Teach with Holly Rachel

a primary teaching blog

How to Teach a Country Research Project

February 17, 2022 By Holly Rachel

I love teaching a research project on a country. They are so much fun and students gain so much from studying them in your social studies curriculum. I have found that students find them fascinating and love learning interesting facts and recognising the similarities and differences between the country they are learning about and their own way of life.

What is a country research project?

In simple terms, as part of social studies, students create a report on a country by researching facts about it. Their country report could be a wide range of presentation mediums such as a written project, an oral presentation, a poster, worksheets, a performance or even a video, you can be as creative as you like! Student can use a range of methods to research their chosen country. This could be through books, the internet, interviews or from teaching presentations and information sheets.

country research project ideas

Why are country research projects important?

It is so important that we teach students about different cultures to their own and to accept and respect differences, as well as to look for the similarities between us all. This is especially important in the interconnected world we live in today.

There are so many benefits to teaching a research project on a country. These include:

-Gaining knowledge about new places and different culture

-Sparking curiosity and a love of learning

-Understanding and accepting differences

-Recognising that even though cultures may have differences, we all share similarities

-Gaining a deeper understanding of their own culture as they learn about others

-Because they are so much fun!

How to do a country research project

A research project on a country may be part of your curriculum, or you may teach the project as part of a whole school cultural week. Alternatively you could set the project as homework for your class. It’s also a great idea to use the project to support learning across other subject areas. For example, students could use the knowledge they gain from their country study and use it in their writing, such as a story setting or an information text. Students could recreate art from the country or develop map skills.

What to include in a country research project

This is the fun part! You may wish your students to lead their own research and report on the areas that interested them, or you may wish to give some guidance. Some great ideas for your research project on a country could include:

Identify the particular country on a map of the word. Where is it located? What continent is the country in? What is the capital city? You could look for physical geographical features such as mountains and rivers. Does the country border any seas? What are the neighbouring countries?

Research the country’s flag. What does the flag tell us about the country? What is the population? What sort of climate does the country have? Students could use graphic organizers to help them record the information they find.

Food is such a great way to learn about a country. It really tells us a lot about the sort of flora and fauna that can be found the country. It can also tell us a lot about the climate of the country. Is it common to preserve food in a particular way? For example through pickling or using spices? Why might this be?

This is such an important skill. As we become more globally connected, learning an additional language is such a valuable skill. You could start with some key phrases and greetings.  Maybe choose certain activities where you could speak in language, such as greeting each other first thing in the morning, or asking. ‘How are you?’ after lunch.

Sight seeing

Learn about the iconic landmarks of the country. When, how and why where they built? What do they tell us about the country and the people who live there?

Recreate art from the country. This could be a study of a particular artist or art movement. Students could recreate a particular painting. What does the painting capture? What can we learn from it? Or perhaps use a painting from the country as inspiration for students’ own work, this could even span different subjects. Create a bulletin board of the students’ own work!

Teach students songs from the country. This is also a great way to learn a language. Listening to and singing songs can really help students gain a valuable insight into the culture.

Sweden Country Study

If you’d like to get started with a country research project, check out my FREE Sweden country study when you subscribe to my email list. These are perfect for your Social Studies 2nd Grade curriculum.

Country research project on Sweden

Included is a PowerPoint presentation with 10 slides packed full of information to teach your students all about Sweden. Slides include a map of Sweden, the Swedish flag, basic Swedish phrases, Swedish foods, Swedish landmarks, the Northern Lights and Dala horses, a traditional Swedish craft. That’s right, I have done all the research for you, so it is NO-PREP and ready to go!

Teach the topics as part of your social studies weekly lesson. Alternatively, allow students to complete the project at their own pace or assign out as homework.

PowerPoint presentation about Sweden

Along with PowerPoint slide is an associated social studies worksheet for 2nd Grade students to complete with the information they have learned from the slide show. So this means no trawling the internet finding a worksheet to match a PowerPoint and spending hours making your own. It is all done for you!

worksheets about Sweden

Not only that, the activities are differentiated on two levels to support a range of ability levels in your class.

differentiated worksheets

Do you spend hours prepping work for early finishers? Well, I’ve got you covered with a wordsearch all about Sweden!

Also include are summary activities about the project. This includes a worksheet for students to record their favorite facts and a postcard template. Students imagine they have visited Sweden and write postcard home about their travels!

Finally it comes with a super cute cover sheet so your students can make their own booklet with the worksheets. Did I mention this is all FREE? Grab your FREE Sweden Country Study today!

If you’d like to check out my other country studies, I have a whole range of countries available:

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RESEARCH CHECKLIST

Back to Country Research Home

Globe Trottin' Kids

Research Project Planning

To make any project go smoothly, you want to be organized and prepared.  Here are some questions and tips to consider before diving in:

W ho will be conducting the country research project?  

  • the whole class (benefit: opportunity to introduce and model research skills)  
  • in small groups (benefits: incorporate cooperative learning skills; provide choice/meet individual needs ; compare and share information about different countries)  
  • independently (benefits: provide choice/meet individual needs; compare and share information about different countries)

W hat country will be explored? 

Options include:

  • Teachers choose the country based on available resources or as a connection to a book, event, or unit of study – for example, researching China during Chinese New Year celebrations, exploring South Africa while reading Long Walk to Freedom , or investigating Brazil as part of a study of the Amazon rainforest .
  • Students choose the country based on interest or personal connection (heritage, travel).
  • Leave It to Chance & Spin the Wheel!

pick a country for your research project

W hen will the country research project(s) take place? 

Over several weeks? Once a quarter or semester? Throughout the year?  

Will it be tied to a book or specific curriculum?

Plan the dates and times for researching , creating , and presenting projects. 

W here will students find reliable information about the country?

Setting younger students loose on the internet and providing them with books they can’t read or understand is a recipe for disaster. When learning about countries and cultures, it is critical that the information is accurate and does not promote stereotypes. 

See our RESOURCES section below for recommended websites and booklists we use. In addition:

  • invite guest speakers such as school staff, families, and community leaders to visit
  • establish global pen pals
  • join National Geographic’s Explorer Classroom  

W hy is it important to do a research project on a country? 

Benefits include:

  • developing an understanding of world geography and cultures
  • building a foundation for future global learning
  • preparing for living and working in a globalized world 
  • learning new perspectives
  • practicing a variety of important skills, including researching, reading, writing, and communication, while discovering our world
  • add your own!

H ow will students share what they learn?

There are many ways students can share their discoveries. An interactive notebook, poster, or presentation board, a slideshow, movie, or travel ad are just some ideas. Encourage your students to come up with their own ideas, too!

Think about who students will be presenting to : classmates, school, families, community …

Plan for where the presentations will be held: classroom, gymnasium, outdoors, online …

Reserve any space needed, and have students create invitations to send out at least one week prior to the event.

Research Project Resources 

Introduce the resources you’ve previewed and chosen for students to use. Establish any necessary parameters. 

Google Earth

Google Earth Education   

National Geographic Kids

Globe Trottin’ Kids   

Yep! I needed a reliable, kid-friendly resource for my young students to explore their world. So… I built it! 

(Well, I’m building it. More countries continue to be released!) Come explore!

website for research project on a country

Each country profile page includes:

  • detailed map
  • infographic of quick facts (population, currency, etc.)
  • National symbols
  • photo gallery
  • informational video
  • activities for exploring the country’s food, sports, animals, and more
  • video read aloud
  • book suggestions
  • country “challenge” – interactive tasks for learning about the country’s geography and culture. Also available as a PDF.  

country research project high school

The Explore section under the “Students” tab has additional resource links on a variety of topics.

Another purpose for building Globe Trottin’ Kids was to share global learning information and resources with my fellow educators. Browse our Educators tab, Events calendar, and Blog ! Subscribe to our Go Global newsletter for monthly ideas and inspiration.  

Provide a variety of books to support students during their research. From facts to folktales, explorers will discover important information for their projects.

Integrate the books into literacy lessons and read-alouds. Leave them accessible for independent and buddy reading. Offer them for checkout to share at home.

books for country research projects

Finding Titles

Our country profiles include book suggestions – plus a video read-aloud is included in each country challenge! 

Lee & Low  

Kids Travel Books  

Prepare the Room for Research Projects

  • world map to hang or project on a screen
  • world atlas – online or book
  • globe – physical or virtual
  • make it a festive environment with world flags decor  
  • country map(s) – posters or printed
  • posters of famous landmarks, people, inventions, etc.
  • vocabulary wall
  • culture kit – check with your school/district resource centers and local libraries
  • country artifacts such as clothing, tools, art, and musical instruments
  • traditional music 
  • websites* 

*See the Resource lists below.

Prepare the Students for Research Projects

Background knowledge & vocabulary.

Before students investigate their world, have them review their place in it. 

A basic understanding of map skills and relevant vocabulary (hemispheres, continents, oceans, equator, countries, cities, capitals, borders) are necessary.

Free Geography Flip Book to print

Our free geography Flip Book is a great review and reference tool.

Set the Purpose

Ask students why, or share why (from the W hy section above) it is important to learn about other countries.

Invite them to share what they want to discover as the “Explorers.”  For example, they might be interested in finding out the country’s official language, typical weather, or popular foods and sports. 

Make a list of the topics. Guide as needed.   

topics to explore for a country research project

Get Started!

Prepare a notebook (or staple sheets of paper) with pages dedicated to different topics.

Review/model how to take notes using your own words.

Remind students to use several references for cross-checking facts. 

notes about animals for country research project

Guided Research Project on a Country

To make the project even more organized and engaging for students, try our Guided Country Research Projects for Young Explorers which pair perfectly with our website!

resources for teaching kids how to do a research project on a country

The Country Research Project Draft Book guides students through the research process with step-by-step directions and graphic organizers for collecting information. 

a draft book with step-by-step directions and graphic organizers

The Country Research Project Templates help students make their interactive notebook or presentation board creative and engaging. 

presentation templates for a research project on a country

Extension ideas, project rubric, answer guide, and student passport are also included!

extras for a research project on a country

“This is a great resource that scaffolds the students’ research and allows them to present their information in such a fun way.” (Germany) Pastel Classroom

“I used this resource during a country study and it helped students find and organise the information easily. I used it to model research skills for supported students as well.” (Thailand) Honor H.

“I really appreciated how this helped the student to take charge of their own research.” (Canada) Mandy M.

Countries Currently Available 

Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, England, France, Germany, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, United States (and more coming soon).

Sold individually and bundled.

All proceeds are used to maintain our free global learning website. Thank you in advance!

Purchase a Research Project on a Country on Globe Trottin’ Kids or Teachers Pay Teachers

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Teach with Sage Rachel

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How at Teach a Country Find Project

Februaries 17, 2022 The Holly Rachel

I love teaching a research scheme for a country. They are so more play and students obtain so much from studying them in your social studies curriculum. I have found so students find them fascinating press dear learning interesting tatsachen and recognising who comparisons press differences between the country they are learning about and her own way of life. Land Study Project General Information In here project you will choose a country from Asia, Africa, or Southeast Us, gather physical plus man geographic news on it real present it as a...

What has a home research project?

In simple terms, as piece of social degree, students create a story on a country by researching the about it. To staat tell could be a wide range of presentation mediums such how a written project, an oral presentation, a poster, worksheets, one performance or even a video, she can subsist as creative as they like! Student ability use one range on methods to research they chosen country. This could to through books, the internet, interviews or coming lessons presentations and information sheets.

country research project craft

Why are staat research projects crucial?

It is so important that we teach students about several cultures to their own real to adopt and respect differences, for well as to look for the similarities between us all. This is especially important inches and interconnected world we live in current.

