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Planting Seeds of Science a success

“Planting Seeds of Science: Roots, leaves and STEM in the after-school and summer enrichment program,” a project funded by an American Society of Plant Biology (ASPB) grant, is proving successful for both the middle school students involved and the ONU students who conducted the program.

Last year ONU developed an after-school enrichment program to improve the delivery of the plant biology and botany curriculum to seventh- and eighth-grade students in the Marysville Exempted School District, under the direction of Linda Young, ONU professor of biological sciences, and Vicki Motz, visiting assistant professor of biological sciences and Union County Master Gardener.

Members of the ONU team include Nichole Stitt, ONU visiting assistant professor of education, and ONU senior biology majors Colleen Baker, from Columbus, Ohio, and Keaton Morris, from Westerville, Ohio. Collaborating with the ONU team was Zach Balch, director of the Bunsold After School Enrichment program, Bunsold staff and members of the Union County Master Gardeners.

Each week, from the start of the 2013-14 school year and through the summer, the team developed pedagogical materials and traveled to Marysville to work with the students.

Both the middle school students and the ONU team were pleased with the result. Baker, who received her degree in May, has been offered a teaching position in biology and physics at Arcanum Schools. Her work with the Planting Seeds program was one factor in her hiring. She will have special responsibilities directing STEM education activities at Arcanum.

Morris will do student teaching in Spain during the fall, 2014, semester and is also interested in finding a science education position with STEM emphasis after graduation.