Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
A common teaching objective for turf management courses is a student understanding of turfgrass growth and development. In addition, students in these courses need to learn how to properly manage turf and keep it healthy. A hands on teaching method was devised to enhance these class principles. This activity involves students each propagating and growing a two-node section of a warm-season turfgrass stem with the charge of keeping it alive and maximizing its biomass through the semester. Students are allowed to use any materials (fertilizers, soils, etc) available to them, however, they originally lack many of the principles to best complete the assignment. As students learn new concepts in class, they often incorporate those concepts on their ‘Turf Baby’. At the termination of the project, students turn in their plants along with a notebook detailing their management practices throughout the semester. To add a competition factor to the exercise to potentially increase student interest, students producing the greatest biomass are awarded extra credit. Students at several institutions were surveyed on their learning and the usefulness of the project. Feedback from student surveys suggests that this exercise is widely accepted across majors and educational levels.