Junior Year Research Project
Throughout their time in both middle and high school, Meridian students undertake research projects in all of their core classes. They learn to identify strong sources, read and analyze a variety of texts, interview experts, take effective notes, and synthesize their research into a cohesive product. They also cultivate the curiosity, perseverance, and flexibility to undertake lengthy and in-depth academic endeavors.
The culmination of this training is the Junior Research Seminar. Each junior, with the support of an adviser and seminar with their peers, carries out an original year-long research project on an academic question of their choosing. Previous research questions include:
- How have architects incorporated therapeutic goals in the design of psychiatric hospitals?
- How can hip-hop, as a cultural experience, alter the course of an individual's life?
- How can zoo design positively impact captive animals’ mental and physical health?
- What are the differences between the theoretical predictions and the measured reality of a pendulum's behavior?
- How do money and commercialism affect the education, opportunity, and psychology of college athletes?
- Why do we deliberately seek out experiences that frighten us, and how do horror movies provide that fear?
Students' responses to these questions take a variety of forms, including laboratory experiments, documentary films, literary analyses, research papers, comic books, and works of art.
2015-2016 Junior Year Research Projects
Kenny asked, "What parenting strategies have the greatest influence on childhood development in under-resourced environments?" For his final project, he interviewed leaders and participants in local parenting programs and produced an original podcast.
Tara asked, "Which is more environmentally sustainable: organic agriculture or local agriculture?" For her final project, she interviewed and photographed farmers throughout New England and generated a long-form magazine article.
Katie asked, "How do men and women experience pain differently on a biological level, and how does this difference affect the health care that women receive?" For her final project, she created a series of public service announcements to educate providers and patients about best practices.
Joe asked, "How has Art Deco architecture been used throughout Boston, and how does its influence still persist in the city?" Following his research, Joe generated two new architectural styles and used Adobe Illustrator to produce six original travel posters representing three cities and their most celebrated structures.
Max asked, "What are the social implications and challenges faced by children of LGBTQ parents in recent U.S. history?" For his final project, he interviewed the children of gay and lesbian parents about their experiences and produced an original podcast.
Emmanuel asked, "What are the evolutionary and genetic differences between humans and schistosomes?" For their final project, they created a series of infographics -- including charts, illustrations, and detailed descriptions -- explaining the lifecycle of schistosomes and how they coevolved with humans.