Hazelwood, Donna .
Increasing student involvement in botany through a service learning experience.
Engaging undergraduate students in a service learning experience in a general education/majors botany course increased participation and enthusiasm throughout the semester. Fall semester 2009, a service learning project was designed to introduce garden restoration and a chance to improve the appearance of campus. Located on the campus quad, but not part of campus property, the garden was on the grounds of the Smith-Zimmerman Museum, under the direction of the Lake County Historical Association. The garden was planted about 15 years ago by an enthusiastic group of volunteers, who were charged with and management and upkeep. Over time the volunteers were unable to keep up, and the garden fell into disrepair, filled with rank growth and weeds, some noxious. Permission was granted for the service learning project and Physical Plant made available tools for the project. Students were given responsibility for specific areas of the garden and charged with removing weeds and overgrowth, and also learning plant identification, dispersal mechanisms, and interactions. Student groups spent the first three weeks of the semester working in the garden. In addition to learning about plants, students wrote reaction papers. The reaction papers revealed a transformation from reluctant to enthusiastic. In addition, the service learning project received high ratings on student end-of-course evaluations. An unexpected, but welcome outcome occurred fall semester 2011, when the now thriving garden, maintained by university Physical Plant, was no longer in need of a service learning project. Students realized that a botany service learning project can make a difference.
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1 - DAKOTA STATE UNIV, COLL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES, Science Center, 820 N. Washington Ave, MADISON, SD, 57042, USA, 605/256-5187
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Delaware A/Hyatt
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Time: 2:30 PM