"Curiosity is the thirst of the soul." -- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

First Quarter Project

A Scientific Pathfinder

A pathfinder is a guide for researchers.  Pathfinders have been used in libraries by researchers for many years.  By creating a pathfinder, you will demonstrate your searching skills and your ability to discern quality information sources.  Your annotations should justify the placement of a resource on the pathfinder.

Basically, you will create an attractive, logically organized do-it-yourself blueprint for research.  Your pathfinder will explore call numbers for circulating and reference books, print magazines, newspapers, subscription databases, quality subject area portals, and the best specific websites available.  You must be sure to include printed reference works using the circulation and reference works from the Scranton Prep Library.  Your pathfinder will include the Dewey Decimal number, page numbers and 1 or 2 sentences expressing relevance to the topic.  Your resources must be on-line subscription data bases.  You may include specific scholarly web addresses with their URL’s and at least 2 sentences of support.  Primary sources, letters, speeches and legislation are highly regarded for support of your topic.  On-line scholarly journals are a resource for you.  Image resources and current prominent individuals in the field are an important inclusion for your topic.  A template for creating pathfinders follows the topics listed below.  (This project was made possible with the help of Mrs. Darmofal and Mrs. Joyce Valenza of the Springfield Township High School Library.)

Your pathfinder may be prepared on one of the following topics.

1 Genetic Deseases

2 Bacteria Diseases

3 Global Warming

4 DNA fingerprinting by the Federal Government

5 Alternates to fossil fuels as energy resources

For each of these topics, consider this hypothetical situation.   In the spring of 2006, a conference will be held to help determine funding for your research topic.  You are an expert in the field who has been asked to present testimony regarding your topic of interest.   Your will have ten minutes to present your research and to elicit continued funding for your research.  

Suggestions for Genetic Diseases:  symptoms of the disease, frequency in the population, chromosome affected, inheritance pattern, medical treatments, future prospects, etc….Please check these sites as resources:


Suggestions for Bacterial Diseases:  etiological agent, epidemiology of agent, pathogensis of agent, diagnosis of disease, prevention and control of the disease, etc…..Please check this site as a resource:


Suggestions for Global Warming:  causative factors, extent of problem, geographical hot-spots, experts in the field, timetables for temperature increases, governmental controls, etc…..

Suggestions for DNA Fingerprinting by the Federal Government:  procedure, cost factors, training of technicians, testing reliability, ethical issues, etc…..

Suggestions for Alternate Energy Resources to the Fossil Fuels:  current problem, possible alternates, cost efficiency of alternates, willingness of the federal government to fund research, experts in the field, etc…..