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The Individually Developed Exploration and Advancement, or IDEA, initiative provides students with an opportunity to follow their passion and develop a unique academic experience while at GSSM. At any point in a student’s tenure at GSSM, he or she may propose an IDEA to be completed. The IDEA committee will work with the student to further develop the IDEA to include multiple revisions as needed and, if approved, determine how best it can fit into the student’s schedule throughout the academic year or summer as well as meet graduation requirements (i.e. as a STEM elective or replacing course(s) or other graduation requirement).
An IDEA can be completed during the normal academic school year (August-May). However, if students propose to work on their IDEA in place of mentored summer research, then students must submit their initiative to the IDEA committee no later than Friday, January 8th, 2016. The IDEA committee will determine if the benefits gained from the experience are equivalent to those gained from the mentored summer research. If so, the student will be allowed to pursue their IDEA under the monitoring of the IDEA coordinator. Successful completion of the IDEA will fulfill the research graduation requirement. Completion of the IDEA may only require the summer, earning 0.5 credit. Therefore, the student would need to enroll in another course during the fall. The IDEA could extend into the fall and spring of the senior year possibly earning the student 1.0 to 1.5 credits pending approval from the IDEA committee.
All IDEAS will be considered and reviewed. To help stimulate thought about IDEAs, students could consider competing in the Intel and Siemens competitions, developing and starting a non-profit, publishing a book, developing mobile apps, participating in a university summer program such as the ones at MIT, or connecting with GSSM alumni in their area of expertise.