Our paper is finally available online at the Center for Case Study Teaching in Science! I am so pleased with this teaching resource and cannot wait for it to be used in undergraduate classrooms. My students in Animal Behavior (BZ 300) just completed the case study and are practically experts on gene-by-environment interactions.
“Even people in Alabama could be tricked into learning evolution with such an engaging program .” This is a quote from my mom, who happened to be visiting from Alabama when we launched our guppy kits this week. Along with my mom, local teachers came to CSU to try out the kits as part of an amazing event hosted by the CNS EOC. The teachers were quite impressed; most of them want to use the kits in classrooms next year! As a special treat, Stephanie Simmons attended. She is one of the 7th-grade teachers that helped me design the original program on which we based the kits. *pictures*
Jacqueline Broder and Stephanie Simons work through a guppy kit.
I got to talk about my work on the radio! Since it was live, it was much scary than I thought it would be, but also a lot of fun! You can listen to the 20-minute interview here: http://sustainability.colostate.edu/engagement/media-archives
Thanks for the opportunity Patricia Salerno, Adam Dillon, and Travis Gallo. They run the Sustainability Hour Radio Show and do a fantastic job.
I was so excited to read Oberliessen et al.’s paper in this month’s Animal Behaviour issue. Their study shows that rats understand fairness. “Our findings are consistent with the notion that a sense of fairness may have evolved long before humans emerged. [It] may therefore be a basic organizational principle, shared by many social species, that shapes the intricate social dynamics of individuals interrelating in larger groups” (Oberliessen et al. 2016).
This takes me back to a eureka moment when I was an undergraduate in Patty Gowaty’s animal behavior class. We read Frans de Waal’s book Our Inner Ape, which convinced me that primates follow the golden rule and have a sense of morality. Wow! Primates and now rats are “moral.” How special are humans after all?
We hosted groups of students + parents today as part of the Colorado Science and Engineering Fair. We set up 5 engaging, inquiry-based stations that highlighted the research that is underway in the guppy group at CSU. At each hands-on station, the parents enthusiastically answered questions before the students could!
Take-home message from today: You are never too old to be captivated by science
Students learned about mating behavior and genitalia at my station,
guppy parasites with Porsche Robison,
Thanks Rachel Bockrath for your help. And last but not least, thanks so much to Michelle Moyer for taking such AMAZING photographs!!!
After a year of hard work, our self-guided guppy kits were ready for a test run on 3.25.2016. We were lucky enough to get a bright and engaged group of 7th-graders from Wellington Middle School that were willing to be our guinea pigs. They worked through the kit in pairs and thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on experiments with live animals. They gave us some great feedback, which we incorporate for round 2 on April 29th. Thanks for your support Ms. Jordan’s class! Check out my co-creator Emily Kane’s blog for details on the kit development. *pictures*
A story about our research made the front page! Rock stars
February 24, 2016
8th-graders from Bella Romero Academy present original research at FRSES 2016
Congrats to my Bella Romero collaborators! We presented our research at the CSU Front Range Student Ecology Symposium and won 1st place in the graduate student category! *photos*
Emily Kane and I presented our guppy kits at the SICB meeting this week, and they were a big hit. We are so excited about the enthusiasm from fellow biologists are gearing up to us this kits in classrooms this semester.
Students in the after school science club at Bella Romero Academy have been making serious progress on their research. They agreed on a question: how does guppy anti-predator behavior differ depending on the sense they use to perceive a threat? After generating some hypotheses, they designed and built experimental set-ups. We are already collecting data!
We have an auditory, haptic cue…
We have olfactory cues…
And last but not least, a visual cue.