Maintaining a Vital Resource: A Prairie Burn at Two Mile Prairie Elementary!

burn at Two Mile Prairie Elementary

A controlled burn at Two Mile Prairie Elementary

ShowMe Nature GK-12 Fellow, Stephanie Schuttler, and her teacher mentor, Rob Allen, coordinated a controlled burn of the prairie at Two Mile Prairie Elementary (TMP) on Thursday, 11 October.

The burn was a complete success thanks to the efforts of Chris Newbold of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Lea Langdon of the Outdoor Classroom organization, with help from TMP teachers and MU students. Prairies, like many Missouri ecosystems, need fire to maintain healthy habitat for their native plants and animals.

fellow Stephanie Schuttler

ShowMe Nature GK-12 fellow Stephanie Schuttler and her teacher mentor Rob Allen at the burn.

The prairie at TMP is also a field site for research by 4th and 5th graders at TMP with funding from a ShowMe Nature GK-12 Mini-Grant. The collaborative effort between the Columbia Public School District, MDC, and MU ensures that the prairie will remain a valuable outdoor learning environment and a healthy habitat for the organisms that call it home. Congratulations to everyone involved!

The Fall 2012 Science Safari was a success!

Congratulations to our 2012 GK-12 ShowMe Nature fellows for creating a terrific science excursion, “Science Safari: Scientists in the Natural Habitats!” for students from their host classrooms.

On September 24th, 36 fourth and fifth grade students from the Columbia Public School District participated in science-in-action as they visited several labs at MU and worked directly on research projects with their graduate student guides. These students figured out how bacterial infection alters the growth of plants; they experimented with detergent to learn how its cleaning power in the lab relates to the fat content of contaminants; they created landscape models of to explore threats of global warming to alpine organisms, and they discovered similarities between light and sound. During a Science Round the Table activity, MU faculty and graduate students delighted the young scientists with close up views of bacteria, models of cells, techno tools for visualizing fire temperature, and adventures in tree ring science! The day wrapped up with a walk out doors for a picnic treat from Buck’s Ice Cream Place and a chance to enjoy a beautiful fall day.

The students left with a passport full of stamps from the day’s activities, tons of new knowledge, and the satisfaction of earning their scientist stripes!

 

Sandra K. Abell Award won by Stephanie Schuttler 2011-12

Stephanie-Abell-Fellow-2011-12

Stephanie Schuttler, GK-12 Fellow

Stephanie Schuttler, a GK-12 Fellow working with 5th grade teachers Robert Allen (Two Mile Prairie ) and Rachel Mozzacco (Cedar Ridge) received the first Sandra K. Abell Scholarship Award for Excellence in Science Outreach.

The Abell award honors the memory of Dr. Sandra K. Abell, beloved and internationally renown former director of the SW Bell Science Education Center at MU.

Funding from the Abell Award will allow Stephanie, a PhD student in Lori Eggert’s lab (MU Biological Sciences), to continue her GK-12 work with Robert Allen creating a Natural Resources curriculum at Two Mile Prairie in the Fall, 2012.

The first ShowMe Nature GK12 Research Symposium

The first ShowMe Nature GK12 Research Symposium was held at the Bond Life Sciences Center on April 28 in collaboration with MU’s acclaimed Saturday Morning Science Series. Students shared posters based on their mini-grant funded research projects with proud family members, teachers, graduate fellows and MU faculty. Staff from the Missouri Department of Conservation and Fisheries and Wildlife Service pitched in with hands-on science for children and families. Fourth and fifth grade teams from Benton, Fairview, Lee, Cedar Ridge, Two Mile Prairie, and West Elementary Schools made the science of schoolyard ecosystems, weather forecasting, sustainable energy, plant growth and animal behavior come alive by combining posters with hands-on demos. The Symposium was followed by a keynote presentation given by Dr. Marianne Krasny, nationally acclaimed leader of the Garden Mosaics civic ecology project. It was truly a day for celebrating a year of science learning and discovery in our GK12 classrooms!

A Capitol Time: ShowMe Nature Goes To Washington

The ShowMe Nature GK-12 team travelled to Washington DC in mid-March to conduct an invited workshop on mini-grants at the National Science Foundation GK-12 Conference.

mr allen in washington

From left to right, Fellow Stephanie Schuttler, Postdoc, Nicole Miller-Struttmann, Two Mile Prairie Fifth Grade Teacher, Robert Allen and Fellow, Logan Decker enjoy a moment with urban wildlife in the nation’s capital.

GK12-team-in-Washington-with-poster

From left to right: Postdoc Nicole Miller-Struttmann; PI, Dr. Candi Galen; GK-12 Fellow Stephanie Schuttler;  Two Mile Prairie Fifth Grade Teacher, Robert Allen; and GK-12 Fellow, Logan Decker.

Check out our poster, “ShowMe Nature GK-12: It works because great minds don’t always think alike.”

ShowMe Nature GK-12 Hosts Another Successful Science Safari!

Congratulations to the GK-12 ShowMe Nature Fellows for another highly successful “Science Safari: Scientists in their Natural Habitats.”

On Friday, February 10th, 40 fourth and fifth grade students from the Columbia Public School District participated in science-in-action as they assisted MU scientists in their research. The young scientists discovered the chemistry and genetics of smell, conducted studies using the circulatory system of a model organism, determined the age and sex of elephants by measuring and extracting DNA from their ‘dung’, and diagnosed the health of a wetland using insects as bio-indicators. During the Winter Wonderland activity, MU faculty and graduate students engaged students in the science of infra-red imagery, the ecology of Missouri salamanders, and the chemistry of frost-resistant frogs. The day wrapped up with Buck’s Ice Cream, and a new cohort of young scientists left with tons of new knowledge and a personal experience of the scientific process!

All told, it was a great day for the students and the ShowMe Nature GK-12 team, and we look forward to introducing more of Columbia’s elementary students to science-in-practice during our next Science Safari in the fall!

Read more: Division of Biological Sciences News

The Fall 2011 Science Safari was a Success!

Congratulations to our 2011 GK-12 ShowMe Nature fellows for creating a terrific science excursion, “Science Safari: Scientists in the Natural Habitats!” for students from their host classrooms.

On October 28th, 32 fourth and fifth grade students from the Columbia Public School District participated in science-in-action as they visited several labs at MU and worked directly on research projects with their graduate student guides. These students read tree rings to travel “back in time” exploring Missouri as it looked hundreds of years ago; they extracted DNA from “elephant poop”, used pond organisms as bio-indicators to determine the health of a wetland, and discovered how insects communicate through vibration. During a Trick-or-Treat activity, MU faculty and graduate students delighted the young scientists with tricks that included live snakes, frogs, katydids, and more!

The day wrapped up with a treat at Buck’s Ice Cream Place where the students learned a bit(e) about the science of food. The students left with a passport full of souvenirs from the day’s activities, tons of new knowledge, and personal experience with the scientific process!

[source: Columbia Tribune]