Rao, Sujaya , Halse, Richard .
Integrating Botany and Ecology in K-12 Curricula for Stimulating Interest in Science .
Children have an innate curiosity about the world around them but, by the time they reach high school, the ‘scientist’ in them is lost due to perceptions that science is 'too difficult' and not ‘cool’, or due to lack of encouragement from parents and teachers who may themselves be intimidated by science. Interest in fields such as botany and ecology can be fostered if students are provided rewarding science-related experiences, as it is well recognized that ‘experience’ is the greatest teacher. Curiosity about plants and their ecological relationships in students can be sustained through meaningful interactions with scientists at a local university. Besides enhancing knowledge and appreciation for science, such partnerships go a long way towards dispelling fears about science in today’s youth, providing role models and changing stereotypes about scientists, increasing awareness about the diversity in scientific careers, and exposing students early-on to opportunities at colleges and universities for enriched experiences in science. We will describe innovative programs at Oregon State University through which university researchers, graduate and undergraduate students provided K-12 students with a diversity of 'scientist' experiences. Middle and high schools students were engaged in inquiry-based science activities and ongoing university research projects, and gained the experience of attending a conference similar to professional society meetings. The benefits to the university and K-12 schools through these programs will be presented.
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1 - Oregon State University, Crop and Soil Science, 3017 Ag. & Life Sciences, Corvallis, OR, 97331, USA
2 - Oregon State University, Department of Botany & Plant Pathology, 2082 Cordley Hall, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331-2902, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Superior A/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 9:00 AM