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For teachers and students

For teachers and students  at the  elementary, high school  and college levels


The following collection of websites is full of interesting and useful ideas for teachers and would-be teachers. Ideas include simple, often inexpensive experiments which will turn students on to plants!

Plantwatch is a program which asks students and the general public to observe flowering times for "key indicator" plant species and to report these dates electronically (over the Internet) or by mail. These indicator plants flower largely in response to heat accumulation (degree-days), so after warm winters and springs they flower earlier than average. These phenology (study of the seasonal timing of life cycle events) data, collected over many years, provide information on average spring development time for different areas, and also show how much earlier or later each succeeding season is. They help in seeing how the biota is responding to climate change. By participating, observers have fun and learn about the natural environment and biodiversity.

Wisconsin Fast Plants
The Wisconsin Fast Plants program is an educational outreach program that develops K-college instructional materials, offers teacher enhancement opportunities, and is plant-based. Fast Plants (rapid cycling Brassica rapa) are hands-on model organisms for teaching and studying the scientific process and biological principles.

Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS)
SAPS works mainly with teachers to encourage and support interesting and lively teaching. They look for new ideas, from teachers and from research scientists, and develop these into resources which really work in the classroom. There are plenty of ideas for primary, secondary and post-16 activities.

The site includes a section on Supermarket Science ideas, and also amongst many other intriguing suggestions, a section on crop improvement, and the morals and ethics of genetic engineering.

On the practical side there are many suggestions for lab investigations, which are easy to carry out, without expensive equipment.

British Lichen Society
There are a number of interesting projects involving lichens which appear on this page.

Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, UK. Information sheets
There are some useful pieces of information here on basic botany and also on economically important plants. This site is set out and illustrated well.

Scott’s Botanical Links
This is an interesting site that is updated every month with links to a variety of botanical sites which include image collections, information on careers in Botany.

Missouri Botanical Gardens Duckweed site
This site has information on a very small flowering plant….duckweed! The site is full of information about the anatomy and ecology of duckweed and also has a page on experiments and projects for teachers and students.

University of Illinois Extension Services:
Great Plant Escape
Welcome to the Great Plant Escape, an elementary program for 4th and 5th grade students.

Each of the lessons in this program is interdisciplinary designed to introduce students to plant science and increase their understanding of how foods grow. Activities enhance student's math, science, language, arts, social studies, music and art. You have many options in this program. Choose any or all of the suggested activities for your class. Many activities are for students to work independently and some are for group work.

Educational materials and Programs on Wildflowers
This web site has a variety of ideas and suggestions for students interested in wildflowers and conservation issues.

US Water Conservation Laboratory Experiments
There are a number of interesting experiments using plants at this site. Each experiment has suggestions for the appropriate grade levels.

Canadian Museum of Nature
As the premier national resource on the natural world, the Canadian Museum of Nature offers educators whether teachers, parents or volunteers– public programmes, and scientific expertise.

Using case studies in Science teaching
A very useful site full of ideas, links and suggestions.

Lesson Plans on botanical topics 

For those interested in mentoring, the Wisconsin Program of Scientific Teaching provides useful information.