St. Louis, October 1, 2015---The Botanical Society of America (BSA), the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) have been awarded a $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for further development and support for the middle and high school science education program PlantingScience. Launched 10 years ago, PlantingScience is an online learning community where scientists provide mentorship to middle and high school students, helping students design and think through their own research projects. PlantingScience is a collaboration of 15 international scientific societies and is administered by the BSA.
The award will go toward building and testing a new model of teacher development. High school science teachers and early career plant scientists from across the United States will work together in person and online to improve each other's teaching and mentoring skills, while at the same time co-mentoring teams of students doing independent research in the classroom. The grant will also fund rigorous research on the effect of the new collaborative model on science teaching and student outcomes.
"We are thrilled to have been awarded this research grant for PlantingScience. The new training model will take advantage of unique knowledge and skills that high school science teachers and early career scientists can offer each other. Students will benefit from having practicing scientists working closely with them, providing personalized feedback and helping overcome negative stereotypes about who scientists are and what science is really like," explains Catrina Adams, PhD, Director of Education, Botanical Society of America.
The funding will also make possible website upgrades that will significantly increase capacity to allow more schools and teachers to participate, allowing the program to grow exponentially.
PlantingScience addresses the problem of declining science literacy and the critical lack of resources available to middle and high school teachers. Over 900 scientists from 15 scientific societies volunteer to directly support teachers, and mentor students, in student-led scientific research projects designed to adhere to 21st-century standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards. The program and accompanying resources are free of charge to science teachers.
About the Botanical Society of America
The Botanical Society of America (BSA) administers and develops PlantingScience in collaboration with 15 professional scientific organization partners. With an international membership of over 3,300 plant scientists, the BSA is the leading organization dedicated to promoting the breadth and diversity of the botanical field through research and education. The BSA publishes the American Journal of Botany (AJB), a peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary plant research journal; Applications in Plant Sciences (APPS); an open access journal; and the Plant Science Bulletin. The Society also hosts an annual botanical conference, attended by over 1,100 scientists each year.
PlantingScience Partner Organizations
American Bryological and Lichenological Society
American Fern Society
American Institute for Biological Sciences
American Phytopathological Society
American Society of Agronomy
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Society of Plant Taxonomists
Botanical Society of America
Canadian Botanical Association
Crop Science Society of America
Ecological Society of America
Société Botanique de France
Society for Economic Botany
Society for the Study of Evolution
Soil Science Society of America