Project: Natural Disasters - Science Project

Step Description Expected Student Results
1 STEP ONE: Student/Mentor Introductions, Project Discussion

Student Role:

1. Each student shares their hobbies, interests and
their personal expectations of the project with his or her
mentor. Students also share what they know about the project
and begin to fill any gaps with help from the teacher and

2. A journal will be used throughout the project to share
progress with the mentor, incorporate mentor feedback, allow
for multiple iterations of student work, and become the main
source of information for the authentic audience associated
with the project.

Mentor Role:

1. Mentors may share personal or professional areas of
interest and additional insights into any of the items


1. The student will write a letter of introduction to the
mentor explaining his/her interests and activities in and
out of school

2. The student will write a paragraph to share their project problem/interest about Natural Disasters with their mentor. If student has not yet decided
on an area to research, he/she will ask the mentor for help
choosing the project.

3. Student will write a paragraph to share with the mentor
what he/she already knows about the topic they are
interested in researching, why this is of interest to them,
and how they know the information.

4. Student will send all of the above information to mentor
for feedback.
2 STEP TWO: Discuss Scientific Inquiry

Student Role:

1. Students begin researching the goals and objectives of
their specific 'Natural Disaster' project.

2. The students will look at the real world problems of natural disasters around the world. They will explore their own interests within a specific natural disaster or types of disasters.

3. Students will identify community members or organizations that are dealing with their project problem and question. This is an extremely important step. This makes their project relevant and useful.

3. The students will collaborate with mentors about the real
world issues of their natural disaster chosen.

4. Students share what they know regarding the effects of
the natural disaster in their area.

5. Student and Mentor exchange letters in which they
identify at least three sub-questions based on their natural disaster research being conducted.

6. All students discuss the list of primary and secondary
questions, remove duplication, and prioritize the list.

A. A primary question should emerge with multiple
secondary questions to research.

7. The final product will be a student created, industry
reviewed summary at the end of their research to inform the
public on the current issues of the natural disaster of their choice and
propose solutions to help guide recovery.

For example, a public service announcement, an imovie, a
public meeting night at TRMS, a school assembly, brochures
that will be posted around the community, and much more.

Teacher Role:

1. Share examples of excellence from other middle
school natural disaster projects and help the students create
ownership of where the bar is set for the quality of their
work throughout the project.

Mentor Role:

1. Brainstorm with student to identify the best
questions/issues to research.

2. Help students find current research related to their

1. Identify a problem or question to research about a natural disaster, the
student is interested in. This may include secondary
questions that are suitable for groups of students to

2. Create 3 subquestions about their problem or question to research.

3. List of implications for the research and identify
communities and possible audiences for their research

4. Students will identify community members or organizations that are dealing with their project problem and question. This is an extremely important step. This makes their project relevant and useful.
3 STEP THREE: Construct Hypothesis

Student Role:
1. Student will discuss what a hypothesis is with the mentor
and develop two or three hypotheses to share with the group.

2. Student receives feedback on their hypotheses from the
mentor and refines that work and shares a new draft with the

Mentor Role:

1. Provide student with helpful critique of experimental
question and hypothesis.

2. Challenge and support what the student has written for
the hypothesis.

3. Mentor will facilitate the construction of the student

4. Mentor will help students research experts in their area.

1. Students will be able to identify 4-5 solid references
they use in the development of their hypothesis.

2. Student will create a list of at least 3 experts in the
area of interest they have chosen.

3. Student will develop a hypothesis or possible solution that examines their specific project from a natural disaster. This hypothesis will encompass real world problems from a natural disaster (of their choice) and explore their own interests to solve or communicate those problems.

The student needs to research solutions that are already in place for their project problem. If there are great solutions in place, they need to re-examine their project problem. They could work on improving a solution that is in place or coming up with a new solution.

