Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The program, funded by a grant from Toshiba America Foundation, creatively used a “pollination unit” to introduce middle school students to activities that scientists typically engage in: asking questions, conducting experiments, recording data, and drawing conclusions. Simultaneously, the students learned about their local flora and fauna, how plants and insects interact for mutual benefit, and how technology contributes to scientific research. A unique part of the program was a conference held on campus at which students presented their results to peers, academics, stakeholders, a representative of the funding agency, and community members.
OSU participants included entomologists, a botanist, the director of the scanning electron microscope facility, and an entomology graduate student who was supported by a National Science Foundation GK–12 grant.
The NSF grant for enriching science education in rural schools in Oregon was used to place OSU graduates and undergraduates in K-12 classrooms and to develop and implement hands-on inquiry-based activities (Rao et al. 2003). With the funding from Toshiba America Foundation, we obtained resources for a new pollination unit, supported visits to the university campus, and provided students with the experience of attending a conference similar to professional society meetings.
This material is based upon work sup ported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372 and from a grant from Toshiba America Foundation. We thank teachers Carol Stevens, Patricia Adams, Susan Miller, Nick Acey, Lori Greenfield, and Paul Bradley for support during program implementation, and to and community members Warren and Laurie Halsey for offering their ranch for student explorations.