Fruit or Flower?

Today in class students learned about the science behind their food. Students observed the seed pod from a gum tree and examined fresh edible plants with the intent to identify different plant structures and their functions. Students looked a variety of common plants, which included: roots (carrots), stems (celery), leaves (spinach), fruits (apple and cucumber) and flowers (lily).

Did you know that fruits begin their development as the flowers of the plant? And that every plant structure that contains seeds is the fruit, whether or not it is edible.

Look around your own kitchen and see if you can identify which plant parts these foods would come from: sweet potato, corn, garlic, raspberry, asparagus and rhubarb.

To extend this lesson, check out The Great Plant Escape game and unlock the mysteries of plant life! Find the interactive game and many activities here:

Estructura y Función de las Plantas

Hoy, en clase, los alumnos aprendieron acerca de la ciencia detrás de su comida. Los estudiantes observaron la vaina de semillas de un árbol de goma y examinaron las plantas comestibles frescas con la intención de identificar las diferentes estructuras de las plantas y sus funciones. Los estudiantes veían una variedad de plantas comunes, que incluían: raíces (zanahorias), tallos (apio), hojas (espinacas), frutas (manzana y pepino) y flores (lirio).

¿Sabías que los frutos empiezan su desarrollo como las flores de la planta? Y que cada estructura vegetal que contiene semillas es la fruta, sea o no comestible.

Mira alrededor de tu cocina y ve si puedes identificar a qué parte de la planta corresponden los siguientes vegetales: batatas, maíz, ajo, frambuesas, espárragos y ruibarbo.

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Dr. Maureen Griffin

Maureen earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. While at Penn, she developed a novel micro-mechanical technique called micropipette peeling to investigate the role of muscle cell adhesion in normal and diseased skeletal muscle cells. After graduating, Maureen worked full time as a post-doctoral researcher and then a staff scientist a SelectX Pharmaceuticals. She joined the teaching staff in 2008 and was excited to be made an executive staff member in 2009. Maureen also continued to consult part time for SelectX until her daughter's birth in 2009; now she is focused on Science from Scientists and, of course, her children. Maureen uses her spare time to read, blog, cook, and renovate her house.

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Our Young Pre classroom is for ages. This age group is working