Presentation Title

Biodiversity: A Teaching Module for a High School Environmental Science Classroom

Location

Atrium

Session Format

Poster Presentation

Research Area Topic:

MBI - Molecular Biology Initiative

Co-Presenters, Co- Authors, Co-Researchers, Mentors, or Faculty Advisors

Bragdon, Jessica

Abstract

The Molecular Biology Initiative (MBI) is a STEM outreach program funded by the National Science Foundation GK-12 program. MBI seeks to enhance graduate student education and research while offering molecular biology training and structured outreach opportunities to area high schools. My partner teacher and I have created a learning module focused on biodiversity that integrates my research in genetic marine ecology and benthic (seafloor) habitats into the high school environmental science class. The objectives for this biodiversity module were for students to be able to define biodiversity in the context of conservation, analyze potential threats to biodiversity, calculate a species diversity index, use molecular techniques to differentiate between species, and gain an understanding of the impact that human activities have on biodiversity both locally and globally. Our module contains the following activities: Create the Ultimate Aquatic Invader, Conservation Island, The Benthos: A lesson in temperate reef biodiversity, and Gel Electrophoresis: The Case of the Invasive Barnacles. Each of these activities can be used individually or combined as a module to enhance curriculums in environmental science. Several of these activities are also inquiry based and can be used to encourage individual creativity and scientific thought processes. The biodiversity module was implemented in three environmental science courses with students ranging from 9th-12th grades at Southeast Bulloch High School in Brooklet, GA. The module was designed for 50 minute class periods with suggestions for expansion activities that can be used in 90 minute periods. Student learning was assessed through classroom discussions and lab worksheets that were completed for each activity.

Keywords

Biodiversity, Teaching, Invasive species, Endangered species, Land management

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-24-2015 2:45 PM

End Date

4-24-2015 4:00 PM

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Apr 24th, 2:45 PM Apr 24th, 4:00 PM

Biodiversity: A Teaching Module for a High School Environmental Science Classroom

Atrium

The Molecular Biology Initiative (MBI) is a STEM outreach program funded by the National Science Foundation GK-12 program. MBI seeks to enhance graduate student education and research while offering molecular biology training and structured outreach opportunities to area high schools. My partner teacher and I have created a learning module focused on biodiversity that integrates my research in genetic marine ecology and benthic (seafloor) habitats into the high school environmental science class. The objectives for this biodiversity module were for students to be able to define biodiversity in the context of conservation, analyze potential threats to biodiversity, calculate a species diversity index, use molecular techniques to differentiate between species, and gain an understanding of the impact that human activities have on biodiversity both locally and globally. Our module contains the following activities: Create the Ultimate Aquatic Invader, Conservation Island, The Benthos: A lesson in temperate reef biodiversity, and Gel Electrophoresis: The Case of the Invasive Barnacles. Each of these activities can be used individually or combined as a module to enhance curriculums in environmental science. Several of these activities are also inquiry based and can be used to encourage individual creativity and scientific thought processes. The biodiversity module was implemented in three environmental science courses with students ranging from 9th-12th grades at Southeast Bulloch High School in Brooklet, GA. The module was designed for 50 minute class periods with suggestions for expansion activities that can be used in 90 minute periods. Student learning was assessed through classroom discussions and lab worksheets that were completed for each activity.