Group 4 has experienced a dramatic increase in participants, having grown from 174 members in 2010 to 234 participants this year.
This increase made it difficult for some groups to collaborate on topics and come to agreements on what steps to take next, resulting in groups having to start over in some cases.
“We tried to use Google Docs to share our research, although some people did not use [it], making it hard to compare data,” junior Becca Toser said.
Toser added that once the group was “finally able to meet up with each other, we ended up changing our entire topic and everything that we had researched.”
Toser added that the team’s problems were due to the “large size of the group.”
Junior Jacqueline O’Neil added that her group found Facebook and email effective for communication.
The project has gained 60 participants in one year, requiring students to practice their coordination skills in addition to their scientific research methods.
“I like to get things done as best as possible and with a large group, it is hard to get everyone on the same page,” Toser said. “Everyone has a different idea of how they want things to be.”
Groups are supposed to have six hours of overall group meeting time and individual research. With a such a large overall group it was difficult for some groups to put in their six required hours.
“It’s hard to coordinate meetings when all these people have different schedules,” junior Robert Williams said.
Williams added that a smaller group size would have led to better relations within the groups themselves.
“I feel that if it was a smaller group we would have been able to meet more often and gotten to know each other.”
Groups did have leaders which helped with some confusion around organizing group meetings and assigning parts to individual group members.
“It was a bit less organized in terms of entirety,” explained senior Thamanna Nishath, who participated both this year and last.