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The Southern Cross : December 2011
December 2011 Page 19 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross schools | ST MICHAEL'S COLLEGE Jack Dittmar -- Produce a sporting biography of my family. I decided upon this topic as I have a strong interest in journalism, in addition to having an appreciation for the wonderful sporting achievements of some members of my family. My outcome included brief sections of my biography as well as some substantiating evidence as to why I chose to write it in that way. Some key findings were the importance of the opening chapter, the significance of good chapter headings, and the effectiveness of including amusing anecdotes whilst relating back to the sporting achievements of a given individual. The Research Project process has been of great value to me. Having placed serious thought into journalism as a future career pathway, I have experienced significant growth in a number of related areas. To achieve my outcome, it called for me to interview people I did not already know. This therefore meant that through carrying out numerous interviews, I was able to better develop my communication skills and build my self-confidence after conducting interviews with intimidating figures. Luke Francesca -- Recruitment process in the fire service. When given the opportunity to choose any topic for the Research Project, I wanted it to have relevance. Then I thought: what is more relevant than a possible career path. This is when I thought of becoming a fire fighter. Having a family member that was involved in such a career also provided me with a perfect opportunity to liaise with people inside the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS). After much research on the internet and through interviews I found useful resources that shared step by step processes in becoming a fire fighter. I found that there were many requirements in becoming involved with the SAMFS. These included both physical and psychological barriers of entry. After completing the Research Project, I felt a lot more independent, and less reliant on the internet and books for information. This is because I was forced outside my comfort zone and made to interview people outside of the school community. This was challenging at first, but I then developed social and communication skills to help this. Alyssa Camozzato -- Are there certain foods that can help with the treatment of cancer? For my project, I decided to find out if there are certain foods that can help patients receiving cancer treatment. I based my research on the topic of cancer, as the disease has affected me personally through family members and I wanted to find a way to help them cope with the treatment. I narrowed down my topic to involve food and nutrition. My findings surprised me -- a diet high in fats and protein are beneficial for cancer patients receiving treatment! This is because the patients tend to lose weight during treatment so it is important to maintain a steady ratio of calories. I used a wide range of sources including brochures, websites, videos and an interview with a nutritionist specialising in oncology. As a result of the interview, I learnt how to communicate efficiently with adults in a formal manner. The research project is an interesting subject and I would advise future students to pick a topic that they are interested in, as they will stay motivated and will find it more enjoyable. CABRA COLLEGE Lauren Symonds -- the history and process of making a wedding cake. I focused on why people decided to use a cake to celebrate a marriage and what the basic process of making a cake consists of. I divided my research into three main sections: conducting research on the history of the wedding cake, on how to create a successful wedding cake and then creating a wedding cake. I feel I can now successfully create a wedding cake including fondant flowers and quilting design; I also now have the ability to be able to teach such skills to others. Therefore I feel I have successfully covered the area of personal development as throughout the research project process I have acquired many new skills and shown I can apply such skills without too much difficulty. Dylan Mugg -- How to build a bass guitar. I chose this topic because I play bass guitar in a band and wanted to see if I could make a new bass that would be usable. I had to source all the parts needed by myself. This included the wood, technology and the scratch plate. In the research prior to building the guitar the information I found was mainly from internet articles. These included tutorials and forums. I became aware later in the project that I would not be able to build the guitar just by reading internet articles. I acquired a book about building bass guitars for the guitar building process and it proved extremely helpful. However, to be absolutely sure, I used many websites for second opinions and videos to help with using tools. These research processes led me to a successful outcome which was a step by step guide of how to build an electric bass guitar. My chosen capability was work as I learnt many new manual skills such as using tools and large machinery. Yoonju Song -- How to create a tactile picture book for blind and visually impaired children. I chose this topic because I have always wanted to create a tactile book. The capability I addressed was communication. Web based research and interviews were used to gain information and built the background knowledge of tactile book and Braille. I divided my research into two main strands: braille and how to create a book. The product was a tactile picture book for blind and visually impaired children. The book has six pages, which contain a picture of a shape on each page on the left hand page and written Braille and English on the right hand side. The research outcome was a report detailing on how to create a tactile picture book. MARY MACKILLOP COLLEGE Elisia Williams -- It appears that gluten and lactose-free foods are often more expensive than traditional foods. Is it possible to make recipes using gluten and lactose- free ingredients for a similar price? For my research project I created a gluten and lactose-free recipe book which compared the cost of gluten and lactose- free foods with those of traditional foods. I discovered that despite individual gluten and lactose free ingredients having a more expensive shelf price, there is not much of a price difference when it comes to using the gluten and lactose-free ingredients as substitutes in traditional recipes. I chose to answer this question as I suffer from both a gluten and lactose intolerance, and I did notice the high price difference between the gluten and lactose-free foods when making the change from traditional foods. Through this research I have created recipes for those people with gluten and lactose-free intolerances for the lowest price difference, meaning that those who may be discouraged to make the lifestyle change that benefits them health wise, are able to do so and they are not disadvantaged. Eliza Paul -- how two completely different music venues can meet the needs of their performances and give the audience the same experience. I chose this topic because I have always been interested in music and found it difficult to comprehend how two completely different size venues can create the same atmosphere and experience for the audience. I am interested in Event Management and chose this topic for my research project as it supported my Music Individual Study. My Individual Study was to put on a music event. I had to set up a stage, lighting, and sound, but needed to have an understanding of the impact a venue would have on the success of the event. The research project was a subject where I could pursue an area of interest and do the research required around the impact of different venues on performances. I developed communication skills and the confidence to connect with people in the performing arts industry. I was able to connect my learning from other subjects and apply to the outcome of my research project. The first piece of advice I would give to students is to link it to what you are passionate about and not to only rely on the Internet and books, but speak to people in the industry and if you can do a placement there in the holidays, I would highly recommend it. Experiencing what you have read is a more powerful learning experience. Focus on research projects St Michael's College students, from left, James Ang, Alyssa Camozzoto, Luke Francesca and Jack Dittmar. The introduction of a research project for Year 12 students as part of the new South Australian Certificate of Education has caused considerable debate and angst amongst students, teachers and parents. A recent survey by The Advertiser and the Office for Youth found that nearly half of Year 12 students would prefer to do five subjects, rather than four subjects plus the research project. This month The Southern Cross features examples of research projects undertaken by students at several Catholic schools.