Academics

Science Research at Marin Academy

Marin Academy supports student interests in many ways. Our science research program allows students to follow interests and questions in a way that fosters independence and healthy risk taking while offering support along the way.

Marin Academy Research Collaborative (MARC)

The Marin Academy Research Collaborative (MARC)​ program is specifically designed to engage a diverse group of students in cutting-edge science and engineering research that is characteristic of college-level courses. This two-year, multidisciplinary program provides the opportunity for interested students to identify their particular skills and interests, partner with the larger scientific community to pursue a research project of their own design, and complete a rigorous college prep curriculum. Students generate a novel research question, conduct a rigorous literature review, collaborate with content-area experts, develop hypotheses, collect and analyze data, and learn how to publicly present, as well as, publish their work. Throughout this process students will:

  • Connect with the local scientific community
  • Develop mastery in a chosen field
  • Think critically
  • Communicate effectively
  • Develop professional skills necessary for a successful scientific career
  • Use innovative technology
  • Take academic risks
  • Make new discoveries

Students may choose a topic from engineering and computer sciences, physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, or psychology that piques their curiosity. Students collaborate with content-area experts and with the guidance and support of the MARC coordinator, identify an outside mentor ​to help with their research project. ​The MARC program is unlike any other offered at MA, beginning during the fall of 11th grade and ending during the spring of 12th grade. The independent research courses are offered pass/fail and students work independently toward their own set of goals. While MARC students are required to demonstrate a high degree of autonomy, initiative, and time management, classes are held during the week and students share their ongoing research with each other and mentor students new to the program. Students also are encouraged to spend time working in the lab of their outside mentor during the school year or take part in a summer science research internship program.

Meet Our Current MARCers

Click on the photos of the students below to be taken to their respective MARC blogs.

MARC Coordinator

Stori Oates
415.482.3279
Email: soates@ma.org

This is a two-year program and requires a great commitment. At the end of this program, students will have designed and completed their own research project in collaboration with mentors both inside and outside of Marin Academy.

Calling all Mentors!

Researchers in biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, psychology, and social science fields interested in working with highly motivated high school students should contact:

Stori Oates: 415.482.3279, soates@ma.org

Eligibility Requirements

Due to the unique demands of the MARC program, only a limited number of students can be admitted. Students must be entering 11th grade and be in good academic standing, have taken Biology and Chemistry, and be concurrently enrolled in Physics during 11th or 12th grade to be eligible to apply. Applicants are required to submit an essay, two letters of recommendation from teachers, and have the approval of their academic counselor. While not required, previous enrollment in the 9th grade MARC Minicourse and the optional MARC Elective: Exploring Experimental Design are highly recommended. Concurrent enrollment in a science course related to the area of interest during 11th grade and Statistics during 12th grade are also recommended. The MARC Independent Research electives are offered pass/fail and therefore do not receive A–G designation by the University of California. Students enrolled in the MARC IR I elective must earn a final passing grade at the end of junior year and also have demonstrated an ability to work independently and complete all assignments successfully in order to continue on to the MARC IR II elective.
 

Important Dates

November 2, 2017: Informational Meeting for Students
December 1, 2017: Application Available
January 25, 2018: Informational Meeting for Parents & Students
February 23, 2018: Applications Due
March 6-9, 2018: Interviews
March 30, 2018: Applicant Notified
April 17, 2018: Welcome Session

LIST OF COURSES

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • MARC Elective: Exploring Experimental Design (SCI 600)

    Open to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors; Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry (concurrent enrollment in Chem OK); This course is considered a “D: Laboratory Science Elective” by the University of California

    Exploring Experimental Design is a semester-long introductory course that focuses on research design, hypothesis testing, and basic laboratory skills. The instructional component of the course will focus on research methods and practices including, but not limited to such topics as: connections between knowledge of existing literature and/or preliminary data; research question and hypothesis generation; experimental design; quality of collected data; data analysis; and scientific reading and writing. This course is designed to allow you to work with your peers as you develop the skills and mindset to solve novel problems. Moreover, individuals in this class will be able to design a unit of study that revolves around their science interests. Students will work collaboratively with the instructor to design lessons and experiments around science themes and topics that they are interested in. The class may include visits by research scientists and field trips to local universities and research facilities. You will be exposed to a wide range of research fields (e.g., engineering and computer sciences, physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, psychology) and have the opportunity to conduct “hands-on” research in our own MARC Research Lab in the Science and Innovation Center. If you are considering applying to the MARC program, this course will give you an insight into the skills, process, challenges, and rewards involved in research.
  • MARC Elective: Independent Research I - Honors (SCI 610)

    Please note that students must be enrolled in the MARC program to sign-up for this course.
     
    Open to juniors enrolled in the MARC program; Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry, MARC application; Recommended: Exploring Experimental Design, additional science course related to area of interest. Note: This course is offered pass/fail and therefore does not receive A–G designation by the University of California.

    This year-long elective will focus on advanced research design, data collection, and research ethics. The hands-on component will be geared toward the design and execution of a project idea for investigation by the student, and hopefully lead to an “Intel level” research project. Time will also be spent on the establishment of connections between students and professional mentors who will assist in the guidance of students as they perform their research. Students are expected to be self-motivated and collaborate with scientists on long-term projects. This elective provides the students with an individualized opportunity to pursue the research question of their choosing. Ideally, students will have both a Marin Academy science teacher and an outside mentor advising them during the school year. Students are encouraged to spend time working in the lab of their outside mentor during the school year or taking part in a summer science research internship program. Enrollment in this course is a two-year commitment and will continue through senior year.
  • MARC Elective: Independent Research II - Honors (SCI 620)

    Open to seniors enrolled in the MARC program; Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry, Independent Research I; Recommended: Statistics. Note: This course is offered pass/fail and therefore does not receive A–G designation by the University of California.
     
    This year-long elective will focus on advanced research skills, data analysis, mentoring skills, and scientific communication. During senior year, students will complete the research projects they began in Independent Research I. In addition, they will take on mentorship roles for those students just entering the program. The culmination of this program will require that students write their own research papers and prepare presentation materials. Students may enter the senior level contests appropriate to their area of study, such as the Siemens Competition or the Intel Science Talent Search or they may present at appropriate conferences or science fairs. Students will also present their findings during the MA Science Symposium. Students are expected to be self-motivated and collaborate with scientists on long-term projects.
     

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS OF PROSPECTIVE MARC STUDENTS

List of 13 frequently asked questions.