4 STEP FOUR: Research Paper and Rough Draft

** Check the uploaded files.
There are 3 documents:

1. The Research Paper Rubric

2. The Bibliography Format- Use the following link, it is an automatic citation generator:
-Please use MLA 6 or MLA 7

3. Helpful Transitional Words

Student Role:

1. Students will compile their research in a 5 paragraph essay, written form, 3-5 pages in length. They need to upload this as a file on to the telementoring website. Also, they need to put their information in a google document to be ready to be edited.

2. Student will compose a research document (paragraph or
multiple paragraphs)summarizing what he/she has learned
during their research on EACH of their topics and upload the paragraph(or paragraphs) for their mentor to review.

Rough Draft expectations:

1st paragraph: Introduction- The students explain the overview of their main question/problem. Introduce their 3 sub-questions.

2nd/3rd/4th paragraphs: Supporting paragraphs, students need to discuss their 3 sub-questions and probable solution/hypothesis in these paragraphs. The 3 sub-questions should have helped the students research their problem more in depth. More thorough research will help the student come up with a better proposed solution to their problem. They NEED to include their research in their answers.

5th paragraph: Conclusion- Sum up their research and reiterate their proposed solution/hypothesis for their main problem.

3. Students may use the internet, books, magazines, online
videos, interviews, volunteer time, field work or other
sources as resources.

4. Students will list all sources by creating a bibliography or works cited page. They will use the uploaded document to help guide them and use the website: They need to include the source document when submitting their final
research document on each sub-topic.

5. Students will consult with mentors and teacher throughout
their rough draft for their research paper. Next step will be to revise and edit their paper in class with their peers.

Mentor Role:

1. Mentor will research the student's chosen
topic/topics of interest and send student some additional
search terms and/or websites and/or places they can
physically visit related to the topic.

2. Mentor will guide the students' critical thinking about
their project topic.

3. Mentor will help students with appropriate organization
with their written thought/rough draft.

4. Mentors will provide feedback on drafts.

1. Student will be able to draw conclusions from their
research and develop arguments that support their

2. Student will clearly articulate their thoughts and
opinions on their topic.

3. Students will incorporate feedback from their mentors.
5 STEP FIVE: Final Draft

Student Role:

1. Students will finalize their rough draft by going through the research paper rubric (it is uploaded in the files); that is provided by the teacher. This will help the students check that their final paper is proficient.

2. Students will peer edit each others papers and give
constructive criticism. Each student will be given a job description and specific questions to ask their partner. There will be 2 parts, the first part the student will revise their peers paper and the second part, the student will edit. This will be an activity done in class. The questions are uploaded under the files.

3. The student will take their peer revisions and edits and fix their research paper.

4. Students will receive feedback from their mentors about
their final draft.

Mentor Role:

1. Provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the

2. Discuss what's working and what isn't in regard to the
student/mentor dialogue.

3. Mentors will provide guidance on how to peer edit a

1. Student will be able to communicate their research in a
formal write-up.

2. Students will be able to proofread and revise their draft
to produce a final copy.

3. Invite review and critique of the paper and make
refinements based on feedback from the mentor and their peers.
6 STEP SIX: Share Results and Form Groups

Student Role:

1. Based on the hypothesis, the students will share the
results to date.

2. Students will describe in detail the challenges of this
project to date as well as what went well.

3. Students will be grouped based on areas of focus for
community education and/or their specific natural disaster project.

Mentors Role:

1. Provide feedback on results to date.

2. Mentors will facilitate the identification of the area of

3. Celebrate the progress made so far.

1. Students will continue to understand what high quality
looks like.

2. They will be setting their purpose for their work before
they even start working.

3. Students will be able to communicate about their project
purpose with their peers and mentor.

7 STEP SEVEN: Develop a Product that Educates the Community

Student Role:

1. Students will work in groups to brainstorm an area of
focus for their final product.

2. Students will decide on a medium to present their product
(PSA, imovie, website, brochure, presentation, community

3. Students will collaborate with their mentor on the best
practices to educate the community.

Mentor Role:

1. Mentor will facilitate the decision process for the
students' final project.

2. Mentor will give students strategies on how to work
through issues that arise with their team members.

1. Student groups will have finalized an idea for their final

2. Students will plan out their course of action for project

8 STEP EIGHT: Produce Educational Product

Student Role:

1. Student groups will develop a community education product
designed to inform the general community (youth and adults
alike) about their chosen natural disaster project.

