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Keep Learning Alive with Science Projects Inspired by Teen Addiction Science Award Winners
There’s no need to worry about the summer slide when it comes to learning about addiction science. Summer is a great time to give students a chance to direct their own learning by designing an addiction science project.
Forging a passion for science starts with helping teens plan a project that is interesting to them and evidence-based. Here are some resources and guidance to help spark student excitement about science projects:
Use examples of compelling projects from other teens. Every year, teens from around the world participate in the largest international science competition for high school students, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). At the Fair, NIDA honors outstanding teen scientists with the Addiction Science Award. Current and past award winners and their projects are featured on our site. Check out their work for inspiration. Aditya, Sid, and Nikita – pictured above – worked with their teachers and mentors to design this year’s award-winning projects.
Make it personal and applicable. Help students see how science concepts can be applied to their everyday lives. For example, a former Addiction Science Award winner thought he might be playing too many video games, so he created a survey to find out. He asked other teens questions about video games, and the answers helped him learn about how this hobby affected their lives.
Jot down ideas to get the juices flowing. If teens are having trouble coming up with a research question, ask them to journal about their school and home life. Teens can write notes specifically about what they’ve experienced, seen, heard, or talked about with friends and family when it comes to a drug use, mental health issues, behaviors or the choices they make. For example, one NIDA award winner used his own Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis as a starting point for a project on ADHD.
Like the Addiction Science Award winners, teens can work individually or in groups to design a project. Our Addiction Science Award Teacher’s Guide can give you more resources and guidance to help teens find their scientific inspiration. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see you and your students next year at the ISEF!
You can help provide other educators with free lessons and activities on teens and drugs, based on science and educational standards. Check out and share our Lesson Plan and Activity Finder video.
Are you looking for information about specific drug topics or resources to use in your classroom? NIDA offers relevant drug education resources through a featured Lesson of the Month. Check out our Lesson Plan and Activity Finder for this month’s featured lesson plan and to search for additional free resources.
Use our Feedback Form to let us know what other resources you would like to see, or to submit a question or comment.