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CHEMI 1551H: Jarman

Start: Picking a Problem

Let's start with the official AACC & NSF Community College Challenge Wesbite

From the competition guidebook, your team is required to:

  • Identify a problem of local to global concern that you seek to address with your STEM innovation.
  • Assess your innovation’s potential impact on society (such as on the economy, national security, global competitiveness, the environment, quality of life, etc.).
  • Determine the scientific and market feasibility of the innovation, identifying any challenges and ways to potentially work through them.
  • Share ideas for how the innovation would be implemented in a real-world scenario. Start thinking of yourselves as entrepreneurs with a novel invention, creation, or product you want to bring to the marketplace. o Your team is not required to have already implemented your innovation. 


Where do you start? Perhaps with the following lists: 

Deepen Your Research

Once you've begun your research, you'll want to learn more information about your topic.  Start with these reference sources: 

The databases below will offer you up-to-the minute takes on what is happening regarding your topic: 

You can also add more current data to your research by doing a .gov search in Google to see if any government bodies have compiled a report, data, or statistics on your topic. 

Evaluate Websites

While you're doing Google searches to either narrow your topic or in order to dig up more information on certain subject, you want to be careful to decide if the information you find is trustworthy.

When it comes to science, nearly everyone has opinions: should we be labeling genetically modified food for consumer's awareness? What will fracking do for our economy or our groundwater supply? Your job is to evaluate the information you can find through Google and Bing to find the good websites--those written by authors you can trust, with good and up-to-date information.

Authorship: Who created this website? What is their background on the topic? Are they trustworthy?

Bias: Why was the website created? What point of view does the author have? Does that limit the facts they present or how the facts are presented?

Date: How old is the information that is presented? Is it still accurate?

Questions? Check out the COD Library's guide to evaluating information.

Cite Your Work: APA Style

Of course, as you get ideas and data from your sources, you want to be able to cite them.  Keep in mind that you want to cite not only quotations, but also ideas that you get from your research.

Not sure if you are paraphrasing, plagiarizing, or patchwriting?  Check out Academic Integrity by Ulrike Kestler, which has a section on all three

Need some help putting together citations?  Check out the helpful links below: 

Want software to create citations for you? Check out the database below:

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  • Last Updated: Apr 29, 2024 9:56 AM
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