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ERIC Number: EJ863716
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
Undergraduates as Science Museum Docents: Training Students to Be the Teachers Using Peer Led Team Learning
Pyatt, Robert E.; Rosser, Tracie; Powell, Kelly
American Biology Teacher, v71 n1 p16-19 Jan 2009
From June 2004 through January of 2005, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta hosted the traveling exhibit, "The Genomic Revolution," described as the most comprehensive presentation on the complex subject of genomics. Originally created by the American Museum of Natural History, this exhibit presented cutting edge information on genetic research and how that knowledge is "impacting decisions about health, food, and stewardship of the natural world." In addition to displays featuring hands-on models, interactive stations, and short films, the exhibition also included a working laboratory where attendees could experience firsthand the techniques used in modern genetics research through short exercises in DNA extraction and forensic analysis. Electronic polling stations were also placed throughout the exhibit space so visitors could voice their opinions on controversial scientific issues and compare their responses with the accumulated views of other attendees. By examining these scientific breakthroughs and their potential applications in areas like medicine, nutrition, and the legal system, visitors could evaluate their own reactions from scientific, technical, and socio-ethical perspectives. The museum is typically self-guided but because of the complexity of the topic and the functional lab within the exhibit, it was decided to staff "The Genomic Revolution" with a team of paid undergraduate interns. A docent (derived from the latin word "docere" meaning to teach) serves as a bridge between the museum and the attendees, acting as the face and voice of the collection and interpreting it for the visitors. This article discusses the docent's training using peer led team learning. (Contains 1 figure and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia