The “Growing” Scientific Process

Posted by & filed under Biology, BioMass Project.

The scientifici process is brought up and used regularly in pretty much every science course on campus. It can be googled, read about in a text book, and observed repeatedly from scientists.  However,  for students in some sections of  Biology 1A (Evolution, Diversity and Ecology), the process is being taught differently: this time they are learning it through plants.

Using a problem based learning approach, Professor Erika Catanese, has put students together in teams to learn the scientific process through the investigation of abiotic factors impacts on plant growth. The teams of students developed hypotheses about what affects plant growth and then designed experiments to check their hypotheses and test variables such as light, soils, nutrients, and solutions. They started plants from seed and will be monitoring their growth over the semester, while collecting data such as plant height, and stem and leaf width. Ultimately, they will sacrifice their plants to take wet and dry biomass. At the end of the semester, students will apply some basic statistics, draw conclusions from their results, and create poster presentations of their findings. Until then, you can watch the plants as they transform outside the Bio Studio (SV32) in Science Village.

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