Students learning to preserve history with help from Clemson

DATE: 1/10/06

CONTACT: Dale Layfield, (864) 656-5676

WRITER: Diane Palmer

Students learning to preserve history with help from Clemson

CLEMSON – Middle and high school students and teachers in Florence County School District 3 will be working on a research project with the help of Clemson University professors to preserve the history and record the impact of growing tobacco in South Carolina .

“Enhancing Instructional Delivery in a Digital Environment: Developing Learning Tools for the Rise and Fall of Tobacco in the Lake City Market Area Project,” as the study is called is the first research project of its type, according to Dale Layfield, Clemson University professor in the Biological Sciences Department.

Layfield; Karen Hall, lecturer in Biological Sciences; and Barbara Speziale, associate dean for Academic Outreach and Summer Academic Programs and professor in Biological Sciences, will be guiding local teachers and students through the research process.

The result will be a curriculum on interactive DVD, much like a virtual field trip, developed by teachers and students. The DVD could be used statewide, or around the nation, as a basis for others researching tobacco and its impact.

“Multiple objectives are met through this project, as it stimulates interest in the math and sciences while fostering a respect for the community’s agricultural heritage,” said Layfield “At the same time, we will review alternative economic opportunities that agricultural producers will pursue.”

The Clemson team will teach research, technology and interviewing skills, as part of an on-site and distance education graduate level course that was developed for these teachers.
All the research developed by the students will be digitized, including video interviews wi tobacco farmers and interactions with Clemson Extension agents, agricultural research specialists and other related contributors.

The Clemson University – based South Carolina Life Project, funded by $3.4 million in awards from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Biological Sciences Education Program, helps develop education and outreach programs that incorporate natural history and other life science studies into South Carolina ’s classrooms.

For more information about this project, contact Layfield at 864-656-5676. For more information about the South Carolina Life Project, visit the website at: