Need: The Jackson State University Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (JSU-CURE) is a program designed to enhance the undergraduate STEM education offerings in the JSU Department of Biology, and in turn, better equip and prepare our underrepresented students for entrance into STEM-related professional careers. Guiding Questions: The purpose of this poster is to share ways by which the JSU-CURE mission was accomplished during the recent period when there were limited face-to-face interactions due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Our aim was to teach basic research skills in a safe, interesting, and course-based manner via remote virtual methods. Outcomes: The research activities employed included: 1) Locating, reading, and citing reliable resources, 2) Making observations, and producing a written scientific report complete with Purpose, Objectives, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, and Reference sections, and 3) Designing, performing, and writing a scientific report describing the experiment. Examples of the experiments conducted included: 1) Seed germination under various environmental conditions, 2) Plant Propagation under various environmental conditions, and 3) Discussions of common objects such as flowers, fruits, or leaves, which required observations, research, annotated photos, and scientific reports. One of the activities that students found especially enjoyable was Plant Propagation. Broader Impacts: The ultimate goal of the JSU-CURE Program is to transform traditionally taught lectures and labs into courses that actively engage students in authentic scientific inquiry through inquiry-based instruction. The project will also enhance undergraduate academic performances by: developing their research skill-sets, stimulating their interests in discovering and understanding the intricacies within the biological sciences, and preparing them for entry into graduate studies and/or STEM workforce.
Gloria Miller, LaDonnya Drummond, Barbara Graham, Jacqueline Stevens, and Timothy Turner Jackson State University, Jackson, MS