The Scope, the Official STEMscopes Blog

What's in a Grade?

Posted by Whitney Dove on July 29, 2015


In ninth grade, I did a leaf collection project for my biology class. My grandfather, a science professor, and my dad, a medical doctor, helped me make sure that my specimens were correctly identified, prepared, mounted, and labeled. I remember painstakingly typing out the genus and species' names, capitalizing the genus, and using lowercase for the species' names. I remember thinking the rule quite odd, but followed it nonetheless. I was very proud of that project, and handled it with a sigh of relief, knowing I had done my very best work. A few weeks later, the teacher handed my project back to me with every single name of every single species circled in red, and a giant "-5 points" scrawled across each page. I remember fighting back tears and approaching my teacher. "What did I do wrong?," I asked. "Well, you didn't capitalize the species' names!" she barked back. 

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Topics: grading, professional development, stemcoach, STEM Ed

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