Vicechair: Aimee T. Lee, University of Southern Mississippi
8:30 DESIGNING A BIOLOGY TRAIL
Aimee T. Lee, Richard Watkins *, and Rosalina V. Hairston, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406
The Biological Sciences Learning Center at USM, formerly known as the Frazier Museum of Natural Science, is a focal point for the University's biology program. We are in the process of building a multipurpose Center that plays an important role in undergraduate instruction, teacher training in the life sciences, and outreach to the community. The Center's experience-based learning environment incorporates an interactive, dynamic museum and modern instructional technology, including Web-based instruction. We reach out to the community to improve biology education and scientific literacy through Center programs, such as the Biology Trail, which is designed for all ages. Last year alone, faculty and graduate students working within the Center welcomed several hundred school-age youth plus their teachers and parents, several church youth groups, cub scouts, adult learners, and provided informal science education for all of our guests. We have designed a Biology Trail consisting of several stations dispersed aroun d campus where we engage the students by asking questions appropriate to their various educational levels. We encourage them to answer the questions using all of their senses. In the future, we plan to design more interactive displays that can be incorporated into the Biology Trail.
8:45 SERVICE LEARNING AND SCIENCE: THE SCOTT AQUARIUM/BILOXI SCHOOL DISTRICT LIGHTHOUSE PROJECT
Howard Walters (1) *, Sue Durbin (2), Becky Espey (1), Tom Schnaubelt (3), and Becky Denham (3), (1) J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium, Biloxi, MS 39530; (2) Biloxi School District, Biloxi, MS; and (3) The Center for Community and Civic Engagement
Through the Learn and Serve America Program of the Corporation for National and Community Service--the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, USM's J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium, and the Biloxi School District have implemented an innovative partnership. Combining ocean and aquatic sciences education, basic skills development, and community service learning, the partners believe students will be motivated and prepared for community leadership as they mature to adulthood, and have an enhanced understanding of oceanic and aquatic ecosystems. Other aspects of this innovative program include establishing an externally funded informal science educator within the operational structure of an elementary school, and developing curricular materials which link science and community service.
9:00 MOTIVATION AND LEARNING STRATEGIES OF DISTANCE LEARNERS
Beth Dunigan* and Kenneth J. Curry, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406
During the summer semester of 2002, an online undergraduate course, BSC 305, Evolution, was conducted by a team consisting of Ken Curry, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, and three Science Education graduate students, Sheila Hendry, Karen Ng, and Beth Dunigan. Research on student motivation and learning strategies was conducted during the course. This research was based on the theory of self-regulated learning and data was collected using the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire for measuring motivational and learning strategies. Data on motivation were collected at the beginning of the semester and data on the learning strategies were collected at the end of the semester. Scores from each subheading were correlated to the final grades. Additionally, qualitative data were collected throughout the semester in order to determine the learning strategies of these students and if students changed their learning strategies during the semester. Preliminary findings indicate that the following su bscales may predict achievement in online courses: elaboration, organization, critical thinking, and effort management. Additionally, students indicated that as long as they kept up with the reading, and read for understanding, they would do well in the course.
9:15 DEVELOPMENT OF AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE GRAND BAY NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE PROPERTY IN GAUTIER, MISSISSIPPI
Kelli McCutcheon* and Jennifer Buchanan, Cooperative Intern Program, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College--Jackson County Campus, Gautier, MS 39553, and Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Biloxi, MS 39530
The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve was the setting for a study, which analyzed land use changes within the general vicinity of the reserve during the 20th century using both historical accounts received through one-on-one interviews with senior citizens and interpretations of aerial photography. The researchers identified elder members of the community who lived most of their lives in proximity to the reserve, developed an appropriate standardized survey that was used to interview these older members of the nearby community, interviewed the seniors and documented with audio tape their historical accounts. Additionally, the researchers surveyed the reserve vicinity to document current land uses, and drafted land use maps in Arcview to document land use changes over time.
10:00 CONVERSION AND PRESERVATION OF 35 MM SLIDES TO DIGITAL FORMAT
Michelle Jordan* and Kay Baggett, Cooperative Intern Program, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College--Jackson County Campus, Gautier, MS 39553, and University of Southern Mississippi, J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium, Biloxi, MS 39530
The evolution of audio-visual media increasingly creates issues of compatibility of format, equipment availability, and technical expertise of users. A more critical and often overlooked issue is the failure of most libraries to preserve and convert valuable data--from visual and pictorial to numeric and text-based--to formats compatible with the latest hardware. Consequently, historic collections of tapes, slides, and films which contain useful data are many times not accessible due to format. The 35 mm slide collection at the MEC&A contains thousands of visual images of biological organisms and habitats which may be of use in educational publications and scientific studies in the future. This project continued the conversion of these slides to digital, JPEG format and laid the groundwork for eventual archiving of the slides.
10:15 WALTER ANDERSON'S ART AND HIS INTERACTIONS WITH THE HORN ISLAND ECOSYSTEM
Jamie L. Lambert (*) and Patricia Pinson, Cooperative Intern Program, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College-Jackson County Campus, Gautier, MS 39553, and The Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Ocean Springs, MS 39564
Walter Anderson loved Horn Island, and he spent much of his time there. The ecosystem and the artist became one and the same at times--at least in spirit. The primary objective of this project was to evaluate Walter Anderson's interaction with the Horn Island ecosystem, and its effects on his art, through a study of his Horn Island Logs, related paintings and drawings, and an interview with his son, John Anderson. Through reading the Logs, and examining his Horn Island related art, a relationship between the ecosystem and Anderson's art can be observed. The study results allow one to see Anderson's connection with the island through his art.
10:30 Divisional Business Meeting
10:45 Divisional Poster Session
ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY NUTRITION PUBLIC LEARNING UTILIZATION SYSTEM HEALTH AND FITNESS RESEARCH PROJECT
Deborah Caples (*), Franklin Jackson, Rafida Idris, and Samuel Besong, Alcorn State University, Alcorn State, MS 39069
The Nutrition PLUS Health and Fitness Research Project investigated the lifestyles changes of the rural community inhabitants in Southern Mississippi. The objective of this project was to decrease high fat foods consumption and improve healthy lifestyle through knowledge enhancement and modification of sensitive cultural practices that promote obesity. African American men and women were recruited for the 10-week N-PLUS Health and Fitness Project. Data was collected in the Client's Tracking and Evaluation Folders. A pre-post evaluation questionnaire was administered to measure the model design and learning objectives. The instruments used for the evaluation were the Social Learning Theory, Social Cognitive Theory and the Health Beliefs Models to assess levels of changes in behavior. Means and percentages were determined to evaluate the difference between variables. A medical history of chronic disease was reported in 92% of the subjects. Obesity ranked 77%, hypertension ranked 50%, and heart disease ranked 27 % with 95% of the subjects showing body weights above the Body Mass Index (BMI) standards. The education level of 67% of the subjects was less than 15 years. Data analysis showed an average mean score of 3-4 pounds weight loss in 77% of the subjects, with 73% showing improvements in diastolic and systolic blood pressure readings. The consumption of vegetable and dairy products increased 28%, while the consumption of high fat foods deceased by 24%.
Resume Regular Session
11:00 GULF COAST RESEARCH LABORATORY: SERVING MISSISSIPPI FOR FIFTY-FIVE YEARS
Joyce K. Stone (*) and Joyce M. Shaw, Cooperative Intern Program, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College-Jackson County Campus, Gautier, MS 39553, and University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, MS 39566
The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) is a unique institution serving the citizens of the State of Mississippi State agencies such as MS Department of Marine Sciences and MS Department of environmental Quality use scientific research results and analyses generated by GCRL to make management and conservation decisions which impact the live of Mississippians. GCRL scientists have been appointed to state advisory boards and continue to serve the state in this way today. The purpose of this project is to identify the people, projects, and publications that illustrate the interactions and connections of GCRL with its sister agencies. A bibliography of publications generated by GCRL personnel working on state supported projects and GCRL staff who have served in advisory or leadership positions at state agencies, with a special focus on Dr. William Walker, Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and former GCRL scientist and administrator, was added to an existing database. Information gathere d for this project was presented in a poster format at the 2003 annual meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences.
