NSF funds $3.9M grant to study PlantingScience.org student-teacher-scientist partnership
This grant will be led by the BSA, working closely with BSCS Science Learning and education researchers from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. The PlantingScience online mentoring program was developed by the BSA in 2005 as a low-barrier way for scientists to get involved in secondary education and is supported by mentors from over 18 partnering scientific societies. In 2011, the program won a Science SPORE prize as a valuable online resource.
The new project extends previous research on PlantingScience, which showed improvements in student achievement and attitudes toward scientists. This grant will include developing and comparing an online format for collaborative teacher/scientist professional development to an in-person format, including comparing outcomes from students of teachers prepared through the different formats. Beyond the USA-based research project, broader impacts of the grant include development of new online resources and improved website features as well as continued management support of the larger PlantingScience online mentoring community. In the past 15 years PlantingScience has reached over 275 teachers and 30,000 students from 45 US states and 6 countries. It remains freely available to teachers worldwide and has been supported by an international group of >1000 scientist volunteers.