2,893 Inspirational Research Project Ideas

Turn inspirations into your passion project.

This collection of project ideas, shared by Polygence mentors, is meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Vanishing Christians of the Middle East: A Journalistic Approach to Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria

In recent history, one of the largest changes in the global religious landscape has been the unrelenting proportional decline of historic Christian communities in the Middle East, from Iraq to Egypt to Lebanon to Syria. The reasons for this complicated phenomenon are profoundly social, political, economic. This study will look into these factors while also bringing in original research through interviews with various stakeholders from each community for a publishable article.

History, Arts

AJ
AJ

Online exhibition

For the young curator, we will explore what it means to curate and mount a show. Research and find artists in your peer group, develop an idea for an exhibition, and mount the show for online view. Explore an idea that runs through a collection of artworks, and develop the narrative that links the work together.

Arts

Joe
Joe

Religious Pluralism Blog

Curious about how religions are formed, how the grow, and how they influence cultures, start wars, change history? Dive into the background and theory behind a variety of religions and create a multimedia blog to help educate others.

Arts, History, Languages, Social Science

Rose
Rose

Cooperation in multi-robot systems

What’s better than one robot? How about a bunch of robots working together! This field of research is known as “multi-robot systems” or “swarm robotics”- using a group or of coordinated robots to complete complex tasks. What are the benefits and challenges in coordinating a group of robots? For a group where all the robots are a single type vs. a group of multiple different types of robots, how do these considerations change, and how do they stay the same? This project will explore the current state of the art of multi-robot systems, compare the benefits and challenges of various robot systems, and make recommendations on their usage.

Arts, Engineering, Comp Sci

Gillian
Gillian

Comprehensive Marketing Campaign for Musical Production

Creating content for a product or service you love is like inviting everyone to a party. If you're interested in the creative corner of a business plan, and if you enjoy something like the performing arts, you may wish to create something like a marketing campaign for a musical! This may be useful to you in your community, or an example for your portfolio that will amaze your teachers and future employers, not to mention yourself. As an arts organization such as a theater prepares to sell tickets to a show, they must plan, create, and disseminate assets in their community up to a year in advance. In this project, a student may develop many or all of the following: - A creative strategy statement, including a SWOT analysis and scope statement (~1 page) - A general research packet (research about the show, audience, and media, length is up to student) - A target audience analysis (1 page) - A campaign budget - Sample creative assets including e-mail blasts, social media posts, advertisements, radio spots, and outdoor advertising creative concepts - A comprehensive plan/schedule including the timing and placement of all advertising elements - Lobby displays, if interested Should the student wish to complete this project for an actual production, such as a high school play or musical, the project may be adapted for full implementation! Budget, location, and school rules would need to be considered. Additionally, if a student wishes to conduct research involving this process, they may wish to collect data such as show attendance and social media analytics.

Arts

Sarah
Sarah

Finding Meaning In Game: How Video-Games Use Literature and Philosophy to Create Meaningful Experiences

In this project, a student focuses on a popular video-game and explores how the game's setting, story, characters, and maybe even mechanics are influenced by works in Literature and Philosophy. The student's research would focus on drawing parallels between the game a specific literary/philosophical works and also explores how the presentation of those ideas in the context of the game deviate or align with the original work. A particularly ambitious student might also work on developing a thesis addressing why these texts serve as inspirations for the game or even how the game's use of specific themes and ideas can help illuminate social, political, or economic problems in the present.

Psychology, Arts, Literature and Languages

Douglas
Douglas

Circuit bending and hacking

Do you have electronics around your house that you wished would be a little more useful? Do you want to combine two circuits to make something new? This project involves taking apart and fiddling with everyday toys and objects to figure out how they work. Once we've figured out how they work, we can use microprocessors and other components to hack into the exiting electronics and turn them into anything we want! Most recently I worked on hacking into a remote control car so that I could control it with an ESP-32 board, but we could do different projects such as adding a clapper to lights or any projects you would have in mind!

Physics, Arts

Theodore
Theodore

Houseplant Helper Robot

In this project, you will design an Arduino-based robot to help with the keeping of houseplants. By connecting different sensors to the Arduino, you can monitor plant conditions, such as soil moisture, sunlight, temperature, and more. After processing this data using the Arduino, plant conditions can be communicated via simple LED lights, LCD display, or even a webpage.

Arts, Engineering, Comp Sci

Gillian
Gillian

Brain & Behavior: Exploring Findings from Developmental Affective Neuroscience

Research has only just begun to probe the "final frontier" of science - the brain. Key questions stemming from the burgeoning field of Developmental Affective Neuroscience include: How does early life adversity impact brain development and psychological functioning across the lifespan? How does the brain shape behavior and how does behavior shape the brain? What are key brain areas involved in the processing of emotions and formation of memories? What is the role of epigenetic factors on the brain and subsequent mental health outcomes?

Neuroscience, Psychology, Arts

Hannah
Hannah

Design a Treatment Intervention

Given my background in delivering and designing interventions for clinical research projects, I could help students to develop psychoeducational materials, a workshop, a brochure, or a program of some sort that would hypothetically be given to a sample of participants as a treatment for a psychological and/or behavioral problem.

Psychology, Arts, Languages

Caitlin
Caitlin

Intro to Decision Making Under Uncertainty

Decision making is the process of selecting the most appropriate action to take in a given state. Humans do this naturally, but for computers or robots, humans must write the programs that lead to their decisions. In this project, we will first learn to model a toy decision problem (such as a robot in a 2D grid-world, or which move to play in a game of chance), how to represent it in code, and then how to solve it. If time allows, you can then come up with your own decision making problem to solve!