11:15 DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A HANDS-ON UNIT OF INSTRUCTION FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS
Cheryl Rodgers (*), Ron Carstens, and Teresa Callahan, Cooperative Intern Program, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College-Jackson County Campus, Gautier, MS 39553, and Magnolia Park Elementary School, Ocean Springs, MS 39564
The primary objective of the rocket/solar system unit was to develop children's understanding of the relationship the earth has with other objects within our solar system. The intern assisted the teacher at Magnolia Park Elementary School in providing hands-on activities that allowed children to visualize a trip from the Earth on rockets to explore other objects found throughout our universe. The intern assisted students in building and launching an Alpha III model rocket. The final phase of the project was to guide students in identifying special characteristics that distinguish each planet/object found in our solar system. After discussion with the instructor, a pre-test was given to assess beginning student knowledge. A post-test was administered to determine the knowledge gains as a result of participation in the unit of study.
11:30 A SUCCESSFUL GRE STUDY PROGRAM: THREE YEARS OF RESULTS
Carolyn E. Beck, Susan W. Bourland *, and Frederick E. Varnado, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406
One of the widely believed myths about the GRE is that original test scores cannot be significantly increased. Our success in assisting students in raising scores through participation in a study program refutes this myth. The study program was developed to assist McNair scholars in increasing GRE scores to enhance their ability to enter graduate schools and in acquiring funding for graduate education. The program consists of classes lasting four hours daily for three days a week for a nine week summer session. Classes focus upon reviews of basic math skills (arithmetic, algebra, and geometry) and verbal skills exercises. Additional emphasis is placed on learning the skills needed to master the test itself. Minimal time is spent on the analytical section of the test. A variety of learning activities were designed to maintain interest in the course and include lectures, problem solving sessions, computer drills, small group studies, and game playing. Students were tested using full-length computer adaptive te sts before beginning the program, at midterm and at the end of the period. Scholars then completed the actual GRE exam. Results over three summers have shown increases in scores of 300 points for the majority of students, with some gaining as many as 600 points on the three part test. The final program test score is an excellent predictor of actual exam results.
11:45 TRANSFORMATIONS FROM TRADITIONAL TO INVESTIGATIVE STUDENT-ACTIVE INTRODUCTORY COLLEGE BIOLOGY
Rosalina V. Hairston * and Aimee T. Lee, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406
The objective of this study was to improve the content, method of instruction, and delivery of two sequential introductory college biology courses. A two-week summer workshop was conducted for biology instructors and graduate teaching assistants to develop competency in designing and teaching investigative laboratory activities, use constructivist teaching methods and cooperative learning, and integrate educational technologies in the lecture and laboratory. During the fall, weekly meetings of graduate teaching assistants and the freshman laboratory coordinators provided feedback on students' perception and performance on investigative activities. A quantitative analysis was used to assess the students' knowledge of biology and science process skills using pretest-posttest control versus experimental group research design. Significant differences and correlation were found in the scores of the experimental group on science process skills and biology content knowledge demonstrating change in student achieveme nt is influenced by the reform initiative. A qualitative evaluation was conducted by triangulation of several data sources. The qualitative analysis revealed that students have a positive attitude toward the use of educational technologies such as computer simulations, the Internet, and Calculator-Based Laboratory systems. The students' open-ended investigation projects indicated their ability to effectively transfer learning from models and simulations to solving real-life problems.
1:00 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES LEARNING CENTER SERVES MULTIPLE FUNCTIONS WITHIN UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY
Andrea L. Johnson * and Aimee T. Lee, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406
The Biological Sciences Learning Center at the University of Southern Mississippi serves as the base for the freshmen biology program, as well as providing the university community with an easily accessible location in which to explore basic biology and related concepts. The primary focus of the Learning Center is to arm undergraduates with a working knowledge of the building blocks of biology and s park further interest in science through laboratory investigations. Through various interactive displays, students are allowed to explore such concepts as bacterial reproduction, population genetics, mollusk and arthropod diversity, the teeth and bones of vertebrates, and fossil remains. These displays range from basic shell and bone exhibits to more advanced presentations providing evidence and timelines depicting forms of evolutionary change. Varying levels of facts and concepts are presented within these displays, allowing students from diverse ages, backgrounds, and intellectual stages to experience the exhib its on multiple levels, or those levels appropriate to each individual. In addition to serving the university, the Learning Center provides an outreach program welcoming students and individuals from local schools and organizations to explore the resources on hand. The Learning Center also serves a dual function by providing graduate and undergraduate students of the biological sciences department with a venue in which to learn strategies conducive to teaching others and gain the confidence needed for future science-based education careers.