There are so of benefits to teaching a research project on a country. These include:

-Gaining knowledge about new pitches and diverse culture

-Sparking curiosity and a love of learning

-Understanding and accepting differences

-Recognising that even though cultures maybe have discrepancies, we all share similarities

-Gaining a deeper understanding of their own culture as they learn regarding others

-Because they are so much amusing!

How up what adenine country research project

ONE research project at a countryside may be portion of your curriculum, or you may teach the project more part of a overall school ethnic week. Alternatively you could set the project as homework for your class. It’s also a great ideas go use the project to support learning across other subject areas. For example, students can use the knowledge they gain from the country study and use she in their writing, such as a story setting or an information read. Students could recreate art from the country or grow map expertise. PowerPoint Country Project

What to include in a land research project

Is has the fun part! I may wish your scholars to leaders the own research and report on the areas that interested them, or you may wish to give some guidance. Some great ideas for your research project on a country could include: Top private independent school offering a balanced education because academic hardship, character development and happy education to students in Pre-K to Grade 8.

Identify the particular region on a map of the word. Places is it located? What continent lives the country in? What can the capital city? You could look for physics geographical features such as mountains and rivers. Does the country border any maritime? What are this neighbouring countries?

Key Evidence

Study the country’s flag. What does and flag tell us about the country? What remains the population? What sort of climate can the country have? Students could use graphic organizers for help them record who information they find.

Food is such a great route to learn about a country. It actually tells us a lot about the sort of flora or plant that can become search the country. E can see tell us adenine lot about the climate of the country. Can it usual to preserve food in a unique way? For example through pickling or by ground? Reasons kann this will? LibGuides: European Country Presentations Project (Barclay 8th Grade): To Assignment

Which is such an key skill. How we become more globally connected, learning einem additional voice is such a valuable skill. You could start with certain key phrases and greetings.  Maybe choose certain activities where you could speak int language, such as greeting each different first theme in the morning, or asking. ‘How exist you?’ after lunches. How to teach a nation research project stylish your elementary classroom! Enjoyment ideas for your elementary classroom country research project!

Sight seeing

Learn about the iconic landmarks of the state. When, what and why where they built? What do it tell us over the country and the people who live there? World Cultures: Country Project - PowerPoint Showcase Guideline

Recreate kind from the country. This could be a study of a particular artist or skill movement. Students could recreate one particularly painting. Thing does the painting capture? About ca we learn from this? Or perchance use a painting from the country as inspiration for students’ own work, this could even span varied subjects. Create a bulletin board of the students’ own works! Exploring the World Through Project Based Learn

Teach students songs from the country. This are also a great way to learn adenine language. Listening to and vocals songs can really support students gain a precious insight on the culture. Create a detailed and thorough PowerPoint presentation info a staat of your choice. Your task is to educate your audience about the country - accepted they ...

Swede Country Study

If you’d like to gain started is a nation researching get, check out my FREE Sweden countryside study when thee subscribe up may email list. These are perfect fork your Social Learn 2nd Grade curriculum.

Country research project on Sweden

Included is ampere PowerPoint presentation equipped 10 slides pack full of information to teach your pupils all concerning Sweden. Slides include a map in Sweden, which Afrikaans flag, basics Swedish phrases, Swedish foods, Swedish landmarks, the Northern Lights and Dala horses, one traditional Swabian craft. That’s just, I have done whole the research for yourself, therefore it is NO-PREP and getting to go!

Teach the topics as part of is social studies weekly lesson. Alternatively, allow academics to complete the project at their own set or allot out as homework. 32 Questions for Social Studies Research Projects

PowerPoint display about Sweden

Along use Point slide is to associated social studies worksheet for 2nd Grade students to whole equal and product they have learned from the slide show. So this means no trolling the internets finding a worksheet to match adenine PowerPoint and spending hours doing your own. It is sum done for you! As to Teach a Country Research Project - Teach with Holly Rachel

worksheets about Sweden

Not only that, the activities are differentiated at two levels to support a range of capability playing in your your.

differentiated worksheets

Do you spend hours prepping work for early finishers? Well, I’ve got you covered with an wordsearch all about Sweden!

Also include are summary activities about which project. This includes adenine worksheet for students to record ihr favorite facts and a postcard template. Apprentices imagine they have visited Sweden and write postcard home about their traveled!

Finally it comes including a super neat cover sheet so your students pot make their own booklet with of worksheets. Did MYSELF mention this is every FREE? Grab their COST-FREE Sweden Country Study today!

If you’d like to stop out my other country studies, I have a complete range starting countries available:

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country research project high school

country research project high school

Resources and

Guiding Curiosity, Igniting Imagination!

country research project high school

6 Fun and Engaging Activities for Your Country Research Project

country research project high school

Country Research Activities

Country research projects can be a powerful tool for helping students understand the diversity of cultures and the world around them. This type of project offers a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in another culture, learn about different customs and traditions, and broaden their perspectives. To make sure that your students are enjoying the process while they learn, it is important to incorporate fun and engaging activities into your country research unit. Here are six ideas to get you started.

I really like this project because it is an easy way to introduce students to different people, cultures and countries. Not a lot of people get to experience travel to other countries when they are young – this is the next best thing!

Girl taking virtual tour of a country

Virtual Tour

Take your students on a virtual tour of the country they are researching. Use Google Earth or other virtual tour tools to give students a visual experience of the country. I have used National Geographic on oculus. Here are some other resources to get your students excited and learning about the world.

country research project high school

Cultural Presentation

Have students present what they have learned about the country’s culture, including traditional customs, music, and food. Create a museum tour, where each student has a display on their desk representing their country and their research. Invite family to the event.

Performing a traditional dance with fans

Music & Dance

Play traditional music from the country and have students learn and perform a traditional dance.

country research project high school

Arts & Crafts

Encourage students to create art projects related to the country they are researching. This could include creating traditional clothing, designing flags, or painting scenes from the country.

Puppets to perform drama during country research

Have students learn a traditional theater art form or perform a traditional skit from the country that they researched.

country research project high school

Geography & Tech

Create an interactive map for students to use as they learn about the country’s geography and location. Have students mark important landmarks, cities, and geographical features.

These activities are designed to keep your students fully engaged and having fun while they learn about different cultures and the world. By integrating these activities into your country research unit, you will not only make the project more enjoyable for your students, but you will also increase the likelihood that they will remember what they have learned.

Incorporating a mix of hands-on activities, creative projects, and interactive experiences will help keep students motivated and interested throughout the project. Whether they are creating a virtual tour of the country they are studying, designing a cultural festival, or cooking a traditional dish, students will be learning in an engaging and memorable way.

If you are looking for more direction on how to plan and execute a successful country research project , be sure to check out my country research project for kids packet. This comprehensive resource includes everything you need to get started, including a student introduction letter, a detailed rubric for assessment, and a step-by-step guide for conducting research. Whether you are a seasoned teacher or a beginner, this packet will help make your country research project a success.

country research project high school

I used this during the World Cup for my students to become more engaged! We worked on our country project while we played the world cup in the background. Students got to choose a country that was currently still in the running, and we made a bracket to see whose country would win!
Such an engaging resource that was seamlessly integrated into our curriculum! Very little hassle, but with great outcomes! Thank you!
This resource was amazing. I needed something to connect to our curriculum for writing about countries and this was it. It matched up perfectly, but honestly presented better writing than what would have come from just our curriculum.

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Country Research Project | Countries Research Report

An educational teaching resource from The Teacher Team entitled Country Research Project | Countries Research Report downloadable at Teach Simple.

Grade 4, 5, 6

About This Product

Engage your students with this fun and comprehensive, 27 page resource to help your students produce a research report on a country or countries. It makes report writing easy! This report template can be used for your students to create, develop, write, edit, illustrate, and assess your students’ country report.

This template can be used as the actual formal report to be turned in, or you can utilize this template as a study guide or rough draft prior to your students typing the report. This packet contains the following:

Report Template includes:

1. Introduce your country and its location

2. Country Sketch

3. Geographical Features

5. Environment

6. Language and Educational System

8. Customs, Religions, Beliefs

9. Government

10. Economy and Resources

11. Interesting Facts

12. Current Events

13. Similarities and Differences between the country you studied and the country of your origin

14. A Day in This Country

15. Flag Illustration

16. Extra Line Paper

17. Additional Information Page

18. Finding your information page

19. Resources

20. Bibliography

21. Student Checklist

What's Included

1 PDF file.

Resource Tags

Check out these other great products

Astronauts | Astronaut Report | Research Project

Country Research Project

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Description

In the Country Research Project, students pick a country of their choice to study. Students will answer thoughtful, essential questions tailored to their grade (one for upper, a different one for lower elementary). Note-taking sheets are included, guided walk-through of researching a country, opportunities to learn about culture, government, and more about the country. Students will complete a "Country In-A-Bag" activity, answer writing prompts, make a video about the country and much more! 

Subjects: Geography, History, Media, Writing, Science, Culture

Grades: K-5th

Ages:  5-11

Duration of Project:  3 weeks

Questions & Answers

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country research project high school

Country Research Project

country research project

Our Country Research Project is ideal for older elementary students and middle school students. Before tackling this Country Research Project, we introduce, review, and solidify basic map skills with our FREE Printable World Maps & Activities . By the time my students reach 4th grade, they do one of these projects a year for the next two years.  In this project, you can implement research, writing, reading, and more into your homeschool. Our FREE Country Research Sheets & Maps make teaching and learning about different countries around the world easy!

*If you teach in a school setting or would like to download all of our Country Research Project Printables at once, check out our shop . For those of you looking for more free social studies resources , check this post out!

*Be sure to have these on hand when starting to teach geography. Do you have a  globe ? Check. Do you have a world map ? Check? Do you have an  atlas ? Check. Then, you are all set!

As a Christian Book and Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support. As always, we only recommend items that we truly feel will benefit your homeschooling experience. We appreciate it.

What is included in our Country Research Project?

Country research sheets.

country research project

Our Country Research Project always starts with one of these country research sheets. There are two options to choose from. Years ago, my oldest did his research using a brainstorming sheet. We made it work, but it was much harder to organize his notes since they were random. The Country Research Sheets give students focus and guide them to information that would make a solid research paper. From experience, these research sheets make it easy to organize information for a 5 paragraph essay.

DOWNLOAD COUNTRY RESEARCH SHEETS

Blank continent maps with outlines.

country research project

This set of Blank Continent Maps with Outlines coincide perfectly with the FREE Country Research Sheets. Whatever country your student is studying, print the corresponding continent map out. Your student can then locate, label, and color their country within its continent. The worksheet then instructs the student to label the countries bordering countries and oceans. This map is an excellent addition to the Country Research Project.

country research project

The second version includes the outlined map, but has no instructions written at the top. For those you wanting to use these to color all continents rather than one, then you can!

DOWNLOAD BLANK CONTINENT MAPS

Research paper.

country research project

Once my student completes the country research sheet, it is easy to sit with them and discuss what facts should go into each paragraph of their essay. We literally looked over the facts, and then wrote a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 next to them. This was an easy guide for  my student to follow when he sat down independently to write his country project paper. If the fact had a 1 next to it, that meant he was to include that fact into his first paragraph. 2 meant second paragraph and so forth. When I teach my kids to write a 5 paragraph essay, I like to break it down into an introduction paragraph, 3 body paragraphs, and then a conclusion or closing. Each paragraph should include at least 3 sentences, but 5 sentences are encouraged. You might be interested in checking out our  5-paragraph graphic organizers . They make creating an essay outline easy!

