Marin Academy Research Collaborative

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

Program Overview

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-level 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.
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 Marin Academy, beginning during the fall of 11th-grade and ending during the spring of 12th-grade. The MARC Independent Research electives 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 expected 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.

Read the MARC blog and meet our current MARCers.
students in bee keeping gear looking at honeycomb
student with exhibit poster
MA student in white lab coat holding beaker and smiling at camera
students holding puppies
MA students working outdoors, looking at camera, and smiling
Two MA students working in white lab coats
student holding trophy and blue ribbon
MA student with backwards hat on holding instrument and beaker in science lab

Information for Parents of Prospective MARC Students

I was immediately drawn to the MARC program as a way to potentially explore more ways to help mitigate pollution. I dipped my toe in the water of what researching and crafting an experiment was actually like by taking the pre-MARC class. This was very transformative in my decision to apply to the MARC program. It opened my eyes to the impact that research could have on decreasing plastic pollution or addressing water shortages.

Elsa '22

Our Goals

The MARC program seeks to inspire a passion for research and discovery and promote enthusiasm, exploration and academic excellence in an evolving global and scientific/technological community.

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


MARC Program Overview and FAQ




Amy Strauss

Amy Strauss

Science Teacher, Marin Academy Research Collaborative Coordinator