1:15 ACTIVE LEARNING STRATEGIES IN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE MICROBIOLOGY CLASS
Mary F. Lux, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406
Active learning strategies can be used to promote student participation in the learning process. Active learning, an important component of laboratory exercises, can also be included as part of the lecture portion of the course. The students who participated in this study were enrolled into sections of Microbiology for the Summer, 2002 session at the Forrest County Allied Health Campus of Pearl River Community College. Both sections met weekly for a five-hour block of time. The Monday section started as the control section and participated in limited active learning activities during lecture. The test section met on Thursday. In the test section, lecture time was used to promote active learning strategies such as creating illustrations, completing tables, and working in small groups. The same of content, text, and tests were used for both classes. Students completed a pretest on the first day first class day of each section, and the identical 10 questions were incorporated into a 100 item final exam. The resu lts of the study yielded the following average percentage scores for a pretest, post test, and final, respectively: Monday, 14, 47, 83 and Thursday, 13, 72, 91. The higher (post) test scores for the Thursday (test) group suggest that the active learning activities increased student learning.
1:45 INFUSION OF TECHNOLOGY INTO THE ELEMENTARY SCIENCE METHODS CLASSES
Lawrence Bellipanni (1) *, Janie Green (2), Greg Bellipanni (2), Deanna Buckley (1), and Rudy Sirochman (1), (1) University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406, and (2) Hattiesburg Public School District, Hattiesburg, MS 39401
The Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Southern Mississippi is dedicated to providing students with best practices based on research in teaching and learning in science and mathematics. The purpose of this project from the Center is to teach 100-150 preservice elementary teachers, over a two year period, to design effective instruction using the tools of technology that are available in most public school classrooms in South Mississippi. By incorporating lessons in Science for Elementary Teachers (SCE 432) on unit design using power point, which can be loaded on the Center's server, carefully designed web pages are instantly available to the teacher candidate on the day of the practicum lesson from the public school classroom. Administering the GALT to the experimental and control groups of SCE 432 students will determine the effectiveness of developing logical thinking in using this technology. Our interest is in determining if using technology will have an effect on the practi cum students logical thinking processes. Our vision is to facilitate quality math and science instruction in elementary classrooms as well as providing experience using the tools that can make that instruction most effective. Our elementary teacher candidates, upon the completion of this experience will be literate in both power point presentations and web based design for their own classrooms in the future.
2:00 COMPOSITE ACT SCORES PREDICT SUCCESS IN INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY CLASSES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
Wendy J. Garrison*, Paul K. Lago, Lucile M. McCook, and Gail E. Stratton, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677
As part of a continuing analysis of how to best serve our students, our objective was to see whether ACT scores were good predictors of student success, as measured by grade, in our classes. ACT scores and final grades were obtained from the University's Academic Support Center. Identifying information such as student name and ID was not used. Data were pooled for 875 students in our nonmajors (BISC102) sections for Fall 2001, and for nearly 400 students each year in majors (BISC160) for Fall 1999, 2000, and 2001. The percent of students with A, B, C, D, and F grades was graphed as a function of ACT score. We found that for non majors the composite ACT score at which students had a 50/50 chance of getting an A, B, or C was 18, whereas in the majors' class it was 24. Based on a chi square test, the results were significant p << 0.001. In addition, a steadily increasing proportion of high grades were seen with increasing ACT scores. All entering freshmen planning to take majors biology are now informed of our f indings and those with ACT scores below 22 may choose to take the nonmajors course first. In the nonmajors' classes, we are keeping the results in mind when reviewing the efficacy of new teaching methods.
