DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Intern/Mentor Program

Gifted and Talented Program

Research Plan

Each student in the Intern/Mentor Program must carry out an advanced research project for a real purpose and present this to a professional audience which is capable of evaluating the quality, authenticity, and novelty of the project.  The following information, provided by the student, gives an overview of the proposed project as it is currently planned.


Student:  Margo Johnson                                                                 Date:  November 30, 2009


Research Title:  Problems and Uncertainties with Global Positioning System (GPS) Data Logging Equipment


Purpose:  To acquire and present new and helpful knowledge and data on the limitations and problems of GPS equipment, including the weakening of satellites.



  • Collect, graph, and interpret GPS data logging data 
  • Research (through previous studies, the internet, visuals) the ways that different brands and types of GPS equipment receive their location information (satellites, towers, etc.)
  • Work with other professionals in the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory to familiarize myself with GPS technology
  • Utilize different brands and types of GPS equipment to obtain data and error analysis
  • Create an Excel spreadsheet comparing different aspects of GPS data loggers, including statistical analysis of error
  • Summarize data and information on a display board that will be entered and displayed at the Science Fair

Expected Product or Outcome: 

  • A research paper discussing the problems and uncertainties of GPS devices
  • A spreadsheet comparing different characteristics of GPS data loggers
  • A display board for the Science Fair

Novelty of the Product:  GPS studies are a relevant topic because of the surge in the purchasing of GPS devices.  Because these devices are also used in scientific studies, I am able to help my mentor and his colleagues in not only finding the most useful devices but assessing the accuracy (and uncertainty) of all of them.  This study is unique in that it not only aids in the accuracy of the most specific of scientific research, but also in something as basic as simplifying a business trip.



  • Judges at the county-wide Science Fair
  • Mentor, who is using my study to compare GPS devices for future purchasing and research


  • County-wide and school-wide presentations
  • Display board at Science Fair
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.