plant lab (fwd)

Elizabeth Frieders fried009 at MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU
Thu May 9 15:02:27 EST 1996


John- I taught a non-major's plants useful course and tried various things. Here
are a few ideas:
If you have the equipment (a large blender and some kind of screening) you could
make paper from various plants (cattails, hemp, papyrus, recycled paper). The 
results are pretty crude if not well blended, but students get the idea. I have 
found stores to be a good source of kits or ideas ('Natural Wonder' and 'Nature'
are 2 stores in Minn).
If a decent greenhouse is available the students could make potpourri from 
smelly leaves and flowers.
Other instructors have made beer and rootbeer in class (home brewers have all 
the equipment necessary and are usually willing to help). Kits are available at 
brewing supplies stores.
Mushroom growing kits are available for around $20 - then you can eat the 
results.
A more basic idea is to compare ice creams (my personal favorite example) with 
and without plant gums to illustrate what gums do in foods in terms of texture 
and consistency. These results can also be eaten.
You could try performing starch tests on various food plants, comparing the 
results, and discuss why the high starch foods are usually the staples in 
peoples diets. Or this idea could be modified to show how crop plants have  been
modified from wild relatives (maize from teosinte and the amount of starch in  
the kernels).
Hope some of this is applicable to your course.
Beth Frieders


------------ Forwarded Message begins here ------------
From: John_M_BROWNING at umail.umd.edu (jb189)
Date: 9 May 1996 05:55:31 -0700
To: plant-ed at net.bio.net
Subject: plant lab

We are developing a plant biology lab for non-science students dealing with
botanical products.  The idea is for students to conduct experiments that
illustrate how products they use are developed from plants.  Do you know of any
experiments we could use?  We plan to do one experiment where we distill
plant material to get oils for perfumes.  We need something else to fill the
time.  If you have any ideas, please let me know.  Thanks in advance.

                                John Browning
                                University of Maryland, College Park
                                jb189 at umail.umd.edu

------------ Forwarded Message ends here ------------

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Elizabeth M. Frieders                                 
Department of Plant Biology                  The one real object of education   
University of Minnesota                      is to leave man in the condition   
220 BioSciCenter, 1445 Gortner Avenue        of continually asking questions.
St.Paul, MN 55108-1095                             
Phone: 612-625-7740                                -- Bishop Creighton 
Fax: 612-625-1738                               
email: fried009 at maroon.tc.umn.edu                   
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