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Project BudBurst: Involve Students in Climate Research

All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions This Web Seminar, developed in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, took place on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Dr. Kayri Havens, Director of Plant Science at Chicago Botanic Garden and Co-Manager of Project BudBurst introduced the session by discussing phenology as the science that measures the timing of life cycle events in all organisms. Researchers and recreational observers have all contributed to this type of study that is becoming more significant as we track the changes in our climate with greater scrutiny. Phenology is the basis of the work of Project BudBurst and collecting local data on plant species by students for research. Dr. Havens also gave a brief overview of how this research helps to describe and understand the effects of climate change.

Dr. Sandra Henderson, Project Budburst Director and Manager for Professional Development Programs is a science educator at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Office of Education and Outreach in Boulder, Colorado, followed up with more information about Project BudBurst and the online teaching materials and tools that teachers can use to get their students interested in their local environment by participating in this national project at all grade levels.

Fifty (50) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenters, the NSDL moderator, and NSTA staff. Educators represented the states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “Another great resource to share with teachers.”

  • “I plan on using this program with my club and maybe in class also.”

  • “I learned about Budburst a year or so ago but this has given me both the info and a nudge to use it.”

  • “I am always looking for ways to involve my students in real science projects that move them outside of their own little areas. And I have a year long project on climate change that always benefits from new ideas.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenters for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!

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