How many teenagers get to conduct research projects? This past week during Parents Weekend every Island School student did. In total there were 9 research projects which the 50 students were a part of, ranging from sea turtles to deep sea sharks.
Conducting a research project when you are only 16 is a pretty amazing feat. Students worked all semester on one of 9 projects: Conch, Stingray, Lemon Sharks, Deep Sea Sharks, Sea Turtle Habitat, Sea Turtle Knowledge, Plastics, Bonefish, and Ponds. Students worked with 4 or 5 of their peers to culminate a final project of a scientific poster and a presentation during Parent’s Weekend.

For our research project, we tested the behavioral and physiological responses to capture of a lemon shark. We were testing to see if the behavioral response had a relationship with the physiological response.


As much fun as it would be to drone on and explain our entire research project to you, I’d like to talk about the process. Trying to create a research presentation and poster, both which are at the collegiate level, is a daunting task when first presented.

When I first arrived at The Island School, I thought, “I’m excited to be here and am ready to learn, so is everyone else.” Team work was an important skill to learn. Being in the field chasing after a lemon shark is difficult alone, but if you work together, it becomes a lot easier. The same was true for work in class, if we split up the work, it got done better and quicker.

Before coming here, I was a driver leader, which means getting stuff done and I didn’t know how to be a spontaneous motivator and rally the troops. Working in a group with a topic I was passionate about (sharks), definitely improved my leadership skills.

In the end, our presentation went well and our poster looked great, it just took a couple bumps in the road to get there. To look at the posters and videos of the presentations, check out the CEI website and The Island School Research page.