1. Catrina Adams
  2. Education Director
  4. Botanical Society of America, BSCS Science Learning, American Society of Plant Biologists
  1. Jodi Creasap Gee
  2. Education Technology Manager
  4. Botanical Society of America
  1. Joe Taylor
  2. Principal Scientist
  4. BSCS Science Learning
  1. Anne Westbrook
  2. Science Educator
  4. BSCS Science Learning

PlantingScience Digging Deeper

NSF Awards: 1502892

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

Extended student-led science investigations are a great way for students to get a deep understanding of how science works. But managing so many diverse projects in the classroom can be intimidating and challenging for teachers. PlantingScience is an online science mentoring platform where scientist volunteers mentor small teams of students through the process of designing and carrying out their own science investigations on a a variety of plant science themes.

With Digging Deeper, we wanted to build on this successful program by adding a rigorous collaborative professional development for teachers and early career scientists. Participants spend a week-long workshop together, and then continue working together online over the course of a semester while implementing PlantingScience with students. Our research is designed to determine the efficacy of the PlantingScience “Power of Sunlight” theme to affect student achievement and attitudes as well as teacher and mentor practices. We’re studying this with a multi-site cluster randomized trial including about 80 teachers and 3000 students. The Digging Deeper project is contributing back to the larger PlantingScience community with a new website platform, new tools and resources and participant leadership. It’s also a model that can provide insights for other STEM disciplines.

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