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Abstract Detail

Education & Outreach

Dechaine, Jennifer M [1], Whittinghill, Kyle [2], van Vleck, Harriet E [2], Faber, Nick [3], Gabrych, Jennie [3], Huneke, Joan [3].

A little time goes a long way: How plant biologists can use short outreach activities to enhance science teaching and learning in K-12 classrooms.

Many university educators are interested in promoting science education at the K-12 level, but finding the time can be challenging. From September 2006 to June 2007 we taught elementary school science and developed science curriculum with K-6 teachers, as part of University of Minnesota’s GK12 program. GK12 is a nationally represented National Science Foundation program that seeks to encourage graduate students’ engagement with the K-12 community through working with educators and other scientists to enhance K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Minnesota’s program places environmental science graduate students with elementary school teachers at inner-city schools in the Twin Cities metro area. Most students involved in the program are interested in continuing K-12 outreach after they enter professional careers, but realize that their future time to donate to educational outreach may be small. We suggest multiple ways that scientists can use short-term, discrete outreach activities to enhance K-12 teaching and learning. We focus on topics and examples from plant biology that we feel are especially interesting and relevant to K-12 students. Examples include: showing teachers and students how to use plants to ask questions and conduct research, encouraging students to explore where their food comes from, and exposing students to plant diversity.

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1 - University of Minnesota, Plant Biology, 250 Biological Sciences Center, 1445 Gortner Ave, Saint Paul, MN, 55108, USA
2 - University of Minnesota, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
3 - John A. Johnson Achievment Plus Elementary


Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Session: P
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: P46016
Abstract ID:1681

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