We had the opportunity to catch up with Dr. Don Dosch, soon to be retired Science Faculty member at IMSA.
Dr. Dosch is responsible for helping lead the Student and Inquiry Research (SIR) program at the Academy. SIR supports student investigations conducted on and off-campus. Formalized in and evolving since 1989, the SIR department provides a framework for students to conduct original investigations on compelling questions of interest, collaborate with other students and professional researchers, and to share their investigation results through public presentations and publications.
Student participation varies slightly each year, but recent trends suggest that about 75% of all IMSA students will conduct at least one investigation during their enrollment at the Academy. In its current form, the SIR department runs a number of distinct programs and initiatives for the IMSA community and the public.
During the academic year, SIR runs a one-credit, graded course. Students work with research mentors both on and off campus. The projects are designed to last between one and two years and culminate in a peer-reviewed publication.
SIR administers the solicitation of projects, recruitment of students, logistics of sending students to research sites, and supervises research and student outcomes.