Established in 2015, the Independent Research Program at Hackley provides students with a passion for science the opportunity to participate in authentic scientific research in a genuine setting.
This three-year program is designed to give students first-hand experience in conducting research, thus bridging the gap between a traditional high school science curriculum and the process behind real-world scientific discoveries.
Students accepted in the program will spend each summer after their sophomore and junior years working closely with research scientists to conduct self-designed experiments, either in an academic, medical or industrial lab. The program culminates with the students submitting their results to regional, national and/or international science and engineering fairs.
Students prepare for the challenges of conducting research during the school year by learning foundational skills such as performing proper literature reviews, reading and analyzing data, and presenting results. The program also aids students in identifying and contacting potential mentors at universities and research facilities. Once a student has paired with a mentor, they work together to design an experiment to be carried out over the summer. Ideally, the mentor and student find the experience mutually rewarding, so they can continue working together throughout the academic year in preparation for future experiments during subsequent summers.