Community-Based Learning Biology Lab

Inver Hills students teach Lake Middle School 7th graders

Nearly 60 7th-grade AVID students from Lake Middle School in Woodbury, Minnesota, participated in a community-based learning (CBL) biology lab Thursday, Dec. 3, at Inver Hills Community College. Taught by Inver Hills students and supervised by Lisa Tracy, biology faculty at the college, the lab gave the 7th graders the opportunity to learn interactively while getting to know college students. The latter benefited from the CBL project by exhibiting their biology knowledge in a setting where they could teach, learn and help others.

Gina Sevick
Gina Sevick
Gina Sevick, director of community and work-based learning at Inver Hills, noted that CBL is one of the best ways for college students to get more from their education while giving back to their community.
“Community-based learning at Inver Hills allows students and faculty to enhance their course experience by applying the concepts and skills they have acquired in their coursework to a real-world context that meets a community need,” Gina said. “One major challenge in our communities is the academic achievement gap. Experiences like these prepare and inspire our young middle school students as well as our college students in ways that reach outside the traditional classroom.”
Casey Tody, AVID elective teacher and AVID coordinator at Lake Middle School, reported that the Inver Hills students taught her students about the parts and functions of the human brain and eye. “Afterwards, my students were able to dissect sheep brains and ox eyes,” Casey said. “It was amazing to see how much information my AVID students were able to retain based on the instruction that occurred prior to the dissection. This field trip was an engaging and hands-on learning experience that my students will never forget.”
 

For more photos from the CBL Biology Lab, visit Inver Hills on Flickr.

Casey added that through AVID her students are encouraged to take rigorous courses in middle school and high school to help equip them for the workload in college and beyond. “My students were able to observe firsthand that the college students were required to utilize inquiry and higher-level thinking to retain the vast amount of information covered in this course,” she said. “We are incredibly thankful for this opportunity and hope that we can do this again next year.”

Lisa Tracy
Lisa Tracy
Biology Instructor Lisa Tracy related that her students were nervous and excited about taking on the responsibility of teaching. “I believe that community-based learning, formerly service-learning, is a mutually beneficial experience,” Lisa said. “In this case, our college students got the chance to practice teaching others about biology, solidifying their grasp of biological concepts.”
Lisa pointed out that many of her students will enter the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) program at the college.
“As nurses, they will need to communicate with their patients and patients’ families by teaching them about their condition,” she said. “The middle school students had the opportunity to talk to college students and not only learned about the human body, but also discussed potential career paths and goals. Overall, everyone wins. Thanks, Lake Middle School, for taking the time to visit Inver Hills.”

Student spotlights

Kate Philippi
Kate Philippi
Kate Philippi
  • Age: 25
  • High school: Burnsville, Class of 2008
  • Hometown: Eagan, Minnesota
  • Residence now: Uptown, Minneapolis
  • Program and degree at Inver Hills: Pre-Nursing; applying to Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE)
  • Transfer plans: Metropolitan State University Bachelor of Nursing (B.S.N.) program
  • Career plans: Pediatric nurse at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
  • Works full-time as a nursing assistant at Friendship Village in Bloomington, Minnesota
  • Took apart in a CBL Anatomy & Physiology Lab with Capitol Hill Magnet School students
Q & A

Q: Why did you choose Inver Hills?
A:
The Nursing program is smart and practical.

Kate Philippi
Kate Philippi
Q: Why did you choose your career path?
A: I’ve always loved kids. I grew up around fifteen-plus cousins. My job was to think up things for them to do. My aunt said I should become a camp counselor.
Q: What three words would you use to describe yourself as a college student?
A: Optimistic. Dedicated. Imaginative.
Q: What did you like most about teaching 7th graders?
A: The expressions on their faces were priceless. When we answered their questions, they thought we were the smartest people in the world.
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of teaching the lab?
A: Their questions were so broad and general. We had to pull information from the entire semester.
Q: What would you tell students who are thinking about participating in community-based learning?
A: This is definitely a good tool. You don’t always get the opportunity to work with the community and help others grow.
Kelly Running
Kelly Running
Kelly Running
  • Age: 20
  • High school: White Bear Lake, Class of 2014
  • Hometown: Vadnais Heights, Minnesota
  • Residence now: Dinkytown, Minneapolis
  • Program and degree at Inver Hills: Pre-Nursing; applying to Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE)
  • Transfer plans: St. Catherine University or Metropolitan State University Bachelor of Nursing (B.S.N.) program
  • Career plans: Pediatric nurse in a hospital setting
  • Worked as a pre-school teacher, but is now a full-time server at a sports bar in Highland Park
  • Took apart in a CBL Psychology project and has volunteered with the American Red Cross and Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Q & A

Q: Why did you choose Inver Hills?
A:
I attended the University of Minnesota, but the wait for their nursing program is too long. Inver Hills has a great program, costs less and the wait is much shorter. I visited the campus and was impressed.

Kelly Running
Kelly Running
Q: Why did you choose your career path?
A: I love working with little kids. I used to teach pre-school, but I really love the idea of being a nurse.
Q: What three words would you use to describe yourself as a college student?
A: Optimistic. Motivated. Encouraging.
Q: What did you like most about teaching 7th graders?
A: I loved their questions.
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of teaching the lab?
A: Teaching in way that they could understand. We had to use simple terms, but it was great when they got it and we made a connection.
Q: What would you tell students who are thinking about participating in community-based learning?
A: I really like community-based learning. This is a wonderful way to prepare for your future. College is more than just getting good grades.
Amy Krumm
Amy Krumm
Amy Krumm
  • Age: 29
  • High school: New Richmond, Class of 2004
  • Hometown: Born in Burnsville, Minnesota; lived most of her life in Wisconsin
  • Residence now: Apple Valley, Minnesota
  • Program and degree at Inver Hills: Pre-Nursing; applying to Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE)
  • Transfer plans: Metropolitan State University Bachelor of Nursing (B.S.N.) program
  • Career plans: Physician assistant (PA), psychiatric or family practice
  • Works as an emergency room coordinator at Regions Hospital
  • Worked in a corporate environment as an executive recruiter, but much prefers serving as a health care professional
Q & A

Q: Why did you choose Inver Hills?
A:
The Nursing program at Inver is the most practical and cost-effective program out there.

Amy Krumm
Amy Krumm
Q: Why did you choose your career path?
A: I tried the corporate world, but everything is driven by money. I have friends in the ER at Regions and they suggested I become a registered nurse.
Q: What three words would you use to describe yourself as a college student?
A: Optimistic. Motivated. Disciplined.
Q: What did you like most about teaching 7th graders?
A: Their personalities; they are so funny.
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of teaching the lab?
A: Keeping the kids attentive and entertained.
Q: What would you tell students who are thinking about participating in community-based learning?
A: Do it. It’s fun.

To learn more about Community-Based Learning at Inver Hills, contact:

Gina Sevick
Director of Community and Work-Based Learning
651-450-3241

To learn more about Biology at Inver Hills, contact:

Lisa Tracy
Biology Faculty
651-450-3780
Admissions Team
651-450-3000
College Center

To learn more about the Nursing A.S. and MANE at Inver Hills, contact:

Sue Frosch
Director of Nursing
651-450-3470
Admissions Team
651-450-3000
College Center

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