Daily Update April 6, 2012

Each research group is continuing to make progress in preparation for our group introductions on Saturday. Introductions are short PowerPoint presentations where each project answers the question: Why does our research matter?

Of course being in deep water sharks is super cool. We get to study different shark species using The Medusa – a high-tech video camera designed to dive up to 2000 feet underwater, lent to us by Edith Widder at National Geographic. But what’s even cooler about my research project is how little humans know about what I’m studying!

At home, whenever I was given a research paper or project to do in science class, there was a definite ending point and answer to the project. A hypothesis was set up for us, and in order to get an A on the project, we needed to correctly prove the hypothesis. In deep water sharks, we don’t even have a hypothesis. The project is purely based on exploration of deep water – a place rarely experienced by humans.

As I was recording data from a video I was watching on Tuesday and identifying as many species as I could, I realized that my project actually meant something in the world of science. The data sheets I was so meticulously filling out were going to be kept in records, not graded and thrown out when I cleaned out my binder. It’s so amazing to know that I’m sixteen years old and already have the opportunity to take part in a real research project. The Island School has made me so empowered to make a difference on Eleuthera, in science, and at home.