As high school sophomores, identical twins Gabrielle and Sophie Fries teamed up to work on a research project in their sophomore seminar. One year after completing the project, the girls, now juniors, were named the first place winners at the Finals of the Stemanities competition held this April in La Jolla, California.
The Fries’ project explored the relationship between frequency of use of a grading portal like PowerSchool and student stress and motivation. They found that students in their school who reported looking at the portal more than once a day reported greater stress and were more extrinsically motivated than students who checked less frequently. Additionally, students whose parents checked the portal daily or more often reported higher levels of stress and extrinsic motivation than their peers.
The girls conducted their study in Roslyn High School under the mentorship of Alison Morin and Allyson Weseley. The study also will be published this spring in the Journal of Secondary Psychological Studies.
The Stemanities competition seeks to promote the intersection between the humanities and STEM fields. Other finalists came from all over the country – Oklahoma, Wisconsin, North Carolina – and employed methods that ranged from using archival data to gauge slaves’ use of abortifacients to predicting the future human population on Mars by employing information about how the American colonies grew under British rule.
Submitted by the Roslyn School District