Abstract Detail

Lightning Talks – Germinating Ideas

Brzyski, Jessica [1], McAllister, Nicole [1], Rosier, Renee [1].

Getting to the "root" of the problem: increase plant science appreciation while improving student confidence and achievement.

An impactful education experience for first-year Biology undergraduates is the foundation to a successful college education. Additionally, it is important to remediate any plant awareness disparity in first-year courses as many students will not be exposed to plants again, depending on their future educational track. As such, we developed a high-impact, inquiry-based first-year Biology Lab experience that focuses on the benefits of plants while also developing necessary laboratory techniques, scientific literacy, and science communication skills. Given that the majority of our incoming students are medically focused for the future, we designed the first-semester lab course to involve a series of assays to determine potential medical benefits of various plant species. This course set-up has the additional benefit of exposing students to authentic research early in college, allowing them the time for career exploration beyond medical school and to seek additional research opportunities if desired. The data from anonymous pre- and post-surveys showed that students have greater confidence in common laboratory techniques and in conducting and analyzing independent experiments. Students also expressed a broader understanding and appreciation of the importance of plants. The results from these first semester changes will be compared to assessment results in the second semester to estimate teaching effectiveness and retention of student learning. In the future, this lab will be paired with students in the upper-level Genetics Lab course to emphasize the relevance of plants in research as well as demonstrate the truly integrative nature of biology.

1 - Seton Hill University, 1 Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA, 15601-1548, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Germinating Ideas Lightning Talk
Number: LT2004
Abstract ID:71
Candidate for Awards:None

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