This page contains specific guidelines for students who are conducting independent research at the Academy of Notre Dame. Independent research is open to all students (with the exception of Honors Physics and Honors Chemistry students) in the high school.
The purpose of the independent research program is to have students design and implement a year-long scientific research project. Students who successfully complete all requirements of the program will receive a final grade (1/4 credit), which will appear on their transcripts.
The key word in Independent Research is "Independent". Students who are self motivated and who manage their time well will meet with success in this program. There are a number of deadlines that MUST be adhered to in order for the student to remain a part of the program. Students who do not adhere to deadlines will be asked to withdraw from the program.
Although the emphasis is on independent work, each student must find a Notre Dame science teacher who is willing to serve as her mentor. Students must initiate this process. Mentors will meet with the students regularly (by appointment) and help guide them through the research process. Although there is no grade prerequisite for independent research, the research applicant should have earned a grade of B or better in previous science courses and must have the written consent of her current science teacher and of her faculty mentor before admission into the program.
Once admitted into the program, the student should begin working on an idea for a project. Communication between the student and her mentor is key - the mentor and coordinator must approve a topic before research can begin. Students will receive an unofficial grade (which will NOT appear on the report card) from their mentor EACH QUARTER. At the end of the process, a final grade, which WILL appear on the report card, will be issued.