summer programs

Louisa Stark Louisa.Stark at COLORADO.EDU
Fri Jun 13 13:34:44 EST 1997

I also teach plant-related (and other) workshops and graduate-level 
courses for K-12 teachers.  I've used Wisconsin Fast Plants extensively 
in my teaching, and found them very easy to work with.  The soda bottle 
and film can growing systems I use are basically no-cost, so teachers 
only need to invest in a plant light rack to be able to carry out a wide 
range of explorations.  With this growing system, students can have 
their own individual plant(s), leading to an interest in plant biology 
by students who teachers thought wouldn't be interested (such as - 
excuse the stereotype - football players).  I think that the new 
"Exploring with Wisconsin Fast Plants" book (published by Kendall-Hunt) 
is better than the older "Wisconsin Fast Plants" manual from Carolina 
Biological.  Another resource is "Using Fast Plants and Bottle Biology 
in the Classroom", published by the National Association of Biology 
Teachers.  The Fast Plant home page is located at
Another plant web site is Science and Plants for Schools in the UK
I think someone else mentioned the GrowLab curriculum for elementary 
students, which is available from the National Gardening Association 
(180 Flynn Ave., Burlington, VT 05401; 802-863-1308;  Their "Growing Ideas" newsletter also has good 
ideas, as does the "Growing Partnerships: GrowLab Professional 
Development" newsletter for workshop presenters, etc.

I've taught several papermaking workshops for elementary and middle 
school teachers.  Papermaking is a wonderfully interdisciplinary topic 
which can be used as a starting place for exploring plant anatomy,  
morphology, and physiology, chemistry, ecology, history, math, art and 
multicultural studies.  In my workshop we've made recycled paper as well 
as paper using grocery store vegetables and yard plants.  

I've also taught a Forensic Botany workshop for teachers using as a 
resource "Identifying Plant Food Cells in Gastric Contents for Use in 
Forensic Investigations: A Laboratory Manual", by J.H. Bock, M.A. Lane 
and D.O. Norris.  This manual was developed for the U.S. Department of 
Justice by University of Colorado faculty and is used by forensic 
scientists around the country.  The forensic aspect leads to a greater 
student interest in plant anatomy.

Louisa Stark, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
UCB Hughes Initiative
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0347

LINDA HEATH, BIOLOGY wrote in part:
> Hello all!  I'm new to the list and teach week long Plant
> Workshops for K-12 teachers -  so I like to hear about
> programs for schools using plants.  Please share any you
> know about.

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