Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 4AM, Day 5) – Budding Botanist
Today involved a lot of hands on activities! We started the day by observing our beans (they are making progress) and by observing the flowers that we put in colored water. We wrote the results in our journals and drew pictures so that we could monitor the changes. Many found that the carnations are already soaking up the green coloring and it is showing up on the edges of the petals. We then dissected stems in order to determine how the water is soaked up. They made excellent observations about them and were able to conclude that the stem is like a straw and soaks up water to distribute to the plant. They were also amazed at how much water was in the stem and also in the leaves.
Next, we focused on adaptations. We reviewed our observations from yesterday and then formed hypotheses about why cacti are so unusual when compared to a typical plant that we would see here. They concluded that the thick skin, shape, and lack of visible pores help it hold water while the spines protect it from predators. We then observed Ivy plants and studied how they are different from a cactus. The kids were then very excited to transplant the ivy into containers that they could bring home at the end of class! They were amazed at the roots and were sure that they had room to grow and thrive, as well as water. They are in our window, and Monday, we will see if they have been successful. I will also have a plant that has been left in the dark all weekend, and we will compare/contrast what happened to that plant versus the other plants.
Finally, we broke into two groups. One group was able to use microscopes to observe pollen, a leaf, an anther, and a cross section of a seed while the other group learned about carnivorous plants and how they have adapted to environments without a lot of nutrients. They were fascinated by the venus flytraps, pitcher plants, and sundew plants, and had fun identifying the adaptations of these plants so that they can survive. We will work more with adaptations on Monday, including some rather unusual ones that plants have developed. Additionally, we will be learning more about pollinators, which was on the list they created of things that they would like to know.
Have a great weekend!