Marine education: teaching high school students the scientific method through involvement in an ongoing field experiment

2010-2013 - $93,180

Delbert Lee Smee
Department of Life Sciences
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Cherie McCullough
Department of Life Sciences
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Abstract

Involving students in research has been shown to increase understanding of scientific concepts and improve student learning and retention. Funds are requested to develop an outreach program between Tuloso-Midway High School (TM) and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC). Both PIs, along with TAMU-CC graduate and undergraduate students, will create a Science Club at TM. TM students will learn scientific methodology and procedures as part of the Science Club. During their April break, they will attend a one week training session at TAMU-CC, which includes two field trips, to learn experiential procedures. TM students will then assist TAMU-CC researchers during the summer as they complete an ongoing field experiment designed to determine how predators affect oyster reef communities. TAMU-CC students will learn how to perform outreach activities, TM students will learn about how science is used as a process for discovery, and together, these students will complete a relevant research project. By involving TM students in research and demonstrating the usefulness of science and how the scientific method is used to solve problems, we will increase the scientific literacy of TM students and the probability that they will attend college and pursue a degree in science.