Education & Outreach
Harley, S. M. , Wachocki, B. A. .
An Introduction to Statistics Within a General Botany Course.
Weber State University is an open enrollment comprehensive institution. Consequently, many students in introductory level science classes have poor math skills and are often simultaneously enrolled in developmental mathematics courses. To reinforce for these students the importance of math skills in the sciences and provide subject-specific applications, we have increased the quantitative activities in our foundation course for Botany majors and minors, Plant Form and Function. Specifically, the students now use the statistical analysis functions available in common spreadsheet programs (Excel, SPSS) to analyze data collected in three exercises: comparison of stomatal density of lower epidermis and upper epidermis of leaves from a variety of different plants, adventitious root development in response to different concentrations of auxin, and seed production by plants grown under different fertilizer regimes. Once class data are collected, students assess variance (ANOVA) and then run a multiple comparison test or paired comparisons for significant differences between groups. The biggest challenge with the statistical analysis has been getting students to be comfortable with the idea that two means which are different actual numbers can indicate no difference between the response of a treatment group and that of a control group. The biggest challenge overall is still with basic arithmetic operations, such as calculating the area of the field of view used to count stomata.
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1 - Weber State University, Botany, 2504 University Circle, Ogden, UT, 84408-2504, USA
2 - Weber State University, Botany
Math Across the Curriculum.
Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM