Plymouth Elementary School Students Start Research Project with Help from PSU’s Lamson Library

January 23rd, 2013 by blyndes

Plymouth, N.H.- Plymouth Elementary School (PES) eighth graders may not all have green thumbs, but they all have access to a multitude of research information on the best way to grow plants, courtesy of the Plymouth State University Lamson Library and Learning Commons. Nearly fifty PES students are embarking on a four month-long project on maximizing the growth of a plant. The first step for students is picking a plant and finding a variable that promotes a stronger yield. PES eighth-grade English teacher Paula Tanner said the multi-disciplinary project combines math, science and writing skills.

“The students team up and pick a plant; they grow it in Science class, they write a research paper in English class and they do a graph on the plant growth in Math class,” Tanner said. “What we’re doing here is introducing students to the academic library and using online resources aside from the internet to find the best ways to encourage growth in their plant.”

Left to right, PES eighth-grader Nicholas Kulig, Lamson Library Outreach Librarian Anne Jung and PES student Julia Dunn look over research material as part of a Plymouth Elementary School class visit to the Library

After researching the best way to grow their plants, the students will plant seeds in two separate containers at the PES greenhouse, with one being exposed to a variable, like a fertilizer, to compare the difference when they are finished with the project in late May.
PES student Logan Kilfoyle sees the difference between her school library and the University’s library.

“I’m finding databases, books and resources that we don’t have at our school,” Kilfoyle said. “This is really a big help in finding out what we need to do to grow our plant.”

Fellow student Maya Coykendall agrees.

“There are more books and resources and more people to help us get the information we need,” said Coykendall.

Anne Jung, Lamson’s outreach librarian, said several dozen classes visit the facility every year.

“What we’re trying to do is get them familiar with databases so when they walk onto a college campus they have some familiarity with academic research,” said Jung. “We’re trying to catch them when they’re young and show them what’s possible. We feel academic libraries can have a strong role in the community and exposing kids to these resources they can use in high school and beyond is a great idea.”

The Lamson Library and Learning Commons is a community facility that is open to the public, providing access to thousands of online databases and containing nearly 350,000 volumes of catalogued material, the largest in northern New Hampshire. Residents of Plymouth and Holderness are provided library cards at no charge; the cost for all others is $10.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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