Title: PlantingScience: Fostering student research through scientific inquiry and online mentorship Author
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 12, 2011
Publication Date: March 3, 2011
Citation: Grusak, M.A. 2011. PlantingScience: Fostering student research through scientific inquiry and online mentorship [abstract]. Texas Academy of Sciences 114th Annual Meeting. p. 104. Technical Abstract: PlantingScience is an inquiry and science mentorship program, led by the Botanical Society of America and supported by 14 Scientific Society partners that brings together students (middle school through high school), plant scientists (as mentors), and teachers from across the nation. Using several learning modules as guides, students engage in hands-on plant investigations in the classroom and collaborate online with peers and scientist mentors. Student teams work together to develop their research question; they then establish an experimental design and make research predictions, with guidance from the mentor. Students generate their own data and post results and conclusions on their Team page at the PlantingScience.org web site. During 3-8 week spring and fall sessions, students and their assigned scientist mentor, use the web portal (almost daily) to discuss the Team projects. Communication between scientists and teachers is also facilitated at the web site. For students and teachers, the program fulfills three concepts recognized by the National Research Council to facilitate science learning: 1) hands-on, inquiry based activities, 2) team learning, and 3) mentorship support from subject experts. For scientist mentors, the program offers an outreach opportunity to share knowledge and enthusiasm for plants with actively engaged students and teachers. In this poster presentation, the presenter (a current PlantingScience mentor and the Crop Science Society of America liaison to the PlantingScience Steering Committee), will provide an overview of the program, along with information on how to become a volunteer mentor and how to sign up as a participating teacher with student teams.