Melissa Remley, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO and Deanna Lankford, Office of Science Outreach, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
The University of Missouri Division of Plant Sciences and Office of Science Outreach are working with Missouri teachers to enhance the role of plant sciences in K-12 science curriculum through the program “Growing with Plant Science”. Plant-based lessons are being developed using the 5E instructional model to engage students with scientific inquiry. Teachers learn how to use plants as a focus for investigations which stimulate collaboration, critical thinking, data collection, and evidence based explanations. In turn, greater emphasis on plant biology in the classroom increases student knowledge on the importance of plants and future opportunities in plant sciences. Lessons and supporting materials are being disseminated through a “Growing with Plant Science” program website and teacher workshops including the Science Teachers of Missouri fall conference, Interface Conference, and on-campus programs.