The Board of the IHF recently approved a proposal from the IHHS Biology Department for an end of the year biology capstone project for the entire freshman class. Students will use their knowledge of experimental design, form a driving question that can be conducted as an investigation at the Cincinnati Zoo. This will provide students with a meaningful end of the year experience after the end-of-course exams but before the end of the academic year. Students will derive, design, and conduct their own scientific investigations. To build community and evoke student ownership, students will prepare a scientific poster to present their findings to the community at an Indian Hill High School hosted symposium.
David Lewis and Kaitlin Shurtz, Biology teachers, are excited to add this new element to their course. "With the funding, the Biology Capstone Project will give every Indian Hill Biology student an opportunity to incorporate the science skills and knowledge they've gained throughout the year into a research based scientific investigation at the Cincinnati Zoo," they state. "The project incorporates student choice and is student lead to capture every student's personal curiosity as a learner. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with biology students outside of their own classroom, making this a common experience for all 9th graders."
This is a pilot program with the intention that this will eventually become part of the course curriculum. This is a great example of how your support of the IH Foundation drives innovation in the classroom experience and beyond. Pilot programs allow the teachers, students and district to try new approaches to learning, test their progress, and make adjustments for success. Once tested, pilot concepts, such as this Freshman Biology zoo project, may become part of the regular curriculum, and new concepts will continue to be tested.