Biology: Birding in My Backyard – Observe your birdfeeder for 15 minutes every day for two months, record observations, determine how weather (air temp, precipitation, barometric pressure) affects bird activity.
  • Biology: Blue bird trapping project
  • Biology: Identify Mississippi River fish spring spawning runs
  • Biology: Determine the diet of bluegills (weigh contents, separate contents, examine contents)
  • Biology: Determine the gonadal weight of bluegill spawn and its relationship to its body weight
  • Biology: Study the variation of reproduction of fish on the Mississippi River (male guarders to broadcast spawners, average number of eggs, etc.)
  • Biology: Document the life cycle of the morel mushroom
  • Biology/Chemistry: Identify the microhabitat of morel mushrooms. (measure the orientation of the sun, soil composition, etc)
  • Biology/Chemistry: Insect identification (study the water quality of a stream based off of insect identification.
  • Biology/Chemistry: Identify how microorganisms are responsible for creating many food items that we enjoy today.
  • Biology: Documenting spring migration of birds via photography.
  • Biology: Higgins Eye Mussel Restoration: Spend a day at the Genoa Fish Hatchery with biologists and document the history of the Higgins Eye population and what they are doing to restore the population.
  • Biology: Organize Mr. Seamans’ Biology II class’s observations from the fall 2007 to spring 2010.  Compare their observations with weather patterns.
  • Biology: Freshwater mussel showcase (create a dichotomous key, pictures, etc.)
  • Chemistry/Engineering: Demonstrate the different types of equations (example: research mixing different chemicals to produce monofilament fishing line)
  • Chemistry/Engineering: Present exactly what chemical reaction is going on with our homemade scent killer lab.
  • Chemistry/Biology/Education: Teach someone the process of making maple syrup.
  • Geology: Study the geology of the region (determine the age of the fossils found in our area, reconstruct what the ecosystem would have look like 300 million years ago.
  • Pedology – Dig a soil pit (don’t forget to contact Diggers Hotline, learn about the horizons, do a ribbon test, determine texture and structure of soil, create own soil profile.
  • Environmental Science – Research and investigate the data on global warming that is out there

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Prairie du Chien School District
  • 800 East Crawford Street
  • Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
  • Phone: (608) 326-3700
  • Fax: (608) 326-0000
  • Prairie du Chien School District
  • 800 East Crawford Street
  • Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
  • Phone: (608) 326-3700
  • Fax: (608) 326-0000
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