At the beginning of their inquiry projects, 8th grade students had three questions posed to them: “What fascinates you?”...''Why you?”...and “Why should we care?” With these questions in mind, students began the process of forming their inquiry topics, refining them, and developing researchable questions.
With a greater sense of direction, 8th graders then conducted formal interviews with community members who were invited to visit Bosque’s campus as part of a “Living Library.” These interviews helped the students further refine their topics and enhance their research.
Over the course of the semester, 8th graders learned how to conduct interviews with subject-matter experts, write a research essay with a works-cited page, and create a 10-minute interactive presentation that they would give to their peers, teachers, and public audiences. After many weeks of diligent work, the 8th grade students were finally able to share the topics they chose and what they learned with the rest of the Bosque community. Students presented on a myriad of topics, ranging from the genetics of horned beetles to attachment theory.
8th grader, Malia, enjoyed the flexibility of the project. “It gives you the option to choose what you’re interested in and really engage.” For her topic, she explored the gender pay gap between men and women with a focus on soccer players. As a soccer player herself, this topic held a special place in her heart.
Sam ‘24 examined the hidden atrocities of World War II for his project. He explained that he chose the topic because he has Korean heritage, and the hidden war crimes that Japan committed during the war has interested him from a young age. His approach was “to look at every single aspect of what people were saying and their different points of view.” When it came to presenting, Sam was ready. “It was really the time for me to share what I was holding in for so long.”
Others expressed how nervous they felt presenting, but their preparation paid off. “I felt nervous all day. When the presentations started, I kind of went on autopilot. At the end of the presentation, I snapped back into reality. People in the audience asked questions and I found different ways to answer them,” said Amalia ‘24 whose topic was “Reverse Racism and Racial Agnotology.”
8th grader, Isabella, shared her take on the inquiry project. “I think it’s a good learning experience for our grade. I know it’s a hard thing to go through and it’s easy to just want to get it done.” She continued, “At the end, it really pays off and you feel proud of yourself for all of the work that you did. I think it’s a good way to give students a voice to speak about things that they’re actually passionate about, instead of forcing them into topics they’re not interested in.”
Congratulations to the 8th graders for completing their inquiry projects! This was another step to prepare them for tackling the most substantial inquiry assignment at Bosque School: their Senior Thesis.