PlantingScience Fall 2017 Session
Class Info Template
This information will be needed when you are creating your groups for PlantingScience for this session. Complete this form and hang on to it until you create your group with your liaison before the fall sessions starts. If you are working on more than one investigation theme, please complete one template for each theme.
- Please describe what outcomes both for yourself and your students that you wish to achieve by participating in PlantingScience. (300 words or less)
All of our students are preservice undergraduate students and we feel that by participating with PlantingScience, they will engage in authentic science in which they can learn and enact in their own science classrooms in the future. Currently, our students have been learning about plant biology for the last two months and we would like them to use this knowledge in a meaningful and scientific way. We would like our students to engage in scientific practices, specifically planning and designing investigations, explanation, and argumentation.
- 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).
We teach an undergraduate biology course for preservice teachers only, called Concepts in Biology. This is an introductory biology course being taught at the sophomore/junior level. The class is a 3-hour integrated lecture and lab format with class sizes not exceeding 24 students per section.
- 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?
By the time we begin the PlantingScience project, students will have learned germination, plant structures, monocots and eudicots, alternation of generations, plant hormones, seed dispersal, experimentation, plant reproduction, seed development, soil composition and nutrients, and the early principles of photosynthesis.
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. October 16, 2017
- Please estimate your end date.
Your end date is when students last post to say goodbye to the mentors.
November 21, 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).
We will not have any breaks during this time.
- Class meeting time(s): What time and which day(s) of the week does your class meet?
Monday and Wednesday classes 9-12pm
Tuesday and Thursday 130-415pm
- Estimated number of days per week your students will be able access the website to post information &/or communicate with mentors.
3 days minimum
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?
These students have little previous science experience. Probably the last biology course that they took was a 9th or 10th grade high school course. They want to be elementary and middle school teachers. Historically, the students are initially either not excited to teach science or do not feel confident in their ability to teach science. By the end of the course, most feel differently about it and feel they do have the rudimentary pedagogical skill set and content knowledge to teach science. We are hoping to use PlantingScience to continue to motivate them by doing authentic, meaningful investigations to learn science while also motivating them to see how to teach future students.
- Is there additional information you think would be helpful to mentors (e.g., access to equipment, your class expectations)?
We have chosen our own plants for the project. Students will be using radish, lettuce, chard, arugula, peas, and spinach or some variation upon procurement. Once the in-class research projects are completed, students will plant their plants in a campus garden in conjunction with an education course currently using the biology garden for their class.