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…

Smarty Plants: Lessons on Plant Growth

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Smarty Plants, a plant seller based in Australia, offers clear and kid-friendly plant explorations for primary-aged learners. These plans are adaptable, no matter the source of your plants. The well-organized 'Classroom' tab of their site lists curriculum and kid-friendly lesson plans and experiment…

My Life as a Plant: Education and Research Coloring Book

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Sally Sunflower and her pals inspire kids (PreK-2) to explore the world of plants.This interactive story created by ASPB Education Foundation Grant program winner Alan Jones with co-PI Jane Ellis and science educator Janice Anderson, is a fun first foray into the 12 Principles of Plant Biology.  …

'Colorful Leaves' - Activity book enhances observation skills

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Scientific illustrator and educator Gail Selfridge publishes activity book to engage learners and enhance awareness of plants. She will send six complimentary copies (including shipping) to anyone who agrees to use them as part of an educational program in exchange for photos of the event and a short…

Short, engaging videos about plant biology

Videos are excellent ways to communicate about plant science. They can stimulate curiosity, explain a complicated idea, or make the invisible visible. Here is a curated list of some of our favorite short plant science videos. Crash Course Biology: Plant Cells (10 min), Photosynthesis (13 min), The…

Happy 50th Birthday IR8!

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November of this year marked the 50th anniversary of the official release of IR8, the “miracle rice” that changed the world. The rice, developed at IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) greatly increased yields compared to other varieties of the time, and is thought to have saved the…

From LUCA to Lily: 12 perspectives for teaching about plants

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The other day I was talking to a friend about the need to demystify plants, so that teachers feel as confident in their teaching of plant biology as they do about animal biology. I wonder if sometimes we teach plants too much in isolation, so it’s not always clear how plants relate to other organisms…