Plants: Taking time to smell the flowers — and then dissect them!

Plants

Knowledge was “blooming” at Glover yesterday as students investigated the plant world. Students learned about the Plant kingdom’s family tree —  how scientists separate plants into groups, based on their characteristics.  We discussed the many ways that plants are important to us, and naturally included an introduction to photosynthesis.  In preparation for our main activity (dissection of a flower, the Peruvian lily, Alstroemeria) we considered the anatomy of flowering plants, and talked about the function of the different plant parts.  We first discussed the whole plant, and then focused on the flower.

During the dissection, students put this information to use, and worked on identifying and determining the function of the specialized structures of the flower. We discussed pollination and examined how each of the specialized structures of the flower participates in the process of pollination, leading to the production of new seeds for the next generation of plants.

Don’t be surprised if your budding scientist asks to dissect the next bouquet of flowers that enters your house!  We hope they do — they’ve got a lot to show you!

some snapshots from the classroom:

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Author

Dr. Catherine Sukow

Dr. Sukow's interest in science education began when she was a teenager, with an extended visit to San Francisco's Exploratorium. In college, she had summer jobs in a similar, smaller, museum. She focused her Master's research at NCSU on the structure of metal silicides on silicon, and her Ph. D. work at Brandeis on the structure of crossbridged actin bundles. While volunteering in her childrens' schools, she was reminded how much fun it is to teach science, and is happy to be teaching now with Science from Scientists. In her spare time, she also enjoys yoga, choral and solo singing, and attempting a variety of international cuisines.

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