Junior Research

Research Methodology & Ethics

Research Methodology & Ethics (4610): (1 weighted high school science credit).

Hou/Walk Syllabus


This year-long course provides junior STEM students with knowledge and experiences on how to conduct scientific research and engineering projects.  Students will study contemporary issues in scientific research while conducting independent scientific research and engineering projects outside of class. Students are encouraged to select projects consistent with their strand or career goals. Course topics include research design strategies, data analysis and representation (with and without computer-assistance), norms of conduct for ethical research behavior, and the historical basis for current research regulations, among others. All students must conduct a review of the primary literature to support their research design assumptions, prepare and present a plan of their proposed research for institutional review and approval, conduct their studies and report their findings via formal technical paper as well as oral presentation. All students present posters in our junior science symposium, judged by professionals in various fields.  Participation in regional Science and Engineering Fairs are highly encouraged.  

Learning fundamental knowledge of the engineering method, design for human use, and entrepreneurship are requisite skills today to perform research, problem-solve, innovate, and create opportunities in the real world. The Engineering, Design, and Entrepreneurship module of the course requires that students first understand and then continuously improve their skills in the engineering method, the fundamentals of design for human use, and the mindset and skills of entrepreneurship.  In their research and engineering projects, students are tasked to identify real-world engineering problems or opportunities, to propose and seek client approval for their unique solutions or innovations, then to design, build, and demonstrate the potential value of their final products.