Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

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Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

Can You Grow a Chewy-Ooey-Gooey-Chocolatey-Nutty Candy Bar?

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Candy in classrooms seems inevitable at certain times of the year. This simple handout offers a little food for thought so students can learn a few yummy morsels about the plants they are enjoying in every delicious bite. Note: The visuals are kid-friendly but some key vocabulary is not; primary students…

Do You Speak Plant? Wordplay to Enhance Science Literacy

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Explore the verdant garden of words and phrases rooted in plants through science-oriented word play suitable for sophisticated middle schoolers & up. View resource

I-MOLD: Interactive Model of Leaf Decomposition

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The goal of this project is to explain leaf decomposition and how it relates to the Earth's carbon cycle and climate. This website contains a series of animated lessons about decomposition, an interactive model that lets you predict how different types of leaves will decompose in different climates,…

Lab Practical. Gravitropism: The role for roots

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This experiment using agar plates and white mustard seeds allows students to visualise the development of roots, their root hair cells, and observe the zones of elongation and differentiation. They will then use a graticule to measure their length. Students can then extend their investigations to observe…

Lab Practical: The effects of gibberellic acid

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Students grow both wild-type and dwarf rosette mutants of Wisconsin Fast Plants and experiment with application of gibberellic acid to help provide a visual example of the effects of this plant hormone on plant growth and development. View resource See also Investigating Plant Physiology with Wisconsin…

Root tip mitosis practical protocol for A-level biology

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Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS) develops lots of useful resources for teachers of the UK's A-level biology syllabus (OCR, AQA, EdExcel and Eduqas specifications). This is an improved and simplified protocol that allows students to observe mitosis in root tips. Toluidine blue is used to stain…

Science and Plants for Schools

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Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS) creates opportunities for teachers and students to find out more about plants and to become more interested in plant science. We are based at the Sainsbury Lab, Cambridge with close links with the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, University of Cambridge Department…

Digital Library for Earth System Education

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The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) is a distributed community effort involving educators, students, and scientists working together to improve the quality, quantity, and efficiency of teaching and learning about the Earth system at all levels. DLESE supports Earth system science…

Make Me Genius: Uses of Plants for Kids

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A charming ~7 minute animation (with regular photos interspersed) featuring two youngsters talking about the many ways plants support all life and provide products everyone needs and uses every day. Relaxed but concise use of key vocabulary terms will expand young viewers understanding of plants and…