For the past several months, we notice that our guestbook has been receiving several requests for investigatory projects in science (physics, chemistry, biology, etc). Some are asking only for ideas, while others simply want everything be done for them (abstract, methodology, etc). In lieu with this, we are issuing this advisory to all our visitors especially to the very eager young Filipino high school students out there.
The truth is, the Internet is NOT the right place to look for an idea of an investigatory project. You will just be wasting your time surfing from one website to another and find nothing will help you. It is not only a waste of time; it is also a waste of money especially for those who are paying internet access. The ideas that you are looking for are in YOU and you don’t need the internet to obtain these ideas! You only have to look around you. Investigatory projects are designed to help students THINK, become observant of their surrounding, look for peculiarities, problems, and issues and use their acquired knowledge in school to investigate if not to solve these problems. In the process, the students learn more. With their newly acquired knowledge, they can now solve more complicated problems. And the cycle goes on. Below are few pointers that we hope will help you in your search for an idea of an investigatory project in science.
1) Look around you. Observe. Start from your home, on your way to school, while at school, inside your classroom. Notice the uncommon, things that need improvements, or things that are missing. What are the problems, what can be done, how can you improve things, and how can you apply your acquired knowledge to solve these problems?
2) Use your creativity. You don’t have to build a solar-powered car. This is still beyond you. But harnessing the wind energy during typhoons (we have a lot of them) is closer to home and has practical applications. Instead of constantly complaining about flooding in your place (like Metro Manila), you can turn this plague into something constructive. MMDA will be grateful to you. Or you can simply think of a method to measure the CO emission of the jeepneys you sometimes use on your way to school. LTFRB will be very happy. We know of someone who used a junked bicycle to design a washing machine in one of her investigatory projects. The idea is that instead of relying on electrical energy, why not use your own physical energy? And it worked! (Note: that particular project won the First Prize in Improvisation during a Regional Science Fair!)
3) If you already have an idea and you need some help, consult someone knowledgeable if the idea is feasible and how to develop it. Your teacher is your best friend, consult him/her; your parents can give you more ideas, ask them too; senior students who have done investigatory projects before can provide you tips, so discuss with them.
If at first you think that the task is difficult and you absolutely can’t do it, then chances are you really can’t. But instead, if you think that it can be done, then you are headed in the right direction. That, ultimately, is the first and crucial step. In the end, you can hold your head high and you will be proud to tell everybody that you’ve successfully done it! If you can follow the above pointers and discover the wonders of doing investigatory projects, then you may consider research as a future career.
From your friends at BKR who believe in the talent of the Filipino youth.