- Please describe what outcomes both for yourself and your students that you wish to achieve by participating in PlantingScience. (300 words or less)
I would like my Biology I students to do real science, not just my worksheets. By real science, I mean an actual experiment that has been decided on as a group, where they do not know what the outcome will be. Additionally, I would like them to get experience with growing living things and thinking about life with from a different perspective than just the human one.
- What is the name of the course you are teaching (optionally include a short description of what you will cover and how PlantingScience fits into the larger course).
This is Biology I, which is meant to be an introduction to biology for students who are interested in pursuing a career in science. Most of the students are ninth graders who are taking this tenth grade class a year early due to their advanced math placement. Hopefully, they will learn some genetics, experimental design, and appreciation for the complexity of plant life.
- How much have you taught regarding the topics of the investigation theme (e.g. photosynthesis, genetics) prior to starting this investigation? Are you using PlantingScience to reinforce concepts already learned or more of a discovery tool for generating ideas about the topic?
Students have grown and pollinated one generation of Fast Plants already. They know a bit about punnet squares, genes, and mutations. We are using PlantingScience as a way to explore the interplay between genes and environment and as an opportunity to explore scientific questions of their own choosing.
Important dates and times:
- Please estimate your start date (must be after session start).
Your start date is the day your students first login online, with your pre-selected username and password.
We will start in Planting Science groups the week of March 20. We have already chosen our experiments as a class and have planting the seeds for the experiments and controls. We will need mentor help primarily with analysis of the data.
- Please estimate your end date. Your end date is when students last post to say goodbye to the mentors.
We will end the week of April 28, 2017.
- Are there timeframes during your class inquiry the students will not access the website, such as school breaks? (Please note this in the calendar when you customize your group page)
There will be no school breaks during this Planting Science session.
- Class meeting time(s): What time and which day(s) of the week does your class meet?
The classes meet five days a week for 50 minutes at a stretch. We are on Alaska time, which is 4 hours earlier than east coast US time.
- Estimated number of days per week your students will be able access the website to post information &/or communicate with mentors. Students will post 1 or 2 days per week when we are active.
Classroom demographics and expectations:
- Science background and language skills.
Please relay any details about your student population that would help the mentors communicate with your teams. For example, do they have exceptionally high motivation, little previous science experience, or include a large proportion of English as a second language (ESL) speakers? What are the first language(s) of your ESL students?
Most of the students are ninth graders who are taking this tenth grade class a year early due to their advanced math placement. We have grown and pollinated one generation of Fast Plants already. Otherwise, though, most students have limited experience growing plants.
- Is there additional information you think would be helpful to mentors (e.g., access to equipment, your class expectations)?
Our experiments are designed and up and growing already. We will need mentor help primarily with analysis of data. Any experiences as an active scientist that you can share with the class will be welcome and appreciated.