DOWNLOAD COUNTRY RESEARCH PAPER

Project visual.

country research project

Creating a visual for the Country Research Project is one of the last pieces of this assignment. Some kids will love this aspect of the project and this is where their creativity will shine. Other students will not enjoy this part of the project. No matter, encourage them to write notes and facts about their country, add a title, draw pictures, color it neatly, display a flag, and so much more. We choose to create a poster display. Your student may create a PowerPoint presentation, a hanging mobile, or a cardboard display. There are several options to choose from.

Country Project Presentation

End the Country Research Project with a presentation. For those of us who  homeschool, this can be easily down at the dinner table. Allow your student to present to the family before dinner or after dinner. Encourage them to share their visual and what things they learned about their country. Some of my kids have read their paper out loud. In a classroom setting, presenting their project is a must. Public speaking is a skill that should be encouraged when possible. Some kids will really shine when presenting, while others will struggle. Regardless of their strengths or weaknesses, it is always a good rule of thumb to give your child the opportunity to share.

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Looking for a more Permanent Curriculum?

For the first few years of homeschooling, I created and put together my oldest sons curriculum. On one level, I enjoyed this. It was fun to look at all of the free options and ideas on the web. On the other hand, I got overwhelmed and distracted like a kid in a candy store. As I had more children, life became busier too. It became evident to me that ordering workbooks and textbooks to guide us was ideal for our schedule and life. I still create interactive units to supplement and meet individual needs, but I have found that the workbooks give us  a sense of direction and consistency.

Free Homeschool Resources

For me, compiling engaging curriculum for each of my kids became time consuming and daunting. It is a huge blessing being able to buy math and grammar workbooks. It gives me a piece of mind to know that I am not skipping around or leaving gaps in their education. Some of you may scoff at this. I am not condemning those that go it wholly on their own. Personally, it was just too much. If I was unable to purchase these books, then of course I would change my strategy to use more readily accessible materials. If you are interested in checking out some of the most popular and effective homeschool curriculum available, follow the link below. Happy homeschooling…

The Homeschool Daily

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11 Research and Summer Programs in California For High School Students

stanford university research program

The top research programs available for high school students, selected based on prestige, location, and affordability

Ucla computer science introductory track.

Hosting Institution

Online/In Person

Los Angeles (CA)

Application Deadline

Jun 1, 2023

This program offers a distinct blend of a coding boot camp, lab tours, and UCLA coursework tailored for high school students interested in computer science and related fields. Students will be taught how to utilize computers as instruments for creative problem-solving and exploration by designing and implementing computer programs. The curriculum covers fundamental concepts such as data types (integers, strings, and lists), control structures (including conditionals and loops), and functional decomposition.

Digital Filmmaking Summer Institute

This program provides a unique chance for ambitious high school students from various locations worldwide to learn filmmaking at one of the most renowned film schools globally. The two-week intensive production workshop is tailored for highly motivated rising high school juniors, seniors, and spring 2022 high school graduates. Participants dive into the artistry and technical aspects of cinematic storytelling and are encouraged to craft engaging narrative projects.

Research Mentorship Program

UC Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara (CA)

Mar 15, 2023

Neuroscience, Biology, Psychol...

This program offers a distinctive feature of providing students with exposure to various interdisciplinary research topics, allowing them to select their preferred project option. The program encompasses 24 fields, ranging from sciences to social sciences and humanities. Students are required to choose a research project and advisor, who could be a graduate student, postdoc, or professor, to undertake graduate-level research.

Starting at $2695

Dec 15, 2023

Polygence is an online research program designed to offer high school students accessible research opportunities, making them more inclusive. The program was created by researchers from Harvard, MIT, and Stanford and provides tailored research projects, allowing students to explore their interests, acquire professional skills, and increase their competitiveness for college admissions.

Rady Children's Medical Academy

Rady Children's Hospital

San Diego (CA)

Feb 23, 2024

The Summer Medical Academy (SMA) is designed for students between 15-19 years old who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. To be eligible, students must have completed 9th grade (up until the summer after graduating 12th grade). While meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee acceptance, SMA seeks highly motivated and enthusiastic students who have demonstrated academic success and extracurricular involvement, as well as a passion for healthcare. In addition, geographic proximity to San Diego, last grade completed in school, and affiliation with RCHSD will also be considered. Short answer and essay responses, along with teacher recommendations, are key application criteria. If accepted, details and payment instructions will be provided in acceptance letters. Proceeds from the program benefit the FACES for the Future-San Diego program at Rady Children’s, and a portion of the payment may be tax-deductible.

UC Berkeley

Berkeley (CA)

Mar 17, 2024

Every year, B-BAY, a highly competitive program, invites 50 high school students from different countries to participate in a two-week program. Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture, academics, and daily life of Berkeley. The program offers guest speakers, including professors from the Berkeley Haas School of Business and industry professionals, who share valuable insights and practical experiences. In addition to classroom instruction, students engage in independent research, computer lab assignments, and team projects. Working in teams, participants collaborate on developing a comprehensive business plan, which they present at the end of the program. While the program is prestigious, it comes with a high cost.

UCLA’s Computer Science Summer Institute

University of California (Los Angeles)

$350 registration fee + $150 processing fee + course fees

May 1, 2024

The 3-week program being offered is an introductory track to computer science and provides credit for select UCLA coursework. Participants will gain knowledge and skills in utilizing computers as problem-solving tools, fostering creativity, and facilitating exploration by developing and implementing computer programs. The program covers essential topics such as data types (including integers, strings, and lists), control structures (including conditionals and loops), and functional decomposition. These core concepts are emphasized to equip students with a solid foundation in computer science principles and practices.

Sci|Art Lab + Studio Summer Institute

$461+Program fee

Jun 15, 2024

During this intensive two-week program, students make connections between cutting-edge scientific research, popular culture, and contemporary arts. Through historical retrospectives, surveys of current art-science collaborations, and science fiction movie screenings, students are exposed to the interface of science, art, and culture with a focus on multidisciplinary collaborations. The final project, students will work collaboratively in small groups under the challenge: “Imagine the Impossible”. Students will focus on one aspect of the course work that they are interested in and work in small groups to expand upon and research their chosen topic. They are asked to develop ideas or methodologies for the application of this information, whether that be in an art project, product proposal, or media design. Instructors work closely with the students on the conceptual and technical development of their ideas. The final works are delivered in a multimedia presentation during our closing ceremony.

COSMOS | California State Summer School for Mathematics & Science

Feb 9, 2024

Mathematics

COSMOS is an immersive and rigorous 4-week summer residential program tailored for students who have showcased exceptional aptitude in STEM fields. Participants in COSMOS typically possess a GPA of 3.5 or higher, along with other qualifications that demonstrate their commitment to academic excellence. Through COSMOS, students engage in hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences, collaborating with like-minded peers and expert mentors to explore advanced topics in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This highly competitive program offers a unique opportunity to delve into cutting-edge research and develop essential skills for future success in STEM disciplines.

CalTech’s Summer Tech Camp

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena (CA)

from $1,229

Jun 23, 2024

To participate in these coding camps, applicants must fall within the age range of 13-18 years. Each course within the camps has specific experience level requirements, and applicants must meet those criteria accordingly. These camps are specifically designed to provide students with an opportunity to delve into their interests in computer science. The courses offered cover a range of programming languages, including Python, C++, and more, as well as game development. The main objective of these camps is to emphasize the diverse applications of computer science in both business and core technology fields.

California Academy of Science Careers in Science (CiS) Intern Program

California Academy of Sciences

San Francisco (CA)

Apr 5, 2024

Data Science

The program, which started in 1996, is dedicated to providing opportunities for underrepresented San Francisco students in STEM fields. Participants engage in hands-on learning about science and sustainability, receive mentorship, and develop professional skills while being compensated for their efforts. The program encourages students to attend seminars, conferences, and interact with faculty, mentors, and other talented students. Interns are allocated roles and departments within a museum setting based on their interests and the available opportunities at the time. This program offers a valuable experience for students to explore their interests, gain practical skills, and contribute to the field of STEM.

Are there many Research Opportunities for High School Students in the state of California?

California is home to a number of elite institutions and universities (such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, and UCLA) that host students every year to conduct on-site research. We've just selected a few of the top programs, but there are many opportunities for high school students to conduct research from top institutions!

What other research opportunities are available?

For a full set of research opportunity listings, see our guide to research opportunities for high school students .

Want to start a project of your own?

Click below to get matched with one of our expert mentors who can help take your project off the ground!

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The Summer Cohort Priority Application Deadline is March 17, 2024.  

Click here to apply.

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15 Best Research Opportunities for High School Students in California

Finding a great summer opportunity can be difficult, particularly in a place as competitive as California. Because we're a group of research nerds, we wanted to compile opportunities for students looking for research opportunities in the state!

In this article, we list 15 of the best in-person research-oriented programs in California that provide an immersive learning experience and enrich you as a scholar. The opportunities range from highly selective to fairly welcoming, and while some have a fee associated with them, others provide a stipend. There is something here for everyone.

Not seeing something you like? You can also look at the opportunities we’ve curated in psychology research , medical research , biology research , and virtual research . You can also check out our research program – Lumiere – which had 2100 students apply this past year!

15 Best Summer Research Opportunities for High School Students in California

1. COSMOS | California State Summer School for Mathematics & Science

Subject areas: STEM

Location: At the host institution's campus (living on campus). COSMOS is available across 4 campuses: UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz.

Cost / stipend: Fee - $4,550. Financial Aid is available.

Application deadline: Tentatively January for 2023 (based on previous year’s application).

Program dates: June - August

Program selectivity: High

Eligibility: California resident (although it allows 20 out-of-state students to participate). Demonstrated academic excellence.

This is an intensive, 4-week summer residential program for students who have demonstrated an aptitude in STEM. A typical COSMOS student has a GPA of 3.5 or above and other credentials which demonstrate academic excellence.

2. Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR)

Subject areas: Biology, chemistry, medicine

Location: Stanford University campus (Stanford, CA)

Cost / stipend: The program provides a $500 stipend.

Fee: $40 (For application. Need-based refund available)

Application deadline: Tentatively December 15, 2022 for 2023 (based on the announcement on the website).

Eligibility: Juniors and Seniors. At least 16 years old when the program begins. Living in the U.S. and U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a green card.

During this 8-week program, students collaborate with Stanford faculty and researchers to conduct medical research. Students select one of eight study fields and are then allocated to a lab where they will be mentored one-on-one.

3. Scripps Research’s High School Student Research Education Program

Location: Scripps Research California campus (La Jolla, CA)

Cost / stipend: This program provides a $4,060 stipend.

Application deadline: Tentatively April for 2023 (based on previous year’s application).

Program dates: June to August

Eligibility: San Diego County resident. At least 16 years of age when the program begins. Demonstrated competency in high school level chemistry and biology (minimum 3.0 GPA).

This immersive 8-week program provides exposure to contemporary issues in biomedical research, hands-on laboratory experience and mentorship from graduate students.

4. Stanford Summer Session

Subject areas: multidisciplinary

Location: Stanford University campus (Stanford, CA) *

Cost / stipend: Fee - Commuter, taking minimum of 3 units: starts at $4,926. Living on campus, taking a minimum of 8 units: starts at $15,875.

Application deadline: Tentatively November 2022 for 2023 (based on previous year’s application).

Program selectivity: Moderate

Eligibility: Current sophomores, juniors, or seniors. At least 16 years of age when the program begins. Must not be matriculating into Stanford as a first year.

These 8-week programs offer an array of research opportunities ranging from behavioral sciences, animation, anthropology to computer science. All Stanford Summer Session courses carry Stanford University credit.