2:15 EXPANSION OF PROJECT S.U.R.G.E.: USING BIOLOGICAL MODELS TO TEACH ABOUT REDUCED GRAVITY
Jennifer Anderson*, Christina Watters, Brittney Hemba, Brian Robinson, Michael Dodge, Brian D. Ortman, and Patricia M. Biesiot, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406
Project S.U.R.G.E. (Students Understanding Reduced Gravity Environments) is a traveling presentation that provides information and gives demonstrations on reduced gravity environments to K-12 students in southern Mississippi. The presentation is intended to increase exposure to and interest in science and technology, particularly microgravity research, before students reach the college level. Project S.U.R.G.E. fulfills the outreach requirements of NASA's Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program (RGSFOP) which invites college students to propose, design, and perform a reduced gravity experiment aboard NASA's KC-135 aircraft (the "Weightless Wonder"). Project S.U.R.G.E, as developed in 2001 by a RGSFOP team of undergraduates from USM's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, focused on physical aspects of reduced gravity. In 2002, our RGSFOP team, from USM's Department of Biological Sciences (BSC), introduced biological components. BSC's Project S.U.R.G.E. activities include a PowerPoint lecture on various gravity conditions and how they are achieved. In addition, an age-appropriate lecture is given on the 2002 RGSFOP biological study, a comparison of the effect of altered gravity conditions on swimming and orientation by two unrelated species of gelatinous zooplankton, a comb jelly and a jellyfish. Hands-on student activities include manipulation of a model statocyst, the invertebrate equivalent to the human inner ear, and a chair-spinning experiment that demonstrates the disorienting effects of microgravity on the human body.
2:30 STUDY OF CYTOTOXIC EFFECTS AND DNA FINGERPRINTING ON THE MCF-7 BREAST CANCER CELL LINE
Duana Meseyton (1) (*), Robert L. Elliott (2), Jonathan F. Head (2), and Xianpeng Jiang (2), Delta State University (1), Cleveland, MS 38733, and The Elliott-Haley-Head Mastology Research and Treatment Center (2), Baton Rouge, LA 70816
The Elliott-Haley-Head Mastology Research Center is dedicated in their pursuit of a cure for breast cancer, which continues to be the primary cancer observed in women in the 21st century. This rigorous and imperative task involves learning more about the characteristics of the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line with regards to the cytotoxicity of agents such as Ga, Ga-tf, and Nifedipine, and also towards the effects of certain genes, such as IL-6, IL-6R, G3PDH, and VEGF, on the MCF-7 genetic make up. Cytotoxicity experiments and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactions were the basis for finding this information. A presentation of techniques, an explanation of methods, and a results analysis will be shown by power point presentation.
2:45 GULF OF MEXICO-CENTER FOR OCEAN SCIENCES EDUCATION EXCELLENCE (COSEE)
Sharon H. Walker (1) (*), John Dindo (2), Michael Spranger (3), Richard Tinnin (4), Jessica Kastler (5), and Dan Brook (6), University of Southern Mississippi (1), Ocean Springs, MS 39564; Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory (2), Dauphin Island, AL 36528; University of Florida (3), Gainesville, FL 32601; The University of Texas Marine Science Center (4), Port Aransas, TX 78373; Louisiana University Marine Consortium (5), Cocodrie, LA 70344; and Mississippi State University (6), Starkville, MS 39759
This COSEE-Gulf of Mexico effort will use the thematic areas of habitats and organisms, marine technology, and physical parameters that exist within the five, Gulf Coast States to promote an enhanced awareness and understanding of ocean sciences. This is one of the seven COSEEs funded in the U.S. and is being supported by NSF, NOAAOAR-Sea Grant and ONR/NOPP. This COSEE will physically be located at The University of Southern Mississippi's Scott Aquarium in Biloxi. Satellite COSEEs will be located at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, the University of Texas' Marine Science Institute, the University of Florida Sea Grant Extension Program and its Museum of Natural History, and the Louisiana Marine Sciences Consortium. Additional assistance will be provided by Mississippi State University the University of New Orleans, the Louisiana Public Broadcasting Station, the U.S. Navy, the National Marine Educators Association, and the National Science Teachers Association. Over a two-year period, this COSEE collaborative will r each 240 "first-tier" teachers and their 360,000 students, a potential 4,800 "second-tier" teachers, and their 504,000 students, a potential of hundreds of researchers, 700 informal educators, 34 undergraduate students, and approximately 800.000 interested public, thereby creating an improved understanding of the oceans' dynamics and the scientific research being conducted within the partnering institutions and outreach facilities. Each of the satellite COSEE facilities has ocean scientists, graduate, and undergraduate students, and ocean sciences educators who will implement the objectives of this effort.
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|Title Annotation:||techniques, projects, and experiments|
|Publication:||Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2003|
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