Introduction to Research


  • To get a sense of what participants already know about and how they feel about research
  • To set a basic framework of research


Prepare Before

Prepare the projector with the “Stand Up” Youtube video by the Youth Education Alliance. If you wish, you may show another video that engages youth in research in their community.

Place Agree and Disagree signs on opposite sides of the room.

Warm Up

Raise your hand if you have done research before.

Raise your hand if you enjoy doing research.

What kind of research have you done?


Forced Choice Activity: (put agree and disagree signs on opposite sides of the room)

Ask participants to stand up and move to the center of the room.  You will read a series of statements.  After each statement, they should silently decide whether they agree or disagree and move to that side of the room.  Have people share why they answered what they did for each statement. (You may need to adjust these statements to reflect a community, rather than a school, depending on your setting.)

  • I have done research before.
  • I like research.
  • Research is boring.
  • Talking to people is research.
  • I know what the biggest problem at this school is.
  • You need to do research in college.
  • There are a lot of problems at this school.
  • Students are generally happy at this school.
  • Many young people have personal problems.
  • I know how most people here feel about the school.
  • I want to know more about what issues students at this school have.


What did you notice about the group?  What did you learn from this activity?


We will be figuring out a key issue and doing more research to find out how the school community feels about it. The skills you learn here will help you in college, in jobs, and in the future.


Show “Stand Up” by the Youth Education Alliance (

Once it is finished, have the group discuss the following questions:

  • How did they determine their issue?
  • What issue did they pick?
  • What did they find out?
  • How did they collect information on the issue?
  • What were some of their recommendations?
  • What actions did they take to address these issues?