Exploring education resources focused on medicinal plants and ethnobotany

F2.largeMedicinal plants, which the majority of people use to some degree for their health needs, provide a platform for engaging students in scientific inquiry. Straus & Chudler present an overview of online teaching resources focused on medicinal plants and ethnobotany. The sites highlighted provide a variety of teaching opportunities from laboratory experiments to explorations of medicinal plants using mainstream news sources as a launching point for student inquiry. In addition, the authors provide a summary of reputable online sites that students can use for research into the topic, as well as links to a variety of extension activities including science fair projects, and plans for creating school and/or medicinal gardens that can be used as hands-on learning laboratories. By incorporating experiments and other activities focused on medicinal plants and ethnobotany, teachers are providing opportunities for students to increase their scientific literacy through critical thinking, conducting research, analyzing results, and presenting evidence based arguments.  (Summary by Courtney Price) CBE Life Science Education 10.1187/cbe.16-06-0190