Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 161–177 | Cite as

The Cosmic Ray Observatory Project: Results of a Summer High-School Student, Teacher, University Scientist Partnership Using a Capstone Research Experience

  • Duane F. Shell
  • Gregory R. Snow
  • Daniel R. Claes


This paper reports results from evaluation of the Cosmic Ray Observatory Project (CROP), a student, teacher, scientist partnership to engage high-school students and teachers in school based cosmic ray research. Specifically, this study examined whether an intensive summer workshop experience could effectively prepare teacher—student teams to engage in cutting edge high-energy physics research. Results showed that teachers and students could acquire enough knowledge about cosmic ray physics and self-efficacy for conducting cosmic ray research during a summer workshop to be full participants in an SSP conducting research in their schools, and a capstone anchoring approach using an authentic research activity was effective for motivating student engagement in didactic classroom learning. CROP demonstrated “proof of concept” that setting up cosmic ray detector arrays in schools run by teachers and students was feasible, but found that set-up and operation in a high-school was technically difficult.


Student, teacher, scientist partnership Summer research experience Science education Anchored instruction 



This research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant #9911855).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duane F. Shell
    • 1
  • Gregory R. Snow
    • 2
  • Daniel R. Claes
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational Psychology, 114 TEACUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physics and Astronomy, 208 Theodore Jorgensen HallUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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