5. Joint BioEnergy Institute’s Summer Science Intensive: iCLEM

Subject areas: Biotechnology, microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, synthetic biology and biofuels.

Location: UC Berkeley Campus or other partner institutions.

Cost / stipend: The program provides a $1,800 stipend plus a $200 stipend for supplies and transportation.

Application deadline: Tentatively March for 2023 (based on previous year’s application).

Program dates: June - July

Eligibility: Sophomores or juniors at a high school in Alameda, Contra Costa, or San Francisco County. At least 15 years old. US citizens, permanent residents or DACA recipients. Contingent on maximum annual household income ( here ).

Hosted by the Joint BioEnergy Institute (U.S. Department of Energy) and other prestigious partner organizations, the Introductory College Level Experience in Microbiology (iCLEM) is a 5-week, paid summer science intensive for economically disadvantaged high school sophomores and juniors. Students work on a research project and get guidance on areas such as career exploration and college applications.

6. UCSD’s and SDSC’s Annual Research Experience for High School Students (REHS)

Subject areas: Computer science and related fields

Location: UC San Diego campus (San Diego, CA)

Cost / stipend: Fee - Program with research project: $1,500. Program without research project: free.

Program selectivity: Fairly welcoming

Eligibility: Open to high school students generally. May have course-specific eligibility requirements.

Hosted by UC San Diego and the San Diego Supercomputer Center, this 8-week program allows students to work closely with mentors on a research project through which students learn how to formulate and test hypotheses, conduct computational experiments, and draw conclusions from those experiments.

7. UCLA’s Applications of Nano Science Summer Camp

Subject areas: Chemistry, physics, nanoscience

Location: UCLA campus (Los Angeles, CA). Living on campus is optional.

Cost / stipend: Fee - $2,961 + $1,521 (optional housing fee). Need and merit-based scholarships are available.

Program dates: July

Eligibility: Anyone enrolled in high school (freshman to senior). Strong science foundation in chemistry, physics, and biology.

During this 2-week program, students propose and conduct their own experimental research project. Students will explore a few important applications of nanoscience while also learning the basics of reviewing existing scientific literature, design-thinking, and entrepreneurship.

8. UCSF’s Arthritis Foundation Summer Science Internship Program

Location: UC San Francisco campus (San Francisco, CA)

Cost / stipend: The program provides a $1500 stipend.

Program selectivity: Moderately selective

Eligibility: Juniors or Seniors. At least 16 years old when the program begins. At least one completed year in math and biology. Have a background considered under-represented in the sciences.

This 9-week research program is integrated with the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland and organized by the Rheumatology and Immunology Laboratories. Students work 40 hours per week in either basic laboratory research or clinical epidemiological/translational (patient-focused) research.

9. High School Summer Institute of Law

Subject areas: Liberal arts, law and policy

Location: UC Irvine campus (Irvine, CA)

Cost / stipend: Fee - $1,110

Application deadline: Tentative dates are not yet available for 2023.

Program dates: July - August

Eligibility: Open to all high school students.

This 1-week program hosted by UC Irvine helps students hone a variety of skills that are foundational for research, as well as any professional career: analytical reasoning, public speaking, persuasion & argumentation, writing, and negotiation.

10. Stanford’s High School and Pre-Medical Student Summer Internship

Subject areas: Medicine, surgery

Cost / stipend: Fee - $4,095 for the current program (virtual). Scholarships are available .

Program dates: Program 1: June 29 -July 9; Program 2: July 19 - July 30

Eligibility: Juniors or seniors. At least 16 years old when the program begins. No grade requirement.

This 2-week intensive course is geared towards providing high school students with knowledge of and exposure to basic and advanced cardiothoracic surgery and technical skills (e.g., knot tying, dissection, suturing, coronary artery bypass graft, and cardiac valve replacement).

11. UC Berkeley’s The Summer Youth Intensive Program

Subject areas: Chemistry, biochemical chemistry, material science, and related fields

Location: UC Berkeley campus (Berkeley, CA) for 4 weeks on site internship (living on campus). This is following a 9-month remote coaching.

Cost / stipend: Fee - $14,825 (including room and board)

Application deadline: Tentatively May for 2023 (based on previous year’s application).

Program dates: Remote coaching: October - June. On - site internship: July - August.

Eligibility: Rising students entering grades 9-12. Good to have taken general or AP chemistry. Successful applicants will be among the top 10% of their respective class and must demonstrate maturity, motivation, and excellent communication skills.

This one-year program exposes students to hands-on research experience through group meetings, research seminars and data analysis.

12. UCSD’s Academic Connections Program

Subject areas: Multidisciplinary (For example, music, sociology, engineering, or creative writing)

Location: UC San Diego (San Diego, CA)

Cost / stipend: Fee - $1,500 - online course tuition. $3,000 - commuter course tuition (in person). Need based scholarships are available.

Program dates: Commuter Program: July 11 - July 29. Online Program: July 5 - July 29. (tentative)

Eligibility: Anyone enrolled in high school (freshman to senior). At least 14 years old before the program starts. Cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher. Recommendation from a teacher or counselor.

25 students are selected to each work individually with a UCSD Faculty researcher during this 6-week long program.

13. UC Irvine’s Math ExpLR Summer Research Program

Subject areas: Biology, mathematics

Cost / stipend: None.

Deadline to apply: Tentatively March for 2023 (based on previous year’s application).

Eligibility: Released with the new application.

Math ExpLR is a 6-week mathematical biology program. Students will be paired with undergraduates and collaborate on a computational biology research project with a principal investigator. There will also be weekly skill development events, such as how to deliver presentations or how to write math on the computer.

14. Asia Art Museum’s Art Speak Internship

Subject area: Art, history, sociology

Location: Asia Art Museum (San Francisco, CA) and also partly virtual.

Cost / stipend: This program provides a stipend (amount unknown).

Application deadline: Tentative dates for 2023 are not yet available. Please join the mailing list to remain updated on applications.

Program dates: August - May

This year-long internship provides unique opportunities and career training for public high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interns discover Asian art and cultural traditions, learn from local artists and arts organizations, engage in social justice and youth activism, conduct informational interviews with museum staff to explore careers in the arts, and develop their leadership skills by creating and facilitating hands-on art activities.

15. UCLA Summer Sessions

Subject area: Multidisciplinary

Location: UCLA Campus (Los Angeles, California). Also available online.

Cost / stipend: Fee - Per unit: $1440, further fixed fee: $461. Financial aid is available. Number of units a student opts for can vary.

Application deadline: Tentatively June - August for 2023, on a rolling basis depending on the courses selected (based on previous year’s application).

Program dates: June-August

Students can choose from over 800, 6 to 10-week courses that represent UCLA’s academic breadth. Courses range from liberal arts, foreign language to sciences.

* This program has been taking place virtually because of the COVID pandemic, but it is intended as an on-campus program and may resume from 2023.

If you're looking for a real-world internship that can help boost your resume while applying to college, we recommend Ladder Internships!

Ladder Internships  is a selective program equipping students with virtual internship experiences at startups and nonprofits around the world!  

The startups range across a variety of industries, and each student can select which field they would most love to deep dive into. This is also a great opportunity for students to explore areas they think they might be interested in, and better understand professional career opportunities in those areas. The startups are based all across the world, with the majority being in the United States, Asia and then Europe and the UK. 

The fields include technology, machine learning and AI, finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, media and journalism and more.

You can explore all the options here on their application form . As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project that is of genuine need to the startup they are working with, and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding you through the internship and helping you navigate the startup environment. 

Cost : $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location:   Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application deadline:  April 16 and May 14

Program dates:  8 weeks, June to August

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates and gap year students!

Additionally, you can also work on independent research in AI, through Veritas AI's Fellowship Program!

Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests. The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship.  These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship.

The   AI Fellowship  program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects   here . 

Location : Virtual

$1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

$4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

$4,700 for both

Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply   here . 

Application deadline : On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates : Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity : Moderately selective

Eligibility : Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest.

One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are passionate about research, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program , a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 2100 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.

  • Research article
  • Open access
  • Published: 01 March 2019

Enhancing safe routes to school programs through community-engaged citizen science: two pilot investigations in lower density areas of Santa Clara County, California, USA

  • Nicole M. Rodriguez 1 ,
  • Alisa Arce 2 ,
  • Alice Kawaguchi 2 ,
  • Jenna Hua 1 ,
  • Bonnie Broderick 2 ,
  • Sandra J. Winter 1 &
  • Abby C. King   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-7949-8811 1 , 3 , 4  

BMC Public Health volume  19 , Article number:  256 ( 2019 ) Cite this article

3655 Accesses

24 Citations

18 Altmetric

Metrics details

While promoting active commuting to school can positively affect children’s daily physical activity levels, effectively engaging community members to maximize program impact remains challenging. We evaluated the initial utility of adding a technology-enabled citizen science engagement model, called Our Voice, to a standard Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program to enhance program engagement activities and student travel mode behavior.

In Investigation 1, a prospective controlled comparison design was used to compare the initial year of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s SRTS program, with and without the Our Voice engagement model added, in two elementary schools in Gilroy, California, USA. School parents served as Our Voice citizen scientists in the SRTS + Our Voice school . In Investigation 2, the feasibility of the combined SRTS + Our Voice methods was evaluated in a middle school in the same district using students, rather than adults, as citizen scientists. Standard SRTS program engagement measures and student travel mode tallies were collected at the beginning and end of the school year for each school.

In the elementary school investigation (Investigation 1), the SRTS + Our Voice elementary school held twice as many first-year SRTS planning/encouragement events compared to the SRTS-Alone elementary school, and between-school changes in walking/biking to school rates favored the SRTS + Our Voice school (increases of 24.5% vs. 2.6%, P  < .001). The Investigation 2 results supported the feasibility of using students to conduct SRTS + Our Voice in a middle school-age population.

Conclusions

The findings from this first-generation study indicated that adding a technology-enabled citizen science process to a standard elementary school SRTS program was associated with higher levels of community engagement and walking/biking to school compared to SRTS alone. The approach was also found to be acceptable and feasible in a middle school setting.

Peer Review reports

During the past 30–40 years, daily physical activity levels among U.S. youth have gradually declined [ 1 ]. Walking to school, in particular, decreased from 41 to 13% between 1969 and 2001 [ 2 ], with only 35% of children in grades K-8 living within one mile of school reporting usually walking/biking to school [ 3 ]. This trend continues despite the fact that walking/biking to school contributes to healthy daily levels of physical activity [ 4 ]. Safe Routes to School (SRTS)--a national program promoting safe options for walking/biking to school [ 5 ]--has been shown to increase physical activity among school-aged children through supporting bicycle and pedestrian education, school wellness policies, and engineering improvements [ 6 , 7 ]. U.S. government initiation of SRTS began with two funded pilot projects in 2000, which quickly led to the growth of grassroots SRTS activities throughout the U.S. [ 8 ]. The U.S. SRTS model is built on the “Five E’s” concept: education, encouragement, evaluation, enforcement, and engineering [ 5 ].

A key though often challenging aspect of SRTS program adoption and sustainability is initial and ongoing engagement among residents and community stakeholders. For example, promoting collaborative community-research partnerships has been reported to be a key program adoption strategy related to successful SRTS program adoption in Canada and the U.S. [ 9 ]. However, in an educational climate of increasing fiscal constraints, finding efficient methods for building such collaborative partnerships can be difficult. This is despite reports that investments in programs and infrastructure that facilitate walking and biking to school have the potential for reducing transport expenditures for school districts and families [ 10 ].

