CS-2-3 - Plant science learning activities for biomedical students

Sunday, July 15
1:43 PM - 2:03 PM

Southern Illinois Bridges to the Baccalaureate is a National Institutes of Health program that prepares underserved community college students for success at four-year universities by providing them personalized mentorship, research experiences and social capital. Here we present learning activities specifically designed for these biomedical students that are aligned with the shared core competencies and concepts for undergraduate biology education outlined by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society of Plant Biologists, Botanical Society of America, and National Science Foundation. To engage in the scientific process, select community college students participated in an eight-week summer research experience and preparatory lab class held at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). Through plant-based lab activities, students learned the significance of positive and negative controls in experimental design and data analysis. The relationship between structure and function was explored through student-designed experiments on Arabidopsis seed coat mucilage. Students used quantitative reasoning to analyze light-microscopy data to compare different Arabidopsis genotypes. They then leveraged online gene expression and interactome data sets to interpret their results. Students progressively strengthened their scientific communication skills throughout the program by routine oral presentations and discussions of plant genetics in societal terms. Collaboration skills were emphasized throughout the program as students worked in groups on learning activities. Independence was fostered through individualized research projects that culminated in a capstone scientific poster presentation at the SIUC Summer Research Forum. Student perceived learning gains, as determined by the Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience survey (Lopatto, 2004), show increased interest in earning advanced degrees in biological science. 



Laxmi Sagwan – Southern Illinois University - Carbondale; Shayla Gunn – Southern Illinois University - Carbondale; Kristina Jordan – Southern Illinois University - Carbondale; Nicholas Flowers – Southern Illinois University - Carbondale; Karen Renzaglia – Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Jessica Lucas

Assistant Professor
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale


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CS-2-3 - Plant science learning activities for biomedical students

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