Scientific Research Methods Syllabus School Phone: (480) 472-3185

Scientific Research Methods Syllabus
Fall 2014
Instructor: Kelly Brabeck
School Phone: (480) 472-3185
Course Description: Scientific Research Methods is a rigorous, research-intensive course which
provides students with the opportunity to conduct authentic scientific research on a competitive level. With
support from local scientists and other researchers, students will develop a research topic, conduct
experiments and present their results at the state regional science fair in the spring. Successful projects earn
students opportunities for financial and scholarship awards, travel and networking opportunities within the
scientific community.
This course affords students the opportunity to participate in the community of scientific research as part of
their high school experience. Students taking this course accomplish the following:
They choose and explore a topic of interest. It may come from mathematics, physical science, life
science, social science, or psychology. They develop skills in performing research and designing controlled
Course Materials
Students will need a 3” binder for just their Scientific Research Methods papers. This binder will stay in Ms
Brabeck’s classroom throughout the year. They will also need to have a steady supply of notebook paper.
This binder will be graded at the end of each quarter. Having good organization habits and keeping accurate
records of research time are essential skills needed to be successful in this class. Students will also need a
folder or small binder to keep in their backpack – to carry papers to and from school/home. Students will
need to have a comp book to keep records of their project. It would also be helpful for students to have a
flash drive on which to save their work.
Grading Standards
A total point system will be utilized with the total points earned being placed on a 10% scale as follows:
% Average
90-100 =A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
0-59 = F
(no credit)
Assignments will be assigned a point value. Examples of assignments include:
- Journal Article Presentations
- Homework, classwork, and journal articles
- Science Fair Project
- Designing experiments
- Case Studies
- Portfolio Assessment
- Participation in at least 2 science competitions
I encourage you to check your grade online as often as possible. I update grades at least once a week.
Because this is a college-level class, students are expected to review work on research and/or their science
project on a daily basis. This assignment is understood and is not written on the assignment calendar.
Additional homework will be assigned several days each week.
Getting Help
I am available before school, during conference period, during lunch, and after school to help you. Please
talk to me and let me know how I can assist you in being successful! 
Attendance Standards
It is essential that the student recognizes the direct relationship that exists between academic achievement
and school attendance. Students should strive to attend school each day and minimize time out of school.
When a student is absent from school, the parent/guardian must call the school ASAP, but no later than the
day the student returns to school. All absences not verified by that time shall be considered as unexcused.
All assignments not turned in due to unexcused absences may receive zero credit. If a student misses more
than 9 days of school, credit for the class may be lost.
After any absences, it is the student’s responsibility to:
1. Find out what was missed by looking at the calendar posted in the front of the room.
2. Obtain any materials or information needed to complete the assignments from the box for your class.
3. Students have one day for each day absent in order to turn in work.
4. If you need more time, or if you don’t understand what to do, speak with Ms. Brabeck.
Late/Missed Work Policy
If a student has an excused absence, it is his/her responsibility to get the makeup work. The makeup work
should be turned in within two days. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the instructor for
such arrangements. Situations with extenuating circumstances will be handled on an individual basis. If a
student is missing assignments, quizzes, and/or tests, they will be expected to come in at lunch every day
until they have done all their work.
If a student is tardy to class, he/she will be sent to sweep. If you are not in your desk when the bell rings,
you are tardy and will be sent to sweep. Any work due that day for class must be turned in to the sweep
teacher. Students who are swept on the day of an exam are to make up the exam that day after school.
Extra Credit Policy
Extra Credit is not available for this class.
Plagiarism and Cheating Warning
In our class, we will strive for mutual respect and complete honesty. Plagiarism and cheating will NOT be
tolerated. Sharing one’s work with another student – on ANY assignment - is cheating, and it will result in a
loss of credit for the assignment/test for both parties. No make-up assignments or test will be available.
It is expected that students work independently on quizzes and tests and other assignments as directed.
Incidents of plagiarism and cheating will be documented and reported to parents and the administration.
Evidence of cheating will result in a zero for the test, quiz, or assignment.
Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use of paraphrase or direct quotation of the published or
unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the
unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling or sharing of
term papers or other academic materials. Information gathered from the Internet and not properly identified
is also considered plagiarism. We expect every student to produce his/her original, independent work.
Rules and Procedures
1. Behave respectfully toward their fellow students and the teacher.
2. Follow directions.
3. Come each day with the materials they need to be successful. This includes writing utensils, notebook
paper, and AP Biology binder.
4. Work diligently – give each assignment your best effort.
5. Be in their seats when the bell rings and are to remain in their seats until dismissed by the teacher.
6. Neither cell phones nor iPods are allowed during class unless you are given permission by Ms Brabeck.
Such devices will be confiscated and may be turned in to Principal’s office at the end of the school day.
Labs are a very important part of this course. Lab safety is a very serious matter and students will be closely
monitored for compliance with lab procedures. Students and parents are expected to sign a separate safety
information sheet and contract. The following violations will result in student removal from the lab and a
zero on the lab activity:
 Failure to wear appropriate clothing on lab days
 Failure to wear eyes goggles while working in the lab
 Engaging in horseplay or unapproved activities
 Lack of preparedness for the lab activity
It is difficult to make-up labs that are missed unless it is done so in a timely manner. Labs will only stay up
for one week at the most, therefore, it is very important that students make-up the lab before that timeline has
expired. It is the students’ responsibility to schedule a time to make-up work.
Dress Code
Students are expected to dress for their education. The school’s dress code will be enforced.
Disciplinary policy
It is expected that all students will display good citizenship and follow established school policy. However,
if not the disciplinary method is:
First infraction: Verbal reminder of the procedures (more severe infractions may result in parent contact).
Second infraction: Parent/home contact and possible lunch detention.
Third infraction: Discipline referral to administration. Student may be placed on an academic or behavioral
Mustang Conference Period
Mustang Conference Period is at the end of 2nd Period Tuesday and Friday. Students will not leave their
Conference Period classroom without a pass signed by a teacher or a properly designated color club pass.
Students who remain in class will be expected to use the time in conference for academic purposes, such as
reading, studying, or reviewing class materials.
I am very excited about our school year!
I believe it will be a great one, and that you will be
extremely successful!
Scientific Research Methods
Please sign and return this page to Ms. Brabeck
We have read and understand the policies for my Scientific Research Methods class as
stated on the previous pages.
Student name: ___________________________
Birthdate: _____________________________
Student Signature: _________________________
Father’s Name: __________________________
Mother’s Name:___________________________
Parent signature: _________________________
Parent e-mail address (PLEASE PRINT): _________________________
2nd Parent e-mail address (PLEASE PRINT): _____________________________
Parent home phone #: _____________________
Mom cell phone #: ________________________
Mom work phone #:________________________
Dad cell phone #: _________________________
Dad work phone #: _________________________
Street Address: ________________________________________
City, Zip: _________________________________________
IMPORTANT Note to parents:
If you have any questions and/or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me. My contact information
can be found on the letter in the front of this packet. I'll be happy to get back in touch with you either that
evening at home or during lunch. please indicate below any information – tips, physical needs, or
accommodations -- that I should know in order to provide a successful learning experience for your student.
Thank you!
Ms. Kelly Brabeck, Scientific Research Methods Instructor
Dobson High School