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Teaching Section

Hazelwood, Donna [1].

A laboratory exercise to introduce students to the process of science and seed germination.

Involving undergraduate students in a greenhouse experiment on seedling germination increased student understanding and interest in a general education/majors botany course. Students first examined the structure of monocot and dicot seeds, corn (<i>Zea mays<i>) and garden pea (<i>Pisum sativum<i>) respectively. Groups of three to four students compared the effect of depth of planting on seed germination. Wheat (<i>Triticum aestivum <i>) seeds were included to allow for comparison of seeds of a smaller size. Students derived hypothesis ant then planted seeds in vermiculite at various depths in 4″ plastic pots. Students observed plants, recorded observations, maintained accurate records, incorporated digital imaging, entered data into spreadsheets, created graphs, analyzed results, and gave oral presentations accompanied by PowerPoint. At the end of the course, students rated this exercise highly, and stated that they enjoyed being able to plant their own seeds, create their own experiments, and examine their own seedlings. The outcomes for student learning were greater than those observed in comparison with exercise in which students observed previously germinated seeds. Students evidenced an increased understanding of the process of science and participation in the process of the experiment. In conclusion, students reported they were amazed at how easy and fun it was to do experiments with plants.

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1 - Dakota State University, College of Arts and Sciences, Science Center, Madison, South Dakota, 57042, USA

teach botany.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 6-3
Location: 400/Hilton
Date: Monday, August 15th, 2005
Time: 9:30 AM
Abstract ID:156

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