Middle and High School Student Research Opportunity

Quality science education requires that teachers and students
be engaged in doing real science.

Are you in need of science research ideas? The FESIRSE provides opportunities for students and teachers to do real science. The resulting research projects are eligible to be part of the Iowa Junior Academy of Science (IJAS) program. IJAS members may apply to be part of the STARR Student Research Grant Program and may be presented at the IJAS Annual Meeting. Students are not required to be a member of IJAS to participate in the FESIRSE Program, however, they must be IJAS members to receive STARR Grant Program feedback and grants and to participate in the IJAS Science Symposium. Students must follow IJAS Guidelines to qualify.

About the FESIRSE Program

Facilitating Environmental Science Inquiry and Research for Students and Educators

The program is made possible by a generous three-year 2014 grant from the Toyota USA Foundation to the Institute for Earth Science Research and Education. You may link to the FESIRSE website using the button below or you may email David Brooks at brooksdr@instesre.org.

Suggested student research from Dr. David Brooks, President, FESIRSE Program.
Additional suggestions are available on the FESIRSE Program website.

Here is an interesting map about heat island effects from NASA's Earth Observatory site --  see http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php. It is especially interesting to compare it with a map of the US interstate highway system.


The combination of maps suggests interesting student research projects about local temperature measurements and how those measurements may or may not have been affected by urbanization and construction of the interstate highway system (including across otherwise undeveloped land), starting in the 1950s. NOAA historical weather data and 30-year climate normals (see http://www.instesre.org/ClimateDataApplications.htm) are sources of data for such studies. It's a big country, with many opportunities for place-specific student research!

What is the FESIRSE Program?

FESIRSE provides Iowa middle and high school students and their teachers the opportunity to conduct meaningful research in environmental and climate science while using instrumentation on loan. The program focusses on science related to Earth/sun/atmosphere interactions and encourages students to participate in science fairs. Other types of environmental science projects may be considered based on availability of support. Some of the instrumentation can be built by teachers and students.

How do you get started?

  • Learn about the program by clicking on the Program Website button above.
  • Students can propose individual or group research projects.
  • Teachers can propose classroom inquiry or research projects.
  • FESIRSE can provide workshops for teachers and students, either face-to-face or online.

How does the program work?

  1. FESIRSE support always starts in response to a written research, inquiry, or workshop proposal.
  2. Research proposals are accepted at any time – there is no proposal deadline.
  3. FESIRSE is happy to discuss proposals before you submit them to provide assistance if needed.
  4. Once a proposal is approved, FESIRSE can provide support, including research equipment, for the duration of the project. Equipment is provided on loan, and in most cases will need to be returned at the end of the project.

Is the program part of the Iowa Junior Academy of Science?

No, but the FESIRSE Program is collaborating with the Iowa Academy of Science to make the program available through the Iowa Junior Academy of Science. IJAS members may apply for a STARR Research Grant for their FESIRSE project if they require financial assistance not available through the FESIRSE program. STARR Research Grant guidelines apply. STARR Grant applicants must be members of the Iowa Junior Academy of Science.

How do I apply?

Please click on the FESIRSE Program Website button above to learn about the FESIRSE program. You may also email David Brooks at brooksdr@instesre.org.

If you are not a member of the Iowa Junior Academy of Science and would like present your FESIRSE project at the IJAS Science Symposium you must join IJAS. Individual and school memberships are available. Home school children are invited to join.