Essays on Science and SocietySPORE* Series Winner

Building Botanical Literacy

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Science  25 Mar 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6024, pp. 1535-1536
DOI: 10.1126/science.1196979


Betsy Justus, a doctoral student at Ohio University, has a fan club. It is a team of students from Cheyenne Central High School investigating spore germination in their classroom and posting research information to their team Web page. Betsy has been mentoring her team through online guidance and encouragement, posing questions throughout the inquiry process, and providing insights on what scientists know and how they think. Similarly, Eric Jones, a Florida State University doctoral candidate, hooked his St. Sebastian middle school team into an intriguing conversation about their investigations on pollinator visits to flowers. His reward was in experiencing his students' motivation to learn, expressed in statements such as, ‘We are sad that our experiments are over,” and ‘We have developed a whole new interest in flowers!”