More than 250 students from numerous Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) schools and first ring suburb school districts throughout the Greater Cleveland area presented findings on May 18 and 19 at Cleveland State University (CSU) as part of the sixth annual “Campus Conference: A Youth Research Symposium.”
Students in grades eight through twelve from CMSD’s Facing History New Tech, Lincoln-West Science & Health, and the CSU-based Campus International High School (CIHS), as well as students from the First Ring Student Leadership Institute (FRSLI), explained their work during the two-day event at CSU’s Julka Hall.
Students presented their research in concurrent poster sessions and panel presentations, along with projects displayed in an exhibit hall during the conference. Keynote speakers included Mr. Reginald Flowers, Manager, Franchise Partnership Development Cleveland Cavaliers and Ms. Shana Black, creator of Black Girl in the CLE, a blog and podcast collective aimed toward African American women that features news, information, and resources related to Cleveland.
Campus International 8th, 10th, and 11th graders presented research projects tied to its International Baccalaureate curriculum, specifically the community project, personal project, and theory of knowledge exhibit. All other student researchers shared the results of their Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) projects. In YPAR, youths engage in all steps of the research process around a topic they identify as important.
The program was built upon the concept that youth-led research allows for real-world learning experiences, enhances community connectivity for youth, and can enhance efforts to address some of society's most critical challenges. Research topics varied from human trafficking to public safety to student success and wellness.
The research projects and conference were made possible, in part, with support from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.
Campus Conference is part of a collaboration between the Cleveland State University Levin College of Public Affairs and Education and Campus International High School and is led by CIHS' Professor-in-Residence, Dr. Molly Buckley.