Math, Physics, Arts, AI/ML

Tomer
Tomer

Critical Thinking in Language Arts and Social Studies

This study examines the way teachers help students develop critical thinking skills in Language Arts or Social Studies classes. The researcher collects data over two weeks by observing their high school English or Social Studies class and through teacher interviews. Documenting teacher speech and student response, the researcher will capture the following: - The teacher’s stated and implied goals in their presentation of the lesson or unit; - The teacher’s method of delivering the content and engaging student interest and input; - Formative and Summative assessments that help the teacher gauge student understanding; - Interactions between the teacher and students around the content; - The ways in which the teacher engaged with different groups of students (male, female, racial groups, motivated & not motivated, those who sit in the front vs. those in the back, etc.); and - The ways in which the teacher uses physical proximity to engage students. In addition to observational data, the researcher will interview the teacher. Questions will capture the teacher’s implicit and explicit goals and give the teacher an opportunity to reflect on the outcome of their lesson/unit. The interview will also reveal the teacher’s academic expectations of the students and their ability to tweak and adjust their teaching in order to serve the students’ needs and responses. After establishing a definition of critical thinking and discussing the ways in which it can be demonstrated in a classroom, the researcher might explore these questions after collecting their data: 1. What kind of critical thinking is the teacher expecting from the students? 2. How does the teacher structure the lesson(s) in order to elicit student response? 3. To what extent is discussion included in the lesson(s)? 4. What kinds of questions stimulate students’ thinking about the content? 5. To what extent does the teacher follow up with questions that further probe students’ thinking? 6. To what extent does the teacher’s display in-the-moment flexibility to adjust to students’ responses to the content? 7. In what ways does the teacher respond to or incorporate students’ prior knowledge, beliefs, and assumptions about the content into their teaching? 8. To what extent does the teacher allow for a variety of perspectives and beliefs (either within the content or amongst the students)? This qualitative study requires inductive methods, so the researcher may end up focusing on more specific topics after analysis of the data.

Arts, Literature and Languages

Jeanne
Jeanne

Architectural (Un)Modeling

This project looks at the wide availability of 3D modeling and scanning software, questioning how we can use digital images and objects as modes of storytelling.

Screenplay

In order to become better at writing scripts, you must write scripts. The student can decide between writing a short, a TV pilot, or a feature-length script, which will follow the three-act structure of screenwriting. It can belong to any genre or be a blend of multiple genres. The script will also have proper formatting. This project will help the student become a more proficient screenwriter, in addition to having written work to submit to screenwriting contests, fellowships, and even producers if they build those connections.

Creative Writing, Arts

Judahea
Judahea

My Life: The Musical

Do you ever think that your life would be better if you could sing and dance through it? We'll examine songs and scenes from musicals (from Broadway, TV shows, and TikTok) and consider their narrative purpose and structure. Then, you'll write your own song(s) and produce a music video to upload on your social media site of choice!

Music, Arts

Hannah
Hannah

Inclusive Design

Autocomplete and voice control began as features for disabled users. Vint Cerf helped invent email in part to communicate with his deaf wife while at work. OCR, now used by Google Books and Translate to convert print and handwritten text to digital form, was invented to create a reading machine for the blind. Look anywhere around you and you'll find technology originally developed to help underserved populations that now benefits everyone. What can we learn when we design specifically for a single person, perhaps a dyslexic first-grader or a wheelchair-bound relative, instead of for the "average" person? Hopefully, we can improve not only their lives but the lives of everyone around them.

Animation, Arts, Comp Sci

Kevin
Kevin

The Effects of Music on Emotions

A research study on how different genres of music can affect emotions in a certain group of people (ex. careers, age, etc.)

Music, Dance, Arts

Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn

Build a DIY AFM

I should start off by saying this porject would cost money, presumably around $1500. It is also fairly ambitious and would require a decent amount of time, which is why I am listing it as a second project idea. If a student is interested in this and has experience with electronics, I would be willing to apply for funding from external sources for this. This project has been done by other high school students before. Materials for the low cost AFM are: 1. OPU disassembled from a DVD ROM 2. Piezo speakers 3. Signal connector 4. Precision screws 5. Circuit boards 6. AFM probes The tools needed are: 1. A soldering iron 2. Solder 3. Quick-dry adhesive 4. Epoxy 5. Magnets 6. Screw driver. For more information I've included the following sources: 1. https://www.nanoandmore.com/what-is-atomic-force-microscopy 2. Grey, F. Creativity unleashed. Nature Nanotech 10, 480 (2015). https://doi-org.prox.lib.ncsu.edu/10.1038/nnano.2015.95 3. https://www.instructables.com/A-Low-Cost-Atomic-Force-Microscope-%E4%BD%8E%E6%88%90%E6%9C%AC%E5%8E%9F%E5%AD%90%E5%8A%9B%E9%A1%AF%E5%BE%AE%E9%8F%A1/

Physics, Arts, Engineering, Comp Sci

Tatiana
Tatiana

Family Recipe Zine

For a student who finds comfort and connection to their culture through both cooking and writing, we would create a short, printable book. This book could include family recipes written by hand, scanned photos, and fiction (or nonfiction) stories or poems related to the meals and memories.

Creative Writing, Arts, Literature and Languages

Sarah
Sarah

Self-Compassion Intervention Literature Review

My most recent area of focus pertains to evaluating the effectiveness of self-compassion interventions for health behavior change. I would love to help students conduct a literature review project on the topic of self-compassion interventions by assisting them with literature searching, critically consuming literature on the topic, and writing a literature review paper.

Psychology, Arts, Languages

Caitlin
Caitlin