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Planting Science/Digging Deeper in Colorado Springs

Hi all! This week I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the Planting Science Digging Deeper workshop in Colorado Springs. Planting Science is a really cool program that pairs teachers with scientist mentors (like me!) so that students can get feedback from “real” scientists while developing and conducting experiments in class. This particular workshop is important because it’s part of a larger research project. Though Planting Science has existed for over a decade, BSCS (the organization that developed Planting Science) wants to demonstrate more quantitatively how participation in this program impacts student understanding. I am training to be a “mentor liaison” that will smooth communication between teachers and other scientist mentors. The workshop has included discussions about science content, pedagogy, and mentorship! When the workshop started we were separated into teams and developed team names. My team represents Echinacea since we are “The Disc Florets”.

The team poster!

The workshop was focused on the module called “Power of Sunlight” which focuses on teaching photosynthesis. As part of the workshop we were able to conduct our own investigations about photosynthesis with spinach leaf discs, algal balls (very fun to make), and other aquatic plants.

Algae balls

Algae balls in phenol red solution

Materials for making spinach leaf disks

We also were lucky enough to go on a field trip to Garden of the Gods, a beautiful city park in Colorado Springs. Here are some of the things we saw.

Walking along the path

Red rocks!

Style persistence?

 

Overall it’s been a great week. I’m excited to participate in the Planting Science program this fall, and I’ve had a great time in Colorado Springs!

 

The Disc Florets!

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