CVGS Research














Lead Instructor and Mentor:
Michele Chamot, MS

Support Instructor and Mentors: 
Michelle Douglass, MS,
Jeff Steele, MA

Course Description:
Research is an exciting and unique course!  Each junior will explore a research idea of his or her choosing, translate the idea into a descriptive or experimental study, and work with the idea throughout the year, learning about the various components of the research process along the way.

In the fall, student researchers develop a research question and hypothesis, learn how to construct a materials and methods section, learn how to search for reputable literature sources, conduct an appropriate literature review, and collect data. Students also become proficient in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word, learning how to format their writing and how to analyze research data with both descriptive and inferential statistics.


In the spring, student researchers learn how to effectively communicate their results and then formulate their discussions and conclusions sections.  Students also learn the essentials of the effective visual and oral communication of scientific research as they design and share Power Point presentations and poster displays, and attend local and possibly state wide competitions and symposia.


The internship experience is part of the research course on 12 Fridays in the spring semester.


Course Materials

The research class uses the Google Suite for this course. Google Classroom provides students with assignments, materials, and a place to submit assignments. A Google Calendar provides the students with the daily itinerary for the whole year in research.   

Each student is assigned a research mentor who will guide the student through the research process and will provide the necessary training for each project. 


Active Collaborations:

Many projects in the research course are facilitated through the volunteer efforts of contributing scientists, engineers, and business people within the central Virginia region and beyond.  Some who have recently supported our student research efforts include:

Bedford County Water Authority

University of Lynchburg Psychology, Chemistry, and Biology Departments


Randolph College Psychology and Biology Departments

University of Virginia Astronomy and Biology Departments



Two tardies a semester will be forgiven.  The third and subsequent tardies may result in  deductions from the student's semester grade.

Friday Sign in/out:

Fridays are often a time for students to work independently.  It is for this reason that students are expected to sign in and out each Friday morning to document their attendance.  Clipboards for sign in/out will be in their designated research room.  The first week, students will be forgiven from signing in/out if they do not remember.  Every week after the first week, students may receive a deduction from their semester grade for failing to sign in or out. 

Major Research Categories

Computer Science
Human Participants