Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Harley, Sue [1].

A series of case studies to address misconceptions about the process of science.

Many students in introductory college science classes have misconceptions about how scientific investigations are conducted. They often arrive in college ready to describe the “Scientific Method” as a precisely sequenced series of numbered steps that are used to conduct an experiment.  To broaden their perspective of what a scientific investigation might entail, I use a series of three case studies. The first is based on a paper by Brodmann et al. (2009). The researchers are testing an hypothesis that explains several observations that they have made about the interaction between Dendrobium sinense and its hornet pollinator Vespa bicolor. Their investgation includes a straight forward experiment with several controls. The second case study is based on research by Fadzly et al. (2009). These researchers took advantage of a natural experiment to test their hypothesis that the developmental stage changes in the morphology of the leaves of the New Zealand lancewood (Pseudopanax crassifolius) were an adaptation to reduce herbivory by now extinct moa. The last case is about making predictions about what you would expect to find in nature if our understanding about evolution and adaptations is supported. The example explored here is Charles Darwin’s prediction as to the identity of the pollinator of the Madagascar Star Orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale). These cases collectively are an eye-opening experience for many students. They had not realized the scope of how the scientific process is applied to study the natural world.

1 - Weber State University, Department Of Botany, 1415 Edvalson St, Dept 2504, Ogden, UT, 84408, United States

Case Study
introductory botany
scientific method.

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEO015
Abstract ID:995
Candidate for Awards:None

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