A Desert Oasis: Keystone Park and Wetlands
Studying a Real Wetland
Online Resources
Student Pages
Wetlands Data
Site Index

Defining the Problem

Good research teams begin work by discussing the main research question, developing a list of other questions they need to answer in order to address the overall question. Teams develop at least one specific research question to answer based on an analysis of their data. They discover what they know and what they need to know. Teams update this document during their work because as they learn more, they answer some questions and ask others. There are different ways to record know/need to know information. Need ideas? Check out these samples of student work.

Research teams keep logs or journals where they describe their work, noting questions and how they go about answering them. These journals are bound books with page numbers to make it easy to find information. Scientists record not only what worked but what did not.

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Collaborating with Other Students

Fall and summer are probably the best times to study wetland grasses and forbs. Therefore, there will be a number of student research studies underway at the same time. Good researchers are interested in knowing the results of other studies in their field. You may want to communicate with other active research groups to see how their data compares with yours. Your research will be richer if you collaborate with students from other schools who are doing similar research. In a collaboration you work together to design and conduct your research. For example, you may report your data separately but publish a joint research report.
Get a List of Student Research Groups.

Telecommunicating with Experts

Good research teams learn from other researchers.

Creating and Implementing a Work Plan

Good research teams set up a work plan outlining key steps in their work and the team member who will have primary responsibility for helping the team complete that step accurately and on time. Sample Student Work Plans
Online resources can help you implement your plan.

Wetlands Data has:
Background information including keys to identify plants from wetlands.
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Sharing Your Research

What were your research questions?
What data did you collect? What other data did you use?
What other resources did you use?
What did you find out?
What other questions do you have?
Scientists must publish their work to report what they have learned and to have their results confirmed by other scientists. Share the results of your research by e-mail. Send us:
The title of your research study with a short abstract (25 words or less).
A contact e-mail address for your teacher or leader.
The URL if the study is served from your computer.
Or a request to publish your work on the Keystone Website.
Check this example of student work:

Student Study Report Webpage

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Your teacher may have specific plans for forming research teams. Make sure you understand how you will:

Authors: Michele Stafford-Levy, Shirley Davis, Albert Alvarez Ortiz, and Ellen Treadway.
School: New Mexico State University

Created for the NTEP II Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.
Web Maintainer: ed-webmaster@fnal.gov
Last updated: April 12, 2001