The first-generation investigations described in this article evaluated an evidence-based community citizen science approach, called Our Voice [ 11 ] , for increasing community member and stakeholder engagement and retention in a local public health department-sponsored SRTS program which was being initiated in Gilroy, California, USA. The Our Voice approach combines the active community engagement of community-based participatory research with the standardized resident-based data collection methods that are a hallmark of citizen science [ 11 ]. The term “citizen science” refers to actively engaging local residents in gathering, analyzing, and utilizing data to improve community health and wellbeing [ 11 ]. In the Our Voice approach, residents learn to use the Discovery Tool (DT), a mobile environmental assessment app, to capture their walking route and take geo-coded photos and record audio-narratives of barriers and facilitators to health and wellbeing in their communities [ 12 ]. The DT (described below) is the first step in a multi-phase Our Voice citizen science process that includes data-driven community discussion and topic prioritization, and resident activation through advocacy with local stakeholders [ 11 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 18 ]. While Our Voice has been employed successfully in a growing number of U.S. and global sites to improve local environments for physical activity and other health-enhancing behaviors [ 11 , 15 , 19 ], this is the first systematic application of Our Voice to school settings.

In Investigation 1 of this study, two elementary schools (grades kindergarten through grade 5) were compared, one with Our Voice added to the Santa Clara County, California Public Health Department’s (SCCPHD) standard SRTS program and one with the SRTS program alone. The major study question concerned whether SRTS + Our Voice was associated with increased school-wide SRTS engagement activities and greater changes in the number of students walking/biking to school relative to SRTS-Alone. SRTS program engagement activities continued to be tracked during the subsequent year to assess how well the activities begun in the initial SRTS year were maintained.

Additionally, since school districts in the U.S. often include both elementary schools (kindergarten through grades 5 or 6) and intermediate or middle schools (grades 6 or 7 through grade 8) [ 20 ], we explored the initial acceptability of including the citizen science engagement model in a SRTS program being initiated in a middle school in the same district (Investigation 2). The objective of Investigation 2 was to assess the initial feasibility and acceptability of the combined SRTS + Our Voice methods in a middle school setting when using middle school students themselves (rather than parents) as the citizen scientists.

Study location

Gilroy, California (total population = 53,231 in 2015) [ 21 ]—a lower density region of Santa Clara County, California—consists largely of farmland and suburban areas. High school graduates or higher represent 77% of the population, while 15% of the population lives in poverty [ 21 ]. Fifty-eight percent of residents self-identify as Hispanic/Latino, 32% identify as non-Hispanic White, and 26% are foreign-born. There are 18 public schools in the Gilroy Unified School District, which enrolls about 11,225 students [ 22 ].

In 2015, parental attitude and behavior survey data were gathered on 4117 parents across 12 Gilroy district schools by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) Safe Routes to School program, using forms from the National Center for Safe Routes to School ( http://archive.saferoutesinfo.org/data-central ). While, overall, many families living in the school district (54%) reported living within walking or biking distance from school, most families (69%) drove their children to school. Walking (19%), school buses (5%), carpools (4%), and biking (2%) were low. Reasons parents provided for not allowing their children to walk/bike to school included concerns about safety of intersections (54.8%), distance (54.5%), traffic speed (51.5%), violence/crime (51.4%), and traffic amount (48.7%) [ 23 ].

In 2015, investigators from Stanford University partnered with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) to conduct an initial evaluation of the Our Voice citizen science approach as an addition to SCCPHD’s SRTS program.

Investigation 1: Comparison of elementary schools with and without Our Voice

Design and school site selection.

A prospective controlled comparison design was used. During September 2015, SCCPHD staff identified, with assistance from the Gilroy Unified School District, the next two Gilroy elementary schools that were ready to initiate SRTS for the first time. Given that the two schools were on somewhat different time tables for initiating SRTS activities, School A (which was ready to initiate SCCPHD’s SRTS activities in late September 2015) was chosen to receive the SRTS + Our Voice program, while School B (which was ready to initiate SRTS activities in November 2015) received SRTS-Alone.

At Elementary School A (SRTS + Our Voice) , six local adult “citizen scientists” were recruited through school parent-teacher groups and school staff meetings. At Elementary School B, standard SRTS data collection was conducted by SCCPHD staff with assistance from five parent and community volunteers. Human subject approvals were obtained from the Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) at Stanford University and SCCPHD.

SRTS program intervention activities

The SRTS intervention program typically begins with a standard set of observational evaluations of the local environment. SRTS program walkability/bikeability observations [ 24 ], conducted in Fall 2015 by SCCPHD staff and several community members, included observational surveys of student pedestrian and bicycle helmet and safe riding behaviors, and environmental observation audits (i.e., evaluating features facilitating or hindering safe walking/biking). At both sites, the pedestrian/bicyclist observational surveys were conducted as part of standard SRTS practice in this locale [ 24 ]. In contrast, collection of the SRTS environmental observation audit data differed between the two schools. At the SRTS + Our Voice site, the SRTS environmental observation audit tool was replaced with the DT mobile app. It was hypothesized that this app would allow community members to document relevant environmental barriers and facilitators in more depth by using photographs and personal narratives to contextualize resident observations.

Six parents at School A were trained to conduct DT assessments (lasting 30–45 min each) on two mornings prior to school start during one week in September 2015. DT walking zones were selected by a team of SCCPHD staff and community members and focused on areas most frequently used by students traveling to school. Participants were given a prompt to capture aspects of their environment that made it easier or harder to walk/bike to school and were asked to take photos and accompanying audio narratives in their designated zones. DT training required less than 10 min and was accomplished just prior to its use.

At School B, the typical SRTS environmental audit tool was used instead of the DT [ 24 ]. This audit tool includes 50 questions measuring the following eight factors on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 classified as a serious problem: room to walk, ease of street crossing, room to bicycle, ease of bicycling, parent support, driver behaviors, safety, and pleasantness/aesthetics. Auditors check off and rate each item as they walk in their designated zones. Five adult community members (three parents and two after-school staff) participated in the assessments along with SCCPHD staff. Assessments lasted approximately 30–45 min and were conducted in the morning prior to school start on two days within the same week as School A. As with the selected DT zones, the environmental assessment zones for School B were selected by a team consisting of SCCPHD staff along with members of the school community and focused on areas most frequently used by students coming to school.

Community meetings to discuss the environmental audit information

In School A, following DT use, standard Our Voice methods were deployed, including two community meetings where citizen scientists categorized data, prioritized issues, and advocated with stakeholders for realistic changes related to those identified issues [ 11 ]. The community meetings, facilitated by SCCPHD, were held 1–2 months after the DT walks. At the first meeting, each participant received a data packet with printed photographs and transcripts from their DT walks that had been transcribed by the research team. Citizen scientists thematically categorized their data within a theme, for example, traffic, crosswalks, stop signs, safety, and pathways. After thematically categorizing their data, participants ranked the themes based on importance and feasibility. Relevant local stakeholders were also identified for subsequent engagement (e.g., school administrators, public works engineers).

At the second meeting with community stakeholders, the citizen scientists, with support from SCCPHD staff, visually presented the Our Voice methods and results to their stakeholders and brainstormed ideas for realistic local improvements. In subsequent meetings initiated by the citizen scientists across the school year, they continued to explore ways of improving the school environment in addition to instituting action plans to address key concerns.

In School B, per standard practice in the County, SCCPHD staff reviewed and analyzed data from the SRTS observational assessment tools and developed a slide show with photos that displayed data from the environmental assessments at this school’s stakeholder meeting. Consistent with SRTS program methods in this locale, information was presented by the SCCPHD staff and included brainstorming of ideas and prioritization with key stakeholders. As per the standard SRTS protocol, this constituted the only meeting in this school.

Project assessments

Srts program engagement assessment.

In order to measure program engagement at both elementary schools during this initial SRTS year, the frequency of meetings, events, and activities were documented over the 9-month school period from September 2015 to May 2016 by SCCPHD contractors and SRTS Parent Coordinators who reported to school staff and the SCCPHD. Tracked events included SRTS meetings and planning activities, educational activities, and “encouragement” events (see Table 2 ).

Student travel mode assessment

At the beginning and end of the school year, SCCPHD staff sent a packet of standard SRTS Student Travel Tally forms to each elementary school [ 24 , 25 ]. For both schools, teachers were instructed to collect the Travel Tally forms at least twice during the Tuesday to Thursday period of the week of September 15–17 (beginning of the school year) and during the Tuesday to Thursday period of the week of May 3–5 (end of the school year), with the tally data averaged within each time period for each school. Because the travel tally weeks occurred at the same time for both schools, extraneous factors that could have potentially affected walking/biking to school (e.g., weather) were held constant. Teachers were responsible for surveying their students on whether they walked, biked, or rode in a vehicle to school on the above specified days during each travel tally week. SCCPHD staff retrieved the surveys and entered the information onto the SRTS National Data Center website, which is a secure online central database system.

Exploring maintenance of program engagement activities during the following year

As is common practice for SRTS, schools are encouraged to continue to work on SRTS action plans and activities developed during the initial program year. SCCPHD staff continued to provide technical assistance and resources as needed, and track numbers and types of SRTS program activities that occurred.

Data analysis

Between-school differences in the percentage of children walking/biking to school at the beginning and end of the year were evaluated using Pearson’s chi-square test, with alpha set at .05, two-tailed. To capture the differences in baseline proportions and enhance the robustness of the data analysis for the student travel tally data, a “difference in differences” (DID) analytic procedure [ 26 ] also was conducted to evaluate the additional treatment effect of the Our Voice intervention on the proportions of student who walked/biked to school. DID was conducted by using the following logistic model with a simulated dataset where the total numbers of students and travel tally data were applied as parameters.

where wb is walk/bike, t is for time (baseline/pre vs. endline/post), and ov is for Our Voice intervention (SRTS + Our Voice vs. SRTS only). DID is β ∗ , the interaction term coefficient. β ∗ is then exponentiated to obtain the odds ratio or effect size. All statistical analyses were performed using STATA 15.0 Statistical Software [ 27 ].

The total number of SRTS program engagement activities occurring across the year in each school is presented in a descriptive format (Tables 2 and 4 ).

School descriptions

The two elementary schools, which included grades kindergarten to fifth grade, had similar characteristics with respect to general student population size (total student population = 740 in School A and 730 in School B) and student gender distribution (~ 50% each of males and females). Based on the 2015 parental survey, the two schools were also generally similar with respect to the majority of students being driven to and from school in a family vehicle (82% in School A and 71% in School B), the proportion of parents reporting that their child’s school encouraged walking or biking to and from school (36% in School A and 33% in School B), and parental perceptions that walking/biking to school was healthy for their child (83% in School A and 89% in School B). With respect to general socioeconomic characteristics, California Department of Education enrollment statistics indicated that during the 2015–16 school year, 16.5% of children in School A were non-Hispanic white, 67.8% were of Latino or Hispanic descent, and 5.8% were of Asian descent. Based on household income, 48.2% of children in School A were eligible for the National Free or Reduced-price School Lunch Program based on household income. Meanwhile, In School B, 47.1% were non-Hispanic white, 39.4% were of Latino or Hispanic descent, and 7.9% were of Asian descent. Based on household income, 22.4% of children in School B were eligible for the National Free or Reduced-price School Lunch Program based on household income.

