One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security.Office of Science Brookhaven National Laboratory
High school students from near BNL who have an interest in physics Alex- took a Java class in his school Janna- no programming experience Both students jumped into the project right away, learning the programming language R using documentation and tutorials The Students
Identify smile and frown faces using statistical pattern recognition Identify focused and unfocused x-ray beams and simulated electromagnetic particle showers Alex and Janna placed second in NYSSEF for their work The Project
What are some challenges in your subject area that you can give to students? Practice!
Alex: In my personal opinion, intelligence is fixed. I believe intelligence is the ability to gain and retain knowledge as well as make smart decisions, not the amount of knowledge one currently possesses. One can get smarter, and gain knowledge, but I don't think they can become better at learning how to learn. Does fixed or growth mindset affect achievement? Janna: I think that ability and talent to acquire intelligence is fixed, but intelligence itself can be flexible and is the result of work and study.
What are some examples of feedback you could give to students to develop a growth mindset? Practice!
Praise effort rather than talent or intelligence
'Praising children's intelligence, far from boosting their self-esteem, encourages them to embrace self- defeating behaviors such as worrying about failure and avoiding risks. However, when children are taught the value of concentrating, strategizing and working hard when dealing with academic challenges, this encourages them to sustain their motivation, performance and self-esteem.'' --Carol Dweck, Columbia University Praise and Task Persistence
Alex I get more praise for effort than for results, although this is hard to distinguish. Most of the time, strong effort leads to strong results. Yet I have determined that teachers greatly prefer to have cooperative, hardworking students to lazy/rude genius students. Does the type of praise affect persistence? Janna My school is very competitive, so praise is replaced by more of a feeling that you did well and are amongst the competitive group in the school. My school was very achievement-driven and they had this newspaper where they listed different achievements.
What are some ways you can praise students' effort rather than achievement? Practice!
Alex Kids want to have fun, so find a way to make your subject fun as often as possible. Compliment your hard- working, smart students; it's not preferential treatment, it is motivation for the ones who don't try to put in a little effort for a reward. Tips from Alex and Janna Janna The best teachers that I've ever had, had strong personalities which embodied the classroom with a distinctive feel. Set high expectations for everyone and had a lot of inside jokes with the class.