Enhancing Science Education Experiences through Garden Explorations: An Inquiry-based Learning Opportunity at the South Carolina Botanical Garden

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  • 1 South Carolina Botanical Garden, 102 Garden Trail, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634-0174.
  • 2 Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Box 340708, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634-0708.

Garden Explorations, a continuing program at the South Carolina Botanical Garden (SCBG), Clemson University, promotes science participation among children, families, undergraduates, and teachers. Integrated by themes of Plants and their Partners, Plants and their Environment, and Web of Life, Garden Explorations programs include Summer Science Camps, Family Science Saturdays, and Family and Community Outreach Programs. In these programs, college students (largely education, horticulture, biology, and recreation majors) have the opportunity to learn about and experience natural science and math in the garden, along with elementary school teachers, parents, and upper-elementary age children. These inquiry-based learning opportunities enhance and expand the education and professional preparation of Clemson University students who participate in the program. By involving students in intensive hands-on, inquiry-oriented life science and math activities during Garden Explorations programs, we seek to increase science literacy in our region.

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