Pre-SRTS program SCCPHD school transportation data

September, 2015 pre-program travel mode data collection conducted on the total School A student population ( N  = 740) revealed that 94.7% ( n  = 701) of all students traveled to school by car, 5.0% ( n  = 37) walked to school, and 0.3% ( n  = 2) traveled to school by bicycle. Of the total School B student population ( N  = 730), 82.3% ( n  = 601) of all students traveled to school by car, 17.0% ( n  = 124) walked to school, and 0.7% ( n  = 5) arrived at school by bicycle. These percentages indicate that pre-intervention walking or biking to School A was significantly lower at the beginning of the school year relative to walking or biking to School B, with a between-school chi-square comparison for the above percentages of X 2  = 8.3 [df = 1], P  = .004.

Citizen science participant demographics

Citizen science participant demographic information was collected in post-assessment surveys from School A parent participants. Participants had an age range of 46–49 years, and five of the six were women. When asked about race/ethnicity, four identified as Hispanic White and two as non-Hispanic White or Other. Demographic information was not available for adults participating in School B SRTS assessments because the standard SRTS process did not involve such surveys.

Identification of school environment challenges through the observational audits

From the Our Voice citizen scientist discussions based on the DT photographs and audio narratives collected at School A, the top three environmental barriers to walking/biking to school identified by the citizen scientists were concerns with traffic flow, sidewalk issues, and a specific problematic intersection. In School B, the SRTS environmental audit tool indicated somewhat higher (worse) scores on driver behaviors, ease of street crossings, ease of bicycling, and parent support (all received mean scores of 3 on the 1- to 7-point scale).

Stakeholder engagement in SRTS at each school

The School A SRTS + Our Voice stakeholder meeting engaged 13 stakeholders from seven different community sectors (see Table 1 ). School B’s standard SRTS advocacy meeting engaged 12 stakeholders from six different sectors (Table 1 ).

SRTS program engagement activities

As summarized in Table 2 , School A reported twice as many SRTS team meetings and action planning activities ( n  = 8) compared to School B ( n  = 4). These included the initiation of monthly SRTS task force meetings at School A and a 3-year Safe Routes to School Action Plan generated by parents. A team of six School A parents became involved in managing the SRTS program, while at School B, parent volunteers could not be identified, so a teacher took on the responsibility of coordinating SRTS activities. School A also reported more SRTS events than School B ( Table 2 ) , and as a result of increased interest in biking to school, installed two additional bike racks. No such environmental changes were observed at School B.

The frequency of overall activities noted above favored the SRTS + Our Voice school, which had a 48% greater number of SRTS program engagement activities than the SRTS-Alone school (see Table 2 ).

Changes in SRTS student travel mode data across year 1

As summarized in Table  3 , at School A, the SRTS tally forms capturing the entire student population indicated that walking/biking to school increased from 5.3% (5.0% walked, 0.3% biked) to 30% (22.0% walked, 8.0% biked), while walking/biking rates at School B, collected in the same manner, decreased slightly from 17.7% (10.8% walked, 0.7% biked) to 15.0% (13.0% walked, 2.0% biked). Pearson’s chi-square test indicated that the between-school difference was statistically significant ( X 2  = 12.3 [df = 1], P  < .001), with endpoint walk/bike rates twice as high in School A relative to B. Furthermore, “difference in differences” (DID) modeling indicated an effect size of 9.34 ( P <  0.001; 95% confidence interval = 5.92–14.67), which indicates that the SRTS + Our Voice program, compared to the SRTS-Alone program, increased the odds of students walking/biking to school by a factor of 9.34.

Maintenance of SRTS program engagement activities following the initial SRTS year

Table 4 summarizes the SRTS program engagement activities occurring at each school during the following school year (Fall, 2016 to Spring, 2017). As shown in this table, School A had an almost three-fold greater number of SRTS-related meetings and activities relative to School B.

Investigation 2: Exploring the feasibility of the SRTS + Our Voice program in a middle school environment

To further explore the feasibility of adding Our Voice to SRTS activities, the SRTS + Our Voice intervention was initiated at a middle school in Gilroy (student population size = 855) which had not participated previously in SCCPHD SRTS programming and for which SCCPHD was planning an SRTS intervention during a time period similar to that of the elementary schools (Fall, 2015 to Spring 2016). The middle school students themselves, rather than parents, served as citizen scientists. Participants from the middle school (grades 6 to 8), consisted of students and school faculty, recruited through a student leadership group, who were interested in engaging with SRTS. Human subject approvals were obtained from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Stanford University and from the IRB at the SCCPHD.

The SCCPHD SRTS program was generally similar to the program conducted at the elementary schools, with the exception that no in-class SRTS educational activities were delivered. Specific walking locations of particular relevance to school access were selected by SCCPHD staff in which to conduct the Our Voice DT assessments. The citizen scientists were 26 middle school students.

The middle school intervention and assessment methods were similar to those conducted at elementary school A and included the use of the DT mobile app (by the middle school students) to capture relevant barriers to and facilitators of active transport to school. The community meetings followed the same structure as those at elementary school A, (i.e., group-based DT photo categorization, discussion, and consensus-building around prevalent barriers to walking/biking to school; a subsequent student citizen scientist presentation of their data and insights to relevant local stakeholders with whom they brainstormed potential solutions and next steps).

SRTS program engagement measurement and SRTS Student Travel Mode data collection followed the same procedures as described earlier for the elementary school evaluation.

School description

California Department of Education enrollment statistics for 2015–2016 reported that 25.3% of middle school students were non-Hispanic white, 58.4% were of Latino or Hispanic descent, and 4.9% were of Asian descent. Based on household income, 47.6% were eligible for the National Free or Reduced-price School Lunch Program.

Pre-SRTS program school transportation data

Parental attitude and behavior survey data gathered in 2015 by the SCCPHD SRTS Program revealed that of the 855 parents surveyed, 86.2% ( n  = 737) reported that their children traveled to school by car, 10.4% ( n  = 89) walked to school, and 3.4% ( n  = 29) biked to school.

Our Voice participant demographics

Seventeen of the 26 students participating in Our Voice middle school activities completed demographic surveys. Reasons for survey non-completion included limited time allowed to complete the surveys in class and students failing to return the survey.

Participants had an age range of 12–13 years and consisted of 12 girls and five boys. When asked about race/ethnicity, six self-identified as non-Hispanic white.

The top three barriers to walking/biking to school identified by citizen scientists via the DT and discussed during the first Our Voice meeting were traffic violations, safety concerns, and lack of crosswalks. Additional barriers included lack of pedestrian/bicyclist education, traffic congestion, lack of appropriate and visible traffic signs, trash, broken sidewalks, and lack of bike racks.

Stakeholder engagement in SRTS + Our Voice activities

The stakeholder advocacy meetings engaged the middle school students as co-presenters who described their findings to relevant stakeholders. A total of 16 stakeholders from nine different sectors participated, including from the school administration, Gilroy City Public Works and Police Departments, and non-governmental organizations (i.e., the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition).

A total of 14 engagement activities were recorded across the school year, including four SRTS team meetings. SRTS educational activities included a school-wide bike-to-school education/encouragement day (40 students), and a traffic safety education and helmet distribution activity (75 students). The middle school also incorporated peer-to-peer student education (e.g., peer leaders demonstrated helmet fitting).

The SRTS + Our Voice intervention created opportunities to participate in new youth advocacy and outreach activities. For example, students were invited to speak at a Youth for Environment and Sustainability Conference in Berkeley, California and present their findings to the City of Gilroy Bike and Pedestrian Commission. Students continued to discuss SRTS topics throughout the school year as part of their monthly leadership group meetings.

Students also discussed SRTS-relevant environmental and infrastructure changes with key stakeholders during the advocacy meetings. Possible changes included a City Public Works Department evaluation of the flow of bikes, pedestrians, and cars entering and leaving the school area to increase safety. However, with the departure of the City’s Public Works engineer, such infrastructure changes were unable to be pursued at that time. Subsequently, SCCPHD staff reached out to the local Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission to build collaborations for such SRTS activities with youth advocacy support.

Changes in SRTS student travel mode data across the school year

Pre-post SCCPHD-collected travel mode tally data indicated that walking/biking to school rates from September 2015 to the end of the school year in 2016 remained at 19% at both time points (15.5% walked, 3.5% biked). A year after the SRTS assessments, it was observed that a new cohort of students had continued the discussion of SRTS topics and was planning activities to further promote walking and biking to school.

A commonly reported issue in SRTS programming is difficulty attracting community engagement and ongoing participation. Adding the Our Voice citizen science approach to the initial implementation of a SRTS elementary school program was associated with a significant increase in reported walking/biking to school relative to a comparison school which did not receive this additional intervention. The SRTS + Our Voice intervention was also generally associated with higher levels of engagement among elementary school parents across a 21-month period. Anecdotal observations by the SCCPHD staff members facilitating the SRTS programs suggested that the potential mechanisms that may have led to this increased engagement included an enhanced sense of ownership over local data, an increased interest in SRTS facilitated by directly capturing local barriers and facilitators with an innovative mobile app, and the community members’ role as co-presenters at stakeholder meetings. While it was beyond the scope of the current pilot investigation to capture such mechanisms in a more systematic way, Our Voice studies conducted in other community settings (e.g., neighborhoods) suggest that the civic engagement engendered by this type of citizen science approach may increase such mechanisms [ 11 , 17 , 18 ].

The size of the relative increase in reported walking/biking to school in the elementary school receiving SRTS + Our Voice (from 5.5 to 30%) was larger than what is typically reported in the SRTS literature (i.e., from 12.9 to 17.6%) [ 7 ]. It is possible that some source of measurement error affected these data, although standard SRTS tally procedures were used [ 25 ], and all students in each elementary school were included in these tallies. Given the preliminary nature of this investigation, it is important that the SRTS + Our Voice intervention procedures be replicated in other schools to better ascertain where the true impact of the additional Our Voice citizen science component may lie.

Results from applying the SRTS + Our Voice approach in a middle school suggest that youth as well as adults can fully participate in this type of citizen science process. Incorporating students in the assessment process proved successful in achieving high initial engagement (26 participating students), compared to citizen science engagement in the elementary school (six participating parents). SCCPHD staff also reported that engaging youth in the stakeholder presentations yielded more compelling stories, with the students themselves advocating for the improvement of their school environment. However, the middle school setting also presented structural challenges in carrying out some aspects of SRTS (e.g., teachers had limited time to supervise group meetings). While the students were invited to present at a youth environmental sustainability conference, they were unable to attend due to liability concerns. Despite these institutional barriers, the middle school students have continued to engage with the SRTS program. The initial cohort of middle school citizen scientists, who have moved on to high school, passed on responsibilities to a new cohort of middle school students who continue to lead school-based SRTS activities.

A large-scale study of 5-year SRTS program effects across 4 U.S. regions indicated that engineering and related environmental changes were associated with an 18% relative increase in walking and biking to school [ 6 ]. While the SRTS + Our Voice elementary school program resulted in at least one environmental change (i.e., additional bike racks), most activities involved new educational and motivational programs. The same large-scale study reported that such educational and encouragement programs have led to a 25% increase in walking and biking over a 5-year period [ 6 ]. In contrast, the middle school included specific targeting of local built environments and policies aimed at safer walking/biking to school. These included proposed solutions to improve the school’s traffic and drop-off policies. Unfortunately, with the departure of a key stakeholder in this area (the City’s Public Works engineer), such solutions were unable to be pursued during the project period. While environmental and policy changes may take longer to implement, they could potentially translate into more enduring changes in SRTS behaviors over time [ 28 ].

