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Student Independent Research Symposium 2022

by BCPS Library Media Programs


10th Annual *** 3rd Virtual
Student Independent Research Symposium
May 2022
The future belongs to young people who know where the knowledge is, how to get it, how to think about it, and how to turn it into better work, better products, better lives.     
-- Rexford Brown, Educator and Author
Welcome to the Virtual Symposium!
Students at three BCPS high schools were selected to participate in the Independent Research Seminar elective course this year, based on their commitment to following an advanced research process to conduct in-depth year long research. During this unprecedented school year, student researchers have worked collaboratively and independently, with learning facilitated by their library media specialists, faculty advisors, and expert mentors. Using the process and resources in our Research Framework, students were guided to explore an issue or problem, generate a research question, conduct a literature review, write a research proposal, and create a presentation of their conclusions for an audience. Research topics address a variety of subjects and are based on the students' own areas of interest. Given current gathering restrictions, students have recorded their presentations to share with the BCPS community and beyond in this Virtual Symposium format.
BCPS high school administrators, counselors, and library media specialists interested in offering the Independent Research Seminar to students will find course implementation resources here.
Abstracts & Presentations
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Catonsville High School
Angenine Goode, Library Media Specialist
Peyton Davis
Keely Horch
Grace Hill
Taylor Holmes
Meggie Moran

Parkville High School
Melyssa Kenney, Library Media Specialist
Ariel Harvey
Madeline Ittenbach
Frank Osuagwu
Dion Russell
Meredith Vargas-Tecum
Western School of Technology
Tracey Osborne, Library Media Specialist
Motunrayo Obehi Okubanjo
Em Schumacher

Teacher Testimonials
Peyton Davis
Senior, Catonsville High School
How Did the Political Ambition of Women Interact with their Domestic Expectations During and After the American Revolution?
The American Revolution is a time period marked by significant political mobilization for women. As men fought for democracy and civil liberties, women found ways to define themselves outside of the home. Through education, literature, and even resisting marriage, females strove to insert their voices into the sphere of progressive thought. However, as is true in many cases of historical change, for every one step forward, there were three steps back. The concept of Republican Motherhood allowed for women to dip their toes outside of the home, becoming educated and politically literate. Yet, female voices couldn’t dominate spaces by themselves; instead, they were intended to be positive, maternal influences on their sons and husbands. While the women of the American Revolution paved the way for voting rights and women’s involvement in politics, the patterns that were set in this time period have created persisting expectations for the modern day. Republican Motherhood is a term rarely used in a modern-day context; its relevance is understated yet crucial in comprehending current gender relations. Gender inequality looks different now than it did a century ago; although women aren’t prohibited from voting or running for office, the effects of suffrage history cannot be dismissed. In fact, it is only once this history is examined that our society will be able to recognize its subconscious beliefs regarding women in power, and particularly, women in politics. 
Keely Horch
Junior, Catonsville High School
SCI: An Ailment to be Cured
Scientific innovations have come a long way in the past few decades, especially in the medical field, but the outlook on spinal cord injuries has been stagnant for a century. A spinal cord injury can alter your life in unbelievable ways, so everyone should care about life after paralysis and finding a cure for SCI. There are currently hundreds of clinical trials going on, focusing on treating and potentially curing this disease with neural implants. Starting in the late 90s, neural implants have improved from using obtrusive wires, to wireless implants and even noninvasive devices that don’t need to be implanted in the brain. With these advancements there are still negatives like animal testing, risk for infection, and the fact that FDA approval for public use is still long ways away. While examining the progress that has occurred in neuro-physics and bioengineering, the report emphasizes why these developments in SCI research are important not just to the disabled community but to everyone. 
Grace Hill
Senior, Catonsville High School
Adaptive Music Composition in Video Games and its Impact on the Playing Experience 
Video game scoring is an art form with the unique challenge of creating music that is engaging even after hours of gameplay and reflective of an ever-changing game state. Adaptive music, a technique that allows music to change depending on various game conditions and player decisions, creates a solution to these problems. There are many ways to integrate adaptivity into a score, and the musical tools and structure used in it can alter the game’s impact. My research analyzes select musical moments from various games—Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Celeste, Untitled Goose Game, and others—to see the impact of their unique adaptivity. Examining these scores’ composition reveals the way adaptive musical cues are used to inform players of what they should do, establish moods, and put the player at the center of their gaming experience.