The TULIP Project was started as a way of integrating
more "living" plants (not just tulips) into the science curriculum
for the elementary and middle schools in the School
District of Onalaska (SDO). This project has also served as a connection
between the University
of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UW-L), where I work as an Associate Professor
in the Biology Department, and the community
of Onalaska located in western
|Dr. Lucy Slinger (left) and Dr. Timothy Gerber collaborating
in the classroom.
The initial idea behind this project was to supply SDO teachers with
living plants and/or living plant parts and give them some information
to work these living materials into classroom lessons and science curricula.
Since the first tulip bulbs were planted (Fall 1998) by the entire 1st
grade class at Northern Hills Elementary, this project has snowballed
to include many other "activities" some of which are pictured
and/or described on this website.
This website was initially developed for an
Eisenhower-funded teacher professional development program, which included
working with Dr. Lucy Slinger (K-8 science education specialist, formerly
from UWL’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, see photo
developed though this grant will remain on this website
and new materials are being developed for future teacher professional
development activities and presentations.
As a result of establishing this TULIP Project, many people and organizations
have been connected to this program. For the past three summers, Dr.
Slinger and I have developed and run 3 workshops for the SDO teachers.
Many guests have visited or spoken during these workshops. Three graduate/undergraduate
students have worked directly with this project. Several artists have
given presentations connecting art with plants. Presentations at professional
science teacher organizations have been developed and given at NSTA,
NABT, and WSST. Several offshoots of the TULIP Project, including UWL
Undergraduate Research and Creativity grants, have helped promote using
living plants in the classroom. SDO teachers have also written grants
to improve science teaching for their students too.
Since I am a member of the Botanical
Society of America (BSA), you will
also find references to this organization as well as other professional
scientific organizations. The BSA is making an important effort to connect
with the general public by promoting the importance of plants to human
society. I am involved in
running workshops and helping with the BSA exhibitor booth at National
Science Teachers Association (NSTA) meetings. The BSA has also developed
an Educational Forum, which precedes the annual society meeting. The
first, hopefully annual, Educational Forum was held at the University
of Wisconsin-Madison (Aug, 2002), prior to the Botany 2002 meeting.
Many of the links you will find on this web page lead to other professional
organizations involved in K-12 education (and not just exclusively for
plants either). An increasing number of professional science organizations
are providing K-12 and public outreach. The American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has an excellent website, Project 2061,
which provides a wide variety of resources for improving K-12 science,
math, and technology education. Many of AAAS' publications and materials
are accessible online! Check each of these sites out for K-12 materials.
I hope you find this site useful and remember to include plants in your