2. Work in teams to put together a quality community
education product that explains and communicates the issues
facing our world because of the natural disaster. Include issues
that will arise in the future.

3. Student teams will present their solutions and ideas for
a solution to their natural disaster project. They will use their
research and present through a community education platform.

4. Student groups can choose their product medium, but must
stick with that decision for the rest of the project.

Mentor Role:

1. Mentors will facilitate in focusing and clarifying the
students' message through the community education product.

2. Mentors will provide feedback for students to iterate
their product multiple times before final production.

3. Mentors will assume the stance of a learner in observing
the students' educational products in order to critique the
product's efficacy.


1. Student groups will produce a polished, usable community
education product or
plan via whatever medium they choose.

2. Students will incorporate mentor feedback and make
decisions - as a team - on
editing, expanding, focusing, and clarifying their main

3. Students will produce and communicate solutions for their natural disaster project.

4. Students will utilize their research to educate the
community on areas of their chosen natural disaster, which
they understand to be an issue for general public
9 STEP NINE: Present Educational Product

*****The presentation night is TBA, it will be within these dates.*****

Student Role:

1. Students present their learning and understanding through
the vehicle of their final project. Local experts and
professionals in the community are welcome to

2. Students will prepare and deliver a formal presentation
of their learning and their educational product. Feedback
will be given by attending teachers, administrators,
parents, and community members.

3. Students will be aware of and utilize the presentation
rubric provided to hone their communication skills and
polish their presentation.

4. Students will include in their presentation the impact of
the mentor program and what it has helped them learn.

Mentor Role:

1. Mentors will listen to run-through's of student
presentation or watch a video of the process. Mentors will
provide feedback on presentation content and student
presentation skills.

2. Mentors will attend presentation night if possible.

1. The students will present their final community education
product and be given feedback by community members,
teachers, administrators, and parents.

2. Students will receive feedback based on a presentation
rubric to further improve their communication skills.

3. Students will work as a team to present the information
in a clear, effective, and powerful manner.

4. Students will communicate their learning throughout the
Telementor process as a final part of their presentation.
10 STEP TEN: Draw Conclusions, Thank Mentors and Stakeholders

*******SPRING BREAK 4/04-4/12

Student Role:

1. Share conclusions of this phase of the project. Invite
feedback from mentor for next phase of the project.
Determine how this project could continue.

2. Evaluate their performance on the project thus far;
including what the student did well, what he would like to
have done differently to improve upon the project.

3. Provide mentors with specific feedback on what he or she
contributed to the success of the project.

4. Write a thank you letter to the mentor and stakeholders
to share appreciation and detail the impact of the program
had on their learning and their skills.

5. Share what new interests surfaced as a result of the
project and what the student plans to do with these

6. Students will present findings to local stakeholders and
mentors at the school.

7. Submit project survey online at in
your student area.

Mentor Role:

1. Candid feedback on the successes and challenges of the
project from the mentor's perspective. Note what he or she
(the mentor) could have done differently. Also note what the
student could have done differently.

2. Participate in the presentation directly or virtually
(depending on whether the mentor is local or not).

3. Encourage students to continue to pursue their interests
in science and develop their talents!

4. Submit project survey in your mentor area.

1. Student will score themselves using a self-evaluation
their teacher has provided. This evaluation will include
what they learned, their depth of knowledge, how they will
use these tools in the future, new interests/questions that
surfaced, ideas for improvement and celebration for their

2. Students will receive thoughtful feedback from their
mentor and they will include that in their self-evaluation.

3. Students will write an appreciate letter that has
significant meaning and correct mechanics.

4. Students will present their findings and submit their
final product.