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Abstract Detail


Teaching Section

Brown, Beverly [1], Boyd, Cheri [2], Lammela, William [3], O'Brien, Lynn [3], Steitz, David [4].

Got sprouts? A progress report on the impact of interdisciplinary, open-inquiry, team projects on studentís attitudes toward science and understanding of the scientific process.

Members of the Mathematics, Chemistry, and Biology Departments wanted to provide students with an authentic experience of scientific investigation. Individual students grew and observed sprouts for a week, keeping detailed notes of their observations. After the week of observations, instructors created interdisciplinary teams of students from mathematics and science classes.  Students met as interdisciplinary teams, discussed questions raised by their observations, developed a testable hypothesis, designed experiments, and carried out experiments in a lab designed for interdisciplinary team work. This open-inquiry approach is relatively new for most of our students. Every semester since spring of 2005 approximately 200 students, non-majors and majors, and 5-8 faculty members have been involved in this project. Preliminary assessment of student attitudes shows significant increases in student interest in 1) learning about subjects outside their major, 2) designing and conducting their own experiments, and 3) in working with plants. Students are also developing a more realistic idea of the time and effort involved in designing and carrying out open-ended experiments.


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Creating authentic scientific experiences using open-inquiry and interdisciplinary teams.


1 - Nazareth College of Rochester, Biology, 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618, USA
2 - Nazareth College of Rochester, Mathematics, 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618, USA
3 - Nazareth College of Rochester, Chemistry, 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618, USA
4 - Nazareth College of Rochester, Psychology, 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618, USA

Keywords:
interdisciplinary
inquiry-based projects
teaching science.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: CP06
Location: Boulevard A/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: CP06010
Abstract ID:2101


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