The seventh-graders that Melissa L. Henrichon, a St. Lawrence University senior from Rutland, Vermont, is student-teaching this semester are also helping her learn something for her senior project: whether they learn things better through traditional methods or more hands-on experiences.

Henrichon is conducting a research project in environmental studies and biology while student-teaching at Canton Central School this year. She is trying out different methods of teaching to determine which help students retain information longer.

Recently, she took the entire class of 30 junior high schools to a spot on campus to collect field samples of water, soils and plants, then headed into one of the University's biology laboratories with them, so they could analyze and categorize the samples on more sophisticated equipment than is normally available. In a few weeks, they'll be quizzed on what they did, to see how much of the information they remember.

"I think it will show that field-based educational experiences are better," Henrichon comments. "I've found that in my own experiences and I think it will be true for younger students as well."

Henrichon's research project may become an honors project; she is majoring in environmental studies and biology. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Henrichon studied in Denmark during her junior year and is also a member of the leadership honorary society Omicron Delta Kappa and the ski team.

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