Limitations

While the results of this first-generation investigation are promising, further investigation and replication of the effects of this combined approach in a larger and more diverse number of schools are needed. Among the limitations of the study design is the fact that the SRTS county health department initiated the SRTS program in School A approximately 6 weeks earlier than School B. This somewhat longer time period could have conceivably influenced the differential results favoring School A, which received the additional Our Voice intervention. During this 6-week start period, School A SRTS activities consisted of one Santa Clara County Public Health Department-led SRTS media day occurring on October 7, 2015. The Public Health Department staff promoted walking and biking to the school on that day. While it is not possible, given the study design, to determine the specific impacts of this one-day event on the differential walk/bike tallies observed at the end of the school year, there is little evidence in the literature indicating that a one-day SRTS event at the beginning of the school year could have such a substantial effect nine months later [ 7 ]. In addition, we observed even stronger between-school differences in SRTS engagement activities during the follow-up year when there was no difference in the SRTS program start date.

It is also possible that the larger proportions of lower income and racial/ethnic minorities in School A could have in some way resulted in the significant differences in walk/bike patterns shown across the school year in School A vs. B independent of the Our Voice intervention. However, prior SRTS research on U.S. schools that have larger proportions of Hispanic as well as lower-income students typically have found generally higher rates of walking/biking to school in those populations [ 7 , 29 ], which was not the case at baseline in School A. This might have been due, at least in part, to the less urbanized nature of the school district under study relative to a number of other investigations, as well as the observation that lower-income Hispanic children living in western areas of the U.S. are more likely to live in less safe neighborhoods with poorer street environments [ 30 ]. These potential factors deserve further systematic investigation [ 7 ]. Similarly, while there could have been initial differences in parental and school-based readiness between the two elementary schools, pre-intervention parental survey data related to parental perceptions that their child’s school encouraged walking/biking to and from school and that walking/biking to school was healthy for their child were similar. In addition, the significant increase in walking/biking to school in the SRTS + Our Voice school, which had significantly lower baseline walking/biking rates relative to the SRTS-Alone school, was substantially larger than what one might typically expect if simply a “regression to the mean” phenomenon was operating.

Systematically tracking behavior change of this type across more extended time periods also presents challenges. The SRTS walking/biking travel mode tally required teachers to facilitate data collection, which can lead to teacher burden. Given the inevitable variability in school populations, policies, and resources that occur over time, SRTS programs may need to track walking/biking rates over much longer time spans (e.g., 5–10 years) using more rigorous experimental designs to accurately determine significant behavior changes [ 5 ]. An important goal of such programs is to ensure that the community does not disengage when change does not happen immediately.

This first-generation study suggests that the addition of a technology-enabled citizen science process to a standard elementary school SRTS program was associated with higher levels of community engagement and reported walking/biking to school compared to SRTS alone. The results also indicate that this approach is feasible to employ in a middle school setting where students can participate as the “citizen scientists”. The findings suggest that further investigation of this citizen science approach in the elementary and middle school settings is warranted.

Abbreviations

Discovery Tool

Santa Clara County Public Health Department

Safe Routes to School

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Acknowledgements

This work was made possible thanks to a partnership between the Our Voice Initiative at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. SCCPHD support was integral to the success of the SRTS programs and the SRTS Our Voice research projects. Technical assistance with data input was provided by Naina Ahuja and Jaqueline Botts, and assistance with the SCCPHD SRTS program was provided by Tonya Veitch, BS. Additional guidance with data analysis was provided by Lorene Nelson, PhD and Michael Baiocchi, PhD. We also want to acknowledge our partners in this work, the dedicated citizen scientists who were the driving force behind this community-based participatory research. In addition, we thank the representatives of the Gilroy Unified School District, Gilroy Public Works Department, Gilroy Police Department, and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition for their support throughout this project.

Financial support for the Our Voice projects in Santa Clara County came from the Wellness Living Laboratory (WELL) at Stanford. Foundational funding for WELL was provided by Amway via an unrestricted gift through the Nutrilite Health Institute Wellness Fund. Dr. King was supported in part by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant ID#7334, NIH/National Cancer Institute grants 5R01CA211048 and P20CA217199, NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases grant 5R01DK102016, Silicon Valley Community Foundation award #101518, a grant from the Discovery Innovation Fund in Basic Biomedical Sciences from Stanford University, US Public Health Service Grant 1U54EB020405 supporting The National Center for Mobility Data Integration and Insight (PI: S. Delp), and US Public Health Service Grant 1U54MD010724 (PI: M. Cullen). Dr. Hua was supported by an NIH/NHLBI institutional postdoctoral training grant (T32 HL007034).

The funding sources played no role in study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of data, or writing of the manuscript.

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Nicole M. Rodriguez, Jenna Hua, Sandra J. Winter & Abby C. King

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Division of Epidemiology, Department of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA

Abby C. King

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Contributions

NR contributed to the investigation design and methods, participated in aspects of data collection and interpretation of results, and helped to draft and edit portions of the manuscript and develop Tables. AA contributed to the investigation design and methods, and participated in aspects of data collection, selection of measures, interpretation of results, and editing of manuscript drafts. AK contributed to the the investigation design and methods, and participated in aspects of data collection, selection of measures interpretation of results, and editing of manuscript drafts. JH conducted data analysis and participated in the interpretation of results, developed tables, and participated in the editing of manuscript drafts. BB contributed to the investigation design and methods and participated in the selection of measures, interpretation of results, and editing of manuscript drafts. SW contributed to the investigation design and methods and participated in the interpretation of results and editing of manuscript drafts. ACK conceived of the investigation design and methods, led the selection of measures, interpreted study results, and wrote and edited manuscript drafts. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Abby C. King .

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Human subject approvals were obtained from the Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) at the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and Stanford University. Written informed consent was obtained from all adult participants, and for participants under the age of 16 years, written informed assent from the participants and written informed consent from their parents/guardians were obtained.

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Rodriguez, N.M., Arce, A., Kawaguchi, A. et al. Enhancing safe routes to school programs through community-engaged citizen science: two pilot investigations in lower density areas of Santa Clara County, California, USA. BMC Public Health 19 , 256 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6563-1

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Received : 09 May 2018

Accepted : 19 February 2019

Published : 01 March 2019

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6563-1

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country research project high school

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Santa Clara's Top High Schools: A Journey Through Excellence in Education

Santa Clara's Top High Schools: A Journey Through Excellence in Education

Discover the top high schools in Santa Clara, CA, and learn about their unique histories.

California.com Team

March 30, 2023

The city of Santa Clara, California, nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, is known for its thriving tech industry and vibrant community. This bustling city is also home to a variety of exceptional high schools that provide top-notch education and opportunities for students to excel in academics and extracurricular activities. In this article, we will explore the best high schools in Santa Clara, provide their addresses, and uncover their unique histories.

Santa Clara High School 

Address: 3000 benton st, santa clara, ca 95051.

Established in 1872, Santa Clara High School is the oldest high school in the city. The school is renowned for its strong academic programs, with a wide range of Advanced Placement (AP) courses and a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Santa Clara High School also offers numerous extracurricular activities, including clubs, athletics, and performing arts, allowing students to pursue their passions beyond the classroom.

Wilcox High School 

Address: 3250 monroe st, santa clara, ca 95051.

Wilcox High School, founded in 1961, has a rich history and a long-standing commitment to academic excellence. Known for its diverse student body and inclusive environment, Wilcox High School provides a challenging curriculum, including honors and AP courses. The school also boasts a strong athletic program and a wide range of clubs, ensuring students can engage in various activities and interests.

Cupertino High School 

Address: 10100 finch ave, cupertino, ca 95014.

Located just a short drive from Santa Clara, Cupertino High School was established in 1958. The school has a reputation for academic rigor and offers an extensive selection of AP courses. Cupertino High School's renowned music and arts programs provide students with opportunities to explore their creative talents. Additionally, the school's commitment to community service and global awareness prepares students for success in an increasingly interconnected world.

Lynbrook High School 

Address: 1280 johnson ave, san jose, ca 95129.

Lynbrook High School, founded in 1965, is known for its strong academics, particularly in STEM fields. The school offers a wide array of AP courses and encourages students to participate in research projects and internships. Lynbrook High School also fosters a strong sense of community and offers numerous clubs and organizations, allowing students to develop leadership skills and form lasting friendships.

Santa Clara, California, is home to a collection of outstanding high schools that cater to students' diverse needs and interests. Santa Clara High School, Wilcox High School, Cupertino High School, and Lynbrook High School each provide a unique and enriching educational experience, with a strong focus on academic excellence and personal growth. By delving into the histories and unique features of these schools, we hope to offer valuable insights for families seeking the best educational opportunities in and around Santa Clara, California.

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REACH Pipeline Summer Research Experience for Minority and Underrepresented High School and Undergraduate Students

Project Number 5R25NS120283-02 Agency/Funding Organization NINDS Funding Year 2022 View Full Project Details for REACH Pipeline Summer Research Experience for Minority and Underrepresented High School and Undergraduate Students

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Press Release

country research project high school

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $15 Million for 12 Projects Developing High-Energy Storage Solutions to Electrify Domestic Aircraft, Railroads & Ships

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $15 million for 12 projects across 11 states to advance next-generation, high-energy storage solutions to help accelerate the electrification of the aviation, railroad, and maritime transportation sectors. Funded through the Pioneering Railroad, Oceanic and Plane ELectrification with 1K energy storage systems ( PROPEL-1K ) program, projects will develop energy storage systems with “1K” technologies capable of achieving or exceeding 1000 Watt-hour per kilogram (Wh/kg) and 1000 Watt-hour per liter (Wh/L), which is a greater than four times energy density improvement compared to current technologies. This effort supports President Biden’s 2050 net-zero climate goals.

“Reducing emissions in the transportation sector—which is the largest contributor to the country’s greenhouse gas emissions—is critical to achieving President Biden’s clean energy and climate goals,” said ARPA-E Director Evelyn N. Wang. “ARPA-E is pleased to announce the dozen teams that will pursue exciting new solutions for powering and electrifying heavy-duty transportation.”

Managed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the selected 12 project teams will work on high-energy storage solutions, capable of catalyzing broad electrification of aviation, railroad and maritime sectors:

