Spring 2011 Session Newsletter | No. 2
This newsletter provides session participants updates on activities, and tips for teachers and mentors as they guide student investigations.
Session Status Update!
In the first weeks of the session, student teams from 27 schools came online. The fourth week of the session is starting off with a bang --- 3 high school classes have registered so far today! We are now making mentor matches for Combs High School, Long Branch HS, and Mr. Osborn's St. Andrew's Episcopal teams. Welcome All!
School schedule changes are inevitable. Thanks to all for being flexible, and for sharing updates on schedules in the Class Discussion Forums. (Don't hesitate to let us know if you need help getting to the Class Discussion Forums!)
If you are waiting for your teams to start, the wait is nearly over. Over the coming weeks, we expect to welcome the remaining classes. Some schools that initially sign on may encounter difficulties that prevent them from completing the process---please know we all understand that external forces can intervene.
Connecting Teachers, Scientists, and Students Earlier, Seeking to Support Scientifically Sound Investigations
In previous sessions, we've received feedback from teachers and mentors that we are attempting to address:
Teachers often relay they would like their student teams to ask more rigorously sound science questions.
Mentors often relay they would like to engage with teachers and students before the student teams settle on a research question.
So this session when possible, we have introduced teachers and mentors matched to their student teams via email before the student teams register. This gives teachers and scientists more lead time to share information and ask questions privately out of earshot of the students in the Class Discussion Forum. With teachers and mentors talking about class expectations earlier, we hope this also leads to online mentors and student teams brainstorming together.
Engaging scientist mentors in the early brainstorming phase about potential research ideas, and in each key phase of the inquiry cycle, before students feel committed to their ideas can help students be responsive to suggestions for improving their experimental question, research design, data collection methods, and presentation.
PlantingScience is a community-driven endeavor. Please continue to provide your insights and feedback so that together we can provide an online mentored inquiry experience that captures student interest and builds a richer understanding.
Community Participant Highlight
Congrats to PlantingScience Teacher, Naomi Volain! Naomi has participated in PlantingScience with her classes since attending the 2008 Summer Institute for Teachers. She has been nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. We wish you luck! There is good reason for the nomination---She is always up to something interesting.
Naomi is looking for feedback and ideas on a proposal she and a team of teachers are preparing in application for NASA's Reduced Gravity Education Fight Program. They are interested in experiments with Mimosa pudica in conditions of hypergravity and microgravity. If you have experience with the sensitive plant, Naomi would appreciate your input!
Please share good news and any activities of interest to the PlantingScience community! It is a joy to profile what PlantingScience teachers and mentors are up to and help the community share information. We'll be happy to include it in a newsletter or start a new topic in the Discussion Forum to continue to conversations.
PlantingScience at Education Meetings this week
Cyberlearning Tools for STEM Education (CyTSE) Conference: March 8-9. Berkeley, CA. Your engaging productive exchanges among teachers, students, and scientists will be featured in Claire's 2-hour hands-on demo at this National Science Foundation-sponsored meeting.
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference: March 10-13, San Francisco, CA. Visit us in the exhibit hall: PlantingScience/Botanical Society of America at booth 613 and our partners, The American Society of Plant Biologists too! PlantingScience teachers Carol Packard and Allison Landry and plant pathologist/botanical illustrator Jeanne Debons will join expertise for our Friday workshop, "Using dialog and art to enhance science inquiry and make student thinking visible."
Getting More Information - firstname.lastname@example.org
Please email email@example.com with any logistic questions. (Claire will be traveling all week, but feel free to leave voice mail at 562-308-0075)
Please check your spam filters for Teacher & Mentor automatic notifications or teacher-mentor email introductions. We rely on email as a primary means of updating participants, but we know email is not a fail-safe means of communication.
Don't hesitate to let us know if you have questions, comments, or problems. We are here to help.
Your efforts to bring science alive to classroom students makes a difference!
Meet the Schools and Teachers
High Schools & College investigating Brassica
C. Milton Wright HS (MD), J. Chartrand* - Online!
High Technology HS (NJ), M. Roche - Online!
Long Branch HS (NJ), E. Cruz - Online!
St. Andrews Episcopal (TX), D. Tucker* - Online!Woodstock HS (GA), J. Forsyth - Online!
Nassau Community College (NY), K. Prabhakar - Online!
Wiregrass HS (FL), Y. Costible* - expect Mar.
Middle/Jr. H Schools studying seeds
Assumption St. Bridget (WA), R. Connell - Online!
Bangor Christian School (ME), S. Boyle - Online!
Oakridge MS (FL), G. Stamp - Online!
St. Sebastian (OH), B. Indriolo* - Online!
Moss Public MS & HS (OK), C. Coleman - soonCarpentersville MS (IL), J. Gonzales-Mahr - soon
Harbor Heights MS (NY), A. Mercado - soon
Marion Public Jr/Sr. HS (MI), J. Keeler - soon
Anderson School (MT), L. Kinna - expect Mar. 25
High Schools investigating seeds
Southwood HS (LA), E. Gardner - Online!
Springfield Central HS (MA), N. Volain* - Online!
St. Rose Lima Academy (NJ), C. Wage - Online!
Temple High School (TX), O. Bersoza - Online!
Woodstock HS (GA), C. Lauer - Online!
Hurricane HS (WV), K. Bybee-Finley - soon
Kamehameha Schools (HI), G. Ishimoto* - late Mar.
Satellite Academy HS (NY), R. Kendall - soon
High Schools (+ 1 MS) studying photosynthesis
Greater Nanticoke HS (PA), A. Schraeder* - Online!, D. Prushinski - Online!
Lake Orion HS (MI), J. Coury* - Online!
Rockwall Heath HS (TX), L. Reese - Online!
Nautilus MS (FL), G. Foote* - Online!
St. Andrew's Episcopal (TX), J. Osborn - Online!
Legacy HS (CO), A. Campbell - soon
High Schools field-testing Arabidopsis
Central Virginia Governor's School (VA), S. Beasley - pretests Mar. 8
Monroe Technology Center (VA), D. Chaves - Online!
Olathe North HS (KS), R. Dix - Online!
High Schools field-testing C-Fern
Combs HS (AZ), K. Butterworth* - Online!
Woodstock HS (GA), J. Forsyth - Online!
Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LA), Dr. A. Landry* - Online!
Fair Lawn HS (NJ), K. Meneghin* - soon
Middle Schools International C-Fern collaboration
Ferrell Middle Magnet Center (FL), S. Kosmoski* - Online!
Bonhoeffercollge (The Netherlands), A. de Graaf - Online!
College field-testing Celery Challenge
Emporia State University (KS), M. Sundberg - Online! will connect to mentors after peer-to-peer feedback
*Teachers attending prior Summer Institute; #attending 2010 Brassica Workshop
Contact the Team
PlantingScience Staff Email:
Call Claire in California: 562-308-0075
Botanical Society of America
4475 Castleman Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
St. Louis fax: 314-577-9515
Our thanks to Heather Cacanindin and the St. Louis office for pitching in.
Rob Brandt, IT and Web Manager
Teresa Woods, Curriculum Coordinator
Claire Hemingway, Project PI
Bill Dahl, Project Co-PI
Carol Stuessy, Project Co-PI
PlantingScience is funded by the Botanical Society of America in concert with a National Science Foundation grant (DRL-0733280). We also gratefully acknowledge Monsanto Foundation for prior support of curriculum development activities.