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Meadow Park 8th Grader Publishes Science Research Project

Meadow Park 8th Grader, Samuel Fishback’s manuscript titled "A scientific investigation of alternative growing methods to cultivate Lactuca sativa utilizing aquaponics and hydroponics" has been published on The Journal of Emerging Investigators (JEI) website.  

Samuel first learned about and became interested in hydroponics in the 5th grade. During his research into hydroponics, he discovered aquaponics. He wondered if one of the growing methods was superior, so he experimented with both.  Samuel’s Science teacher, Dr. Susan Duncan encouraged him to look into the JEI as a way to publish his findings. She helped him to edit his scientific article and gave him access to other sources for background research and subject matter experts. “Aquaponics and hydroponics aren’t usually compared together, so the thought that others may be able to benefit from my research inspired me to go through with publishing my work,” says Samuel.

"Samuel made two remarkable choices. First, he chose to follow his curiosity, which led to two, year-long investigations. Second, he chose to share his findings with the community. He continually worked to make his writing and editing even better through the year-long process of publication. The publication of his article is a tribute to the dedicated student he is. He made the most of every opportunity to learn from visiting Terra Nova High School to reading articles published by other researchers in his field of interest,” says Dr. Susan Duncan, Meadow Park Science Teacher. “It makes me smile to know future students and researchers will be using the in-text citation, (Fishback, 2020), as they follow their curiosity."

When asked what advice he might give other Emerging Investigators, Samuel replied, “While the long review process and pages of editing comments may seem daunting at first, it’s all worth it to see a perfected, finalized paper that can be seen by the world.”

The Journal of Emerging Investigators is an open-access journal that publishes original research in the biological and physical sciences that is written by middle and high school students.  JEI provides students, under the guidance of a teacher or advisor, the opportunity to submit and gain feedback on original research and to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

For more information, please contact the Communications & Community Involvement Department at 503-356-4360.


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The Beaverton School District is nationally recognized for its high student and staff achievement and innovative programs. Beaverton is the third largest school district in Oregon with 53 schools, more than 41,000 students and almost 5,000 talented staff. Beaverton schools are dedicated to providing outstanding, challenging educational opportunities that prepare students to be college and career ready. The district enjoys strong community support with parents, citizens, community partners and businesses donating countless volunteer hours and services to help students succeed.