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Student Independent Research Symposium 2021

by BCPS Library Media Programs


9th Annual *** 2nd Virtual
Student Independent Research Symposium
June 2021
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 seven 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 in remote or hybrid learning environments, both 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
Paulina Aler
Ivy Hammett-Aron
Kim Lek
Hazel Montgomery-Walsh
Nusrat Tusi
Bethlehem Wolde

Franklin High School
Christie Rigilano, Library Media Specialist
Max Harris
Syhirah Lewis

Hereford High School
Suhaila Tenly, Library Media Specialist
Annabella Gonzalez

Parkville High School
Melyssa Kenney, Library Media Specialist
Oscar McDonough
Perry Hall High School
Colleen Adams, Library Media Specialist
Andy Lu
Allison Morrow
Sydney-Ariel Muneses
Haris Muzaffar

Pikesville HIgh School
Jennifer Meltzer, Library Media Specialist
Olivia Clay

Western School of Technology
Tracey Osborne, Library Media Specialist
Chinwe Kalu
Kayla Wood

Teacher Testimonials Acknowledgements
Paulina Aler
Junior, Catonsville High School
The Environmental Impacts of Photographic Chemistry
In recent years, the environment has become increasingly threatened. Climate change dictates new products and the push of sustainability. Throughout this time, analog photography has become increasingly popular although, now people are starting to speak out against the inherit harms. Many facets of these chemicals could be harmful but, is it really that bad? How can photographic chemicals become more environmentally friendly to prolong analog photography as an art form? To develop answers to this question the chemicals most prevalent will be identified then assessed. After that, possible environmental pushes will be explored to discover the friendliest options. Film photography is beautiful and tactile. An experience everyone should have. It hones to creative people in learning composition and tonal variants. And it hones to technical people in discovering how a camera works and being the primary pilot in shooting. Film photography is an art that preserves and has the possibility to be timeless. It is slightly expensive but, this slowly dying art can be prolonged past environmental barriers. 
Ivy Hammett-Aron 
Senior, Catonsville High School
Evolution of Corsets through the Nineteenth Century
There is no symbol for bygone eras as powerful–or as divisive–as that of the corset. Structural garments like corsets were worn daily by women all over the western world since the 16th century, constantly evolving in their shape and style throughout the years. During the 19th century, this evolution became rapid and drastic, producing changes in the garments’ effects on women’s health that have not been extensively defined. My research focuses on how the changing shapes and styles of women’s corsets throughout the 19th century produced differing physical effects on the body, with the aim of informing reenactors and other women of the possible health effects of corsets. In order to complete this research, I will examine modern medical studies, contemporary fashion plates, and extant corsets, making connections between changing styles and the physical effects of pressure on different areas of the torso.
Kim Lek  
Senior, Catonsville High School
Chanel: How can the influence of a person’s idea change the course of women’s fashion?
Chanel is one of the world’s most desired luxury brands founded by Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. Many brands have tried to imitate their branding strategies and designs, but none have come close to reaching their reputable and timeless brand. Exactly why does Chanel never go out of style? It’s been about 111 years since it was founded, yet it is still widely known. In my research, I will examine the role that passion plays in the emergence of Chanel, I will also explore how simplicity can ironically put a brand above others, and lastly, how innovative and perfect it was to launch Chanel during the 19th century. Analysis of Chanel’s success reveals that the ability to evolve without losing the brand’s essence is the key to establishing a reputable, timeless, and renowned brand.