Goals and Objectives

The 8th grade Population Project is an experiential capstone project designed to enhance and expand students’ classroom learning.

The Population Project…

  • involves student-guided inquiry learning. Students will have the opportunity to choose a topic of interest as well conduct research on a chosen hypothesis related to that topic.
  • is integrated and interdisciplinary learning. Students will have the opportunity to understand the overlapping nature of their learning as well as witness the cooperation modeled by their various teachers.
  • is exploratory in nature. Students will have the opportunity to create meaning that integrates their academic learning and their personal experience in India.
  • is experiential learning. Students will be presented with authentic issues and situations faced by India through research, field trips, speakers, videos, and other resources. They will use previously acquired skills and learn new ones as a part of their study.
  • is applied learning. Students will draw from their previous learning about scientific methods, locate and cite sources, learn note-taking, time management, organization, and other skills to approach and complete a novel assignment.
  • raises awareness of social, economic and environmental issues faced by India. Students will have the opportunity to learn about problems and solutions related to topics such as pollution, gender equality, health care, and consider how an  individual can be an agent of change in these areas.
  • promotes self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment as students acquire a deeper knowledge of their chosen topic.
  • encourages a passion for learning. Deeper understanding of a topic and exposure to field professionals may inspire students to study and take action, and may even spark interest in a new career direction.

By the end of the project, students will…


  • be introduced to a wide variety of social, economic, and environmental issues facing India today.
  • conduct preliminary research to narrow a topic to a specific research question using a student-guided inquiry model.
  • apply research skills such as location of sources, note-taking, paraphrasing, quoting, and citation toward the creation of a research paper.
  • expand their repertoire of informational sources.
  • gather firsthand information through an independent investigation.
  • assess the role of inference, correlation, causality, reliability, and validity in research evidence.
  • witness issues firsthand via field trips.
  • consider expert perspective on issues through a number of guest speakers.
  • make connections between their own individual topics and other topics to identify the complexity of both problems and solutions.
  • examine local, national, and international relief programs and evaluate their effectiveness.
  • advocate for social awareness and change through the creation of a poster, documentary, or photo essay.
  • apply time management, organization, and research skills in an independent manner.
  • reflect upon their learning globally and analytically.
  • celebrate their learning through the creation of a portfolio that captures the academic and artistic highlights of the project.

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