One of the many classes Nixa High School offers is AP research. Most of the students in AP research have started their physical research within these last couple of months. At the beginning of the 20-21 school year, students were learning skill-building and the outline for their research project and essay. Before you take AP Research, students have to take Seminar, another class NHS offers, where you learn the techniques and skills students would need to know for AP research. Emma Beadle, a junior at NHS, is doing her AP research project on a qualitative approach to a study of a day to day experiences, support and responsibility of black high school girls in areas of relatively low ethnicity.
“I first learned about adultification in a study I read a couple of years ago and it just kind of caught my eye as a wow this is a cool phenomenon and I’d love to research it more and this just kind of proved the best opportunity to do that and specifically looking into areas with lower diversity because all the studies that are out there already are in bigger cities and none of them really represent our area,” Beadle said.
AP research is a more independent class. The AP research teacher, Mr. Matney, at the beginning of the year, was more up close in their projects but once the students got the hang of it, the class was more laid back.
“You are held a lot more accountable to what your doing because it all kind of falls on you so at the beginning of the year Mr. Matney was very involved in our day to day school and was very structured, and now we are in a free working period where we create our research projects, so it is really all up to you if you do it or not,” Beadle said.
Lucas Crow, a senior at NHS, is doing a qualitative study incorporating cricket flour as a sustainable protein alternative in chocolate chip banana bread with the students’ reaction to the flour.
“My goal is to incorporate sustainable proteins because beef and poultry in that industry has a lot of carbon emissions, just really destructive things that cause harm to the environment and the atmosphere and whatnot,” Crow said.
One thing students in AP research have said, is finding contestants for their study was one of the hardest things when putting together their experiments.
“ I had some participants who got quarantined and I had to find new people last second, like yesterday I was trying to find a sophomore, it was down to the wire, scrambling to get participants,” Crow said.
Elie Jett, a senior at NHS, is doing her experiment on shampoo and specifically, surfactants which are one of the main components of shampoo that work on the cleaning properties, the foaming ability, viscosity, everything that shampoo does come from its surfactant and she is comparing one shampoo with a chemical surfactant to the performance of that biosurfactant.
“So I am trying to look at sustainability in the shampoo industry to see which one consumers prefer to hopefully promote a more sustainable shampoo industry as more people are looking for green products in the world,” Jett said.
Throughout the whole school year, students work on one project and find out as much information as they can. So by the end of the year, each student puts their information into an essay and has the option to publish their findings to an editor.