Monday, June 11, 2012


Welcome to our first Charlotte Research Scholars (CRS) blog entry. The CRS program provides summer research fellowships to UNC Charlotte undergraduate students. Guided by a faculty mentor, the scholars are working on research projects from a variety of STEM disciplines, which includes the social sciences. In this, our inaugural year, UNC Charlotte is funding 50 undergraduate scholars. Already looking forward to next year, it is our intention to expand both the size and scope of this program. You can read more about the CRS program here.

The purpose of this blog is to provide a forum for the scholars and mentors to describe their research projects, results, and goals at an informal level. We hope that the blog will become part of the foundation of an engaged and vibrant undergraduate research community here at UNC Charlotte. We also hope that all scholars will post at least one blog entry discussing their research project, but we encourage them to post even more. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to follow a scholar’s progress week to week – both the highs and the lows?

We are also setting up a Facebook page, which will be used to update everyone who is interested about our progress, blog updates, and other opportunities. You can access the Facebook page here.
-- Dr. Livesay, Coordinator of the CRS program


  1. Hey Charlotte Research Scholars! This is the first time I have ever blogged.:)

    My name is Crysti. I pursuing a degree in Elementary Education. I only have a year and a half left before I graduate. The title for my research project is called "Making Meaning of Place Value in Early Elementary Mathematics: Methods and Research Synthesis". My mentor is Dr. Sheets.

    We are now in our third week in the Scholars Program. It has been three great weeks! The first and second week I read a book called "Adding it Up: Helping Children Understand Mathematics". I have learned so many things from this book! Every elementary teacher needs to read it. Along with reading the book, I have also written a chapter summary for each chapter read, synthesizing the information within the chapter. I have read three research articles and am in the process of writing a summary for each article. I have also reviewed two websites and written a summary of what I learned from the websites. Below is the itinerary for the rest of my research project.

    I. Complete summaries of research articles, book chapters, websites, and videos
    II. Creating an instructional model for place value
    III. Designing a task-based interview protocol for six to eight year-old children
    IV. Conduct the Interview
    V. Analyze and report the finding of the interview
    VI. Create a power point synthesizing my literature review and my instructional model
    VII. Begin preparing for a presentation at the 42nd annual meeting of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics to be held in October of 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

    I am so thankful for this opportunity to participate in this research project and work with my mentor Dr. Sheets. I have already learned so much about teaching children mathematics - and there is still 5 more weeks left! Due to this research project, I am considering going to Graduate School. As intimidating and complex as research is, I really do enjoy it. I have always been one to ask questions and dig to find answers. I love learning. I look forward to the 5 weeks we have left and the opportunities that come from participating in this research project.

  2. At week 2, I am finishing up all the preliminary readings and narrowing my focus on developing my own procedures for various methods of testing Halide Mitigation in FGD Purge Streams. It is a bit tedious, but this project is a great opportunity to apply my efforts and abilities to real-world problems in the Energy and Power Industry, and under the guidance of an amazing faculty mentor. Starting from scratch on a research project is tedious, but essential to the understanding of what research really is. It is also giving me a chance to reconnect with other students and faculty I have worked with before, and develop a strong relationship with my department, as well as gaining support, guidance, and assistance for my own project from the research team I have been assisting for the past six months.

    For a start to week 3, I got to tour the facility my sample materials for testing came from and was able to ask questions and openly communicate with the people from Duke Power. I learned so much and was able to see where and how my research will be used in the next few years. It gives what I am working on purpose and meaning in a whole new way. Not only that but my visit this morning truly opened new doors for me within the industry. Maybe in the next three to five years, everyone will be seeing the results of some of my experiences from this summer in the way Duke operates and how they work to make the environment better through a proactive, and not a reactive, approach to potential concerns. :)

    I had briefly left UNCC before to attend NCSU, and I decided to come back "home." Now, I am so glad that I did because I never would have had this communication, experience, and opportunity at NCSU as an undergraduate student to the extent that I have here. I love being a 49er!!!