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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Sipes, Sedonia D. [1], Wittenborn-Sikorski, Julie [2], Brown, Denise [3], Midden, Christopher [4], Renzaglia, Karen [5].

Problem Based Learning Using Pollen Analysis.

Our NSF-funded Robert Noyce program entitled “A community of Problem Solvers: Teachers Leading Problem-Based Learning in Illinois” is training Master Teaching Fellows (MTFs) to lead pre- and –in-service teachers in our community towards implementation of inquiry-based learning. Our program strives to transform the way science is taught in Southern Illinois by utilizing place-based exercises, which we refer to as “back yard science.” Towards these goals, we have developed a pollination ecology project that builds STEM knowledge and skills across several disciplines. Pollen analysis of bee scopal loads allows teacher and student researchers to address a wide variety of questions about ecology, plant-pollinator interactions, plant biology, and animal behavior. Researchers collect bees and flowers outside. In the lab/classroom, pollen removed from the scopal loads of bees can be mounted on a microscope slide and viewed using a compound microscope. A set of reference pollen slides made from plants flowering in the area allow students to comparatively identify morphospecies of plant pollens making up the bee pollen loads. Students can develop quantitative skills by counting the different pollen types, calculating the component percentages of the pollen load, comparing numeric to volumetric composition, building graphs to summarize results, and performing statistical analyses. Using the pollination ecology system, MTFs have designed a multifaceted problem-based learning exercise for novice teachers that will be implemented during a two-week Summer Research Experience for Teachers in 2014. As a supplement to these activities, two MTFs in our program are developing online resources on Desire2Learn course management platform that will deliver necessary background information to research participants. We will present a synthesis of the summer activities with a focus on implementation of short- and long-term inquiry-based exercises that enrich content knowledge and research skills of both teachers and students.  We see application of hands-on pollination methodologies as accessible, engaging and a powerful tool to enhance student interest and knowledge about the process of science.

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1 - Southern Illinois University, 1125 Lincoln Drive, Mail Code 6509, Carbondale, IL, 62901, USA
2 - Murphysboro Middle School, 2125 Spruce Street, Murphysboro, IL, 62966, USA
3 - Carruthers Elementary School, 80 Candy Lane, Murphysboro, IL, 62966, USA
4 - Unity Point School, 4033 South Illinois Ave., Carbondale, IL , 62903, USA
5 - Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Plant Biology, 1125 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, IL, 62901, USA

problem-based learning
teacher training

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PTE007
Abstract ID:596
Candidate for Awards:None

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