  • And Battery Aero (Palo Alto, CA) and its collaborators are developing battery cells, stacks, and systems using fluorinated electrodes to usher in a new type of battery chemistry for aviation applications. The team will focus on enhancing energy density of the cell design through electrode materials optimization and electrolyte formulation. The proposed approach would also innovate battery pack design to reduce energy density penalty due to packaging. (Award amount: $983,445)
  • Aurora Flight Sciences (Manassas, VA) is working on an aluminum air energy storage and power generation system to provide a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution for powering heavy-duty transportation. The technology’s novelty lies in its ability to facilitate aluminum combustion, resulting in the production of hydrogen that powers a solid-oxide fuel cell. The heat and electricity generated by this process are subsequently utilized for propulsion. The system utilizes a platform that separates energy and power, allowing for swappable energy boxes or pumpable fuel, that can be rapidly and seamlessly charged and discharged mechanically from the vehicle. (Award amount: $1,499,375)
  • Georgia Tech Research Corporation (Atlanta, GA) will advance an alkali hydroxide triple phase flow battery (3PFB) to enable reversible operation of ultrahigh energy density battery chemistries. The approach takes inspiration from fuel injectors in internal combustion engines and from conventional flow batteries. The proposed design leverages innovative pumping and handling of molten alkali metal and hydroxide species to maximize the volume of reactants over inactive components and thus increase energy density. (Award amount: $1,317,842)
  • Giner (Newton, MA) will package hydrogen in a paste to power fuel cells, eliminating the need for high-pressure hydrogen storage tanks. The power paste—a mix of magnesium and hydrogen stored in a cartridge—would trigger the release of hydrogen gas when water is added. The paste is not flammable or explosive. The team will also update the system’s fuel cell to operate at lower humidity, making the approach more versatile and lower volume, improving the overall energy density of the design. (Award amount: $1,500,000)
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) (Chicago, IL) focuses on a solid-state lithium-air battery that would overcome previous challenges with lithium-air technologies through several key innovations. IIT’s approach features a composite polymer solid-state electrolyte with no liquid component, a cathode module with a highly active catalyst and oxygen uptake ability, advanced air flow, and a new cell architecture. The inexpensive battery materials in IIT’s technology improves supply chain resilience, and the battery could have up to three to four times greater energy density than current lithium-ion batteries. (Award amount: $1,500,000)
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD) will work on a high-energy-density hydrogen carrier using methylcyclohexane to create a fuel cell (FC) system that holds higher mass-specific energy densities than conventional systems. The proposed hydrogen FC uses closed loop cyclic hydrogen carriers. The FC system can also be rapidly (~10 min) replenished via pumping. (Award amount: $625,000)
  • Precision Combustion (North Haven, CT) and its hybrid fuel-cell battery system features an electrochemical wafer that uses liquid hydrogen as fuel to generate energy, coupled with a high-power lithium-ion battery, to enable peak-power operation. The progressive energy storage system hybridizes a highly efficient advanced electrochemical device and a small rechargeable battery and pairs them with a high-energy-density carbon-free fuel. The process intensified architecture has the potential to deliver significantly more power density than other systems in development. (Award amount: $1,221,058)
  • Propel Aero (Ann Arbor, MI) and its “Redox Engine” technology would provide considerable power performance and deliver the energy density required to meet the demands of electric aircraft. The cost of electricity for the technology would be comparable to jet fuel. Given the low cost and high specific energy, the Redox Engine can address electrification of shipping and trains as well. (Award amount: $1,117,000)
  • University of Maryland (College Park, MD) will develop a rechargeable lithium carbon monofluoride cathode chemistry to meet PROPEL-1K technical targets. This new chemistry builds on previous work at UMD on halogen conversion-intercalation chemistry but targets significantly higher energy through active material, electrolyte, and other cell chemistry modifications. The cell is assembled in the discharged state, significantly lowering cost relative to high-energy Li-metal cells that are built in the charged state (and hence require the use of Li-metal foils). The cell chemistry work will be combined with performance and cost modeling at several scales to demonstrate a path to meet the final system PROPEL-1K targets. (Award amount: $1,483,595)
  • Washington State University (Pullman, WA) and its modular energy system combines ceramic fuel cell technology with an innovative way to package hydrogen in the liquid form. The approach uses a self-pressurizing heat recovery and hydrogen expander module coupled with a proton conducting ceramic fuel cell. The high-temperature system enables energy recovery and significant weight savings through omission of radiative heat exchangers used for cooling. (Award amount: $803,945)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO) will use a Li-Air battery with ionic liquids to deliver efficient, reliable, and durable performance for high-energy and high-power applications. The proposed Li-Air flow battery would feature circulating ionic liquid saturated with oxygen to overcome critical challenges to Li-Air battery development, including achieving power rate capability and specific energy targets. The team will synthesize ionic liquids with high oxygen solubility, low viscosity, ultra-low volatility, and high ionic conductivity. Preliminary experimental results have demonstrated a tenfold increase in capacity using a circulating electrolyte. (Award amount: $1,499,985)
  • Wright Electric (Malta, NY) and Columbia University are developing an aluminum-air flow battery that has swappable aluminum anodes that allow for mechanical recharging. Aluminum air chemistry can achieve high energy density but historically has encountered issues with rechargeability and clogging from reaction products. To overcome these barriers, Wright Electric uses a 3D design instead of a 2D planar chemistry to improve the contact between anode and cathode. The system also circulates the electrolyte, preventing the accumulation of reaction products within the cell structure to remedy limitations of static aluminum-air batteries. (Award amount: $1,499,098)

Access project descriptions for the teams announced today on the ARPA-E website . These selections represent the first phase of an expected two-phase program. Phase 1 is expected to be completed in 18 months following contract completion. If successful, PROPEL-1K technologies will electrify regional flights traveling as far as 1,000 miles with up to 100 people, all North American railroads, and all vessels operating exclusively in U.S. territorial waters.

ARPA-E advances high-potential, high-impact clean energy technologies across a wide range of technical areas that are strategic to America's energy security. Learn more about these efforts and ARPA-E's commitment to ensuring the United States continues to lead the world in developing and deploying advanced clean energy technologies.

Selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the applicants will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time.

Press and General Inquiries: 202-287-5440 [email protected]

IMAGES

  1. Country Research Project for Kids ⋆ Selma Dawani

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  5. Country Research Project by The Blue Brain Teacher

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  6. Country Research Project Fact Sheet

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  1. How to Teach a Country Research Project

    There are so many benefits to teaching a research project on a country. These include: -Gaining knowledge about new places and different culture. -Sparking curiosity and a love of learning. -Understanding and accepting differences. -Recognising that even though cultures may have differences, we all share similarities.

  2. Country Research Checklist

    Your paper should have an INTRODUCTION which includes: The name of the country. The capital of the country. The major language (s) spoken. The location (what continent it's on) Your paper should have at least one paragraph discussing the HISTORY of your country which includes: The Date the country came into existence.

  3. PDF A Super Cool Geography Research Project

    A Research Project to Examine the Demographic, Geographic, Political, and Socio-Economic Aspects of a Country or Nation-State. Objective: To use the Five Themes of Geography to learn more about a particular country and to present what you have learned in an organized, meaningful way. Overview: You are going to use your new found geography ...

  4. Country Research Project

    1. Choose a country. 2. Begin your research. 3. Use the RESEARCH CHECKLIST to guide you in your project. 4. After completing your research you will write a research paper. Your paper should be: 3-5 pages long. Typed; Double Spaced; Written in a 12-point font. 5. You also need to include a picture of your country's flag. 6.

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    It helps by giving students a space to save their research media allowing them quick access when they prepare their final project and paper. Some areas of research are the countries location, geographical features, climate, capital, major cities, political leaders, currency, historical figures, cultures such as music, food, customs and traditions.

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    Prepare the Room for Research Projects. world map to hang or project on a screen. world atlas - online or book. globe - physical or virtual. make it a festive environment with world flags decor. country map (s) - posters or printed. posters of famous landmarks, people, inventions, etc. vocabulary wall.

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    Here is a fun and simple fact sheet for researching an individual country. Students are asked to name the country and its inhabitants (such as "Norwegians" for Norway), then list the country's language(s), capital city, currency, population, religion(s, important rivers and lakes, things the country makes and grows, and three interesting facts about the country.

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    Select to do a country research project. A research project switch a heimat may can part of your curriculum, or her may teach the project as part of a whole instruct cultural week. Alternatively you could set the design as homework fork your class. It's also a great idea to use the project to supporting learning across other your categories.

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    Geography & Tech. Create an interactive map for students to use as they learn about the country's geography and location. Have students mark important landmarks, cities, and geographical features. These activities are designed to keep your students fully engaged and having fun while they learn about different cultures and the world.

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    Country Research Project is designed for success in middle school or high school. This activity includes a wide range of topics for students to research such as, government, economy, traditional dance, population, traditional clothing, cuisine, current event, and more! These comprehensive activities provide rigorous instruction allowing students to research and understand the country of their ...

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    Country Research Project. Solomon, Cassi ; Let's Study a Country. There are lots of things to learn about when studying a country. We will be looking at a countries land, people, celebrations, and interesting facts. ... Licking Heights High School (9-12) 4101 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062 P: 740-964-9005 | F: 740-927-0508 Licking Heights ...

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    No-Prep Country Research Project Template. Our pack includes a variety of worksheets and graphic organizers that will help students explore a civilization at least 500 years old. They will learn about why the civilization settled in the location, what challenges they faced, and how they adapted to the environmental conditions.

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    Country Research Report Objective: For this research report you will choose a country. You will find accurate information using appropriate internet websites and nonfiction texts. Your final report will include an informational paper and your choice of the following: PowerPoint presentation, tri-fold poster, or brochure.

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    About This Product. Engage your students with this fun and comprehensive, 27 page resource to help your students produce a research report on a country or countries. It makes report writing easy! This report template can be used for your students to create, develop, write, edit, illustrate, and assess your students' country report.

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    Enhance your classroom's global literacy and research skills with the comprehensive "Country Research Projects" resource. Designed to bridge cultural gaps and foster global awareness, this project is a crucial tool for today's interconnected world, empowering students to delve into the diverse tapestry of nations that make up our planet. The ...

  18. Country Research Project by Nancy Mikhail Educational Coaching

    In the Country Research Project, students pick a country of their choice to study. Students will answer thoughtful, essential questions tailored to their grade (one for upper, a different one for lower elementary). Note-taking sheets are included, guided walk-through of researching a country, opportunities to learn about culture, government ...

  19. Country Research Project

    Our Country Research Project is ideal for older elementary students and middle school students. Before tackling this Country Research Project, we introduce, review, and solidify basic map skills with our FREE Printable World Maps & Activities.By the time my students reach 4th grade, they do one of these projects a year for the next two years.

  20. 11 Research and Summer Programs in California For High School Students

    Summary. Polygence is an online research program designed to offer high school students accessible research opportunities, making them more inclusive. The program was created by researchers from Harvard, MIT, and Stanford and provides tailored research projects, allowing students to explore their interests, acquire professional skills, and ...

  21. 15 Best Research Opportunities for High School Students in California

    15 Best Summer Research Opportunities for High School Students in California. 1. COSMOS | California State Summer School for Mathematics & Science. Subject areas: STEM. Location: At the host institution's campus (living on campus). COSMOS is available across 4 campuses: UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz.

  22. 30 Summer Research Programs for High School Students in 2024

    The Summer High School Research Academy at UT Austin represents a significant milestone in the array of summer research programs for high school students in 2024. Hosted by one of the leading universities in the United States, this program offers high school students an authentic glimpse into the world of scientific research within a university ...

  23. Enhancing safe routes to school programs through community-engaged

    Background While promoting active commuting to school can positively affect children's daily physical activity levels, effectively engaging community members to maximize program impact remains challenging. We evaluated the initial utility of adding a technology-enabled citizen science engagement model, called Our Voice, to a standard Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program to enhance program ...

  24. Santa Clara's Top High Schools: A Journey Through Excellence in Education

    Lynbrook High School Address: 1280 Johnson Ave, San Jose, CA 95129. Lynbrook High School, founded in 1965, is known for its strong academics, particularly in STEM fields. The school offers a wide array of AP courses and encourages students to participate in research projects and internships.

  25. Largest Covid Vaccine Study Yet Finds Links to Health Conditions

    Vaccines that protect against severe illness, death and lingering long Covid symptoms from a coronavirus infection were linked to small increases in neurological, blood, and heart-related ...

  26. REACH Pipeline Summer Research Experience for Minority and

    REACH Pipeline Summer Research Experience for Minority and Underrepresented High School and Undergraduate Students ... Project Number. 5R25NS120283-02. Agency/Funding Organization. NINDS. Funding Year. 2022.

  27. Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $15 million for 12 projects across 11 states to advance next-generation, high-energy storage solutions to help accelerate the electrification of the aviation, railroad, and maritime transportation sectors. Funded through the Pioneering Railroad, Oceanic and Plane ELectrification with 1K energy storage systems (PROPEL-1K ...

  28. Ohio State again set record for research spending in 2023

    Ohio State University posted record research spending for the seventh consecutive year - $1.45 billion in the year ended June 30 - edging closer to a goal of $2 billion by 2030. Fiscal 2023 ...