[Plant-education] lycopodium powder in the classroom
Doug.Jensen at Converse.edu
Wed Sep 7 10:56:55 EST 2005
This is great fun to do. I get my materials from a chemistry professor
who uses them to demonstrate kinetics.
We have the spores in a plastic ketchup squeeze bottle that you find in
restaurants-the kind with the pointed nozzle. Shake the bottle up, and
spray a puff through a flame. If I can find a smoker, we'll do it
through a lit lighter. Otherwise, we do the boring Bunsen burner. The
flash is large and fast, so you want to have the lighter-holder wear
glasses, and (duh) spray away from him or her. The smell of burned
spores is somewhat distasteful.
The best demonstration I saw of lycopod spores was in the field in
northern Michigan. The strobili were very dense and all releasing
spores. Someone held a lighter, and someone else brushed his hand
through the strobili.
I was unaware of the allergic reaction, so I may have to reconsider this
demonstration. Perhaps a facemask would be sufficient.
Douglas P. Jensen
Assistant Professor and Chair of Biology
Spartanburg, South Carolina, 29302
douglas.jensen at converse.edu
From: plant-ed-bounces at oat.bio.indiana.edu
[mailto:plant-ed-bounces at oat.bio.indiana.edu] On Behalf Of Porter-Utley,
Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 11:15 AM
To: plant-ed at magpie.bio.indiana.edu
Subject: [Plant-education] lycopodium powder in the classroom
Has anyone attempted to demonstrate the flammable nature of Lycopodium
spores in the classroom? If so, I am interested in hearing about your
Kristen E. Porter-Utley, Ph.D.
Keene State College
229 Main St.
Department of Biology
Keene, NH 03435
Office Telephone: 603-358-2576
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