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Wednesday March 20th and Thursday March 21st was the culmination of a five week research project on Plant Transpiration for students in the Integrated Introductory Biology and General Chemistry (iBC, BISC208/CHEM108) courses. Plant transpiration is the process of a plant taking up water to distribute to its leaves, stems, and flowers. Transpiration is crucial for overall plant function, and when it is interrupted can cause stress or even death.
Over the five week project students learned the basics of how plants function, how to design scientific experiments, what variables influence plant transpiration, and how to interpret and communicate their findings. They tested how wind, extra light, heat, cold, humidity, salinity, and chemical coatings affect plant function. Students received hands on experience in scientific exploration and experimentation, and learned how to deal with setbacks in research. The final assignment for this project had students presenting their final conclusions in the form of a scientific poster to their peers, Teaching Assistants, Preceptors, and Professors.
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Throughout this five week plant project students practiced skills in: experimental design, scientific research, data analysis, group work, basic biology and chemistry concepts, and communication. What will students be able to take away from this experience? Well organized and analyzed experimental findings that can be used to help show future employers their skills in scientific research and communication.