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Students learn environmental stewardship, improve science scores
Date:12/11/2009

BATON ROUGE, LAKeeping with the global "green" trend, educators worldwide are relying more on environmental education lessons to enhance students' science knowledge. Studies have revealed that bringing environmental education into the curriculum raises not just science scoresenvironmental-based lessons can also improve student test scores in other subject areas. Naturally, educators are interested in developing new ways to integrate these relevant lessons into the classroom in hopes of piquing student interest and comprehension in multiple subject areas.

To accompany an established program called "Coastal Roots", educators in Louisiana recently designed and tested eight hands-on horticulture lessons to teach middle school students the basic needs, processes, and benefits of plants. Students who received the horticulture lessons were tested on science content and "environmental awareness". Significant increases in student post-test scores were found in both years of the study.

In 1999, The Louisiana Sea Grant College Program established ''Coastal Roots'' an innovative program designed to teach information on Louisiana's wetland loss and foster stewardship for the state's coastal resources in elementary through high school students. The program combines nursery management and coastal environmental awareness into a hands-on program in which students at participating schools grow coastal plants for use in local wetland restoration projects.

To compliment the nursery-based Coastal Roots program, the researchers designed eight hands-on lessons that take basic horticulture knowledge a step forward by introducing the importance of plants to Louisiana's wetlands. Kathryn Karsh, Edward Bush, Janice Hinson, and Pamela Blanchard from Louisiana State University published the study report in HortTechnology.

Four Louisiana schools participated in the LSU study. The schools were chosen from those participating in the Coastal Roots
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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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