Summer SAVY 2018: Session 5, Day 2 – Becoming a Botanist (Rising 1st)
Another fabulous day of investigating and asking questions about plants transpired (pun intended: transpiration) in the classroom today! There is nothing quite like watching a time-lapse bean life cycle video with classical music playing in the background to start the day! Our young botanists checked the progress of their greenhouse lima beans and recorded any changes they saw from yesterday as well as predicted what they would see when they check their seed tomorrow, in their science notebooks. I modeled how a scientist might journal daily progress of an investigation, and the students did a great job!
Of course, we had to find out if all beans have seed coats, and similar beginnings, so, off we sprouted to create our hypothesis and experiment to lead us to the outcome of our predictions! As scientists, we knew we had to test several different types of bean seeds in order to form more valid conclusions, so we did just that after reviewing what we learned yesterday about lima beans having seed coats, because a scientist always keeps notes on things they have already learned from investigations. Working in groups of 4, our botanists got right to work testing and recording data! Most students hypothesized that some of the new bean seeds that we were going to experiment on would have seed coats. We experimented with the following beans, pinto, kidney, garbonzo and calypso to compare findings to the previous lima bean investigation. The conclusions were unanimous and the questions that followed were insightful. Discussing the experiment and the conclusions would make a great plantation dinner discussion tonight. I will say that it was incredible to see and hear how excited the students were with their discoveries!
“What is a system and how do plants act as a system?” We asked. We considered how parts of our bodies work together to support each other. Then, we put on a new lens and considered the different parts (elements) of the plant, what their functions are, and if they actually work together as a system, just like our human bodies. This was an introductory discussion to lay the groundwork for our botanists to ponder and consider if plants are systems. Tomorrow, our botanists will work in small groups, with each group investigating a different plant. Our mini think tank groups will even create a plant system chart that each will share with the whole group when we reconvene as a whole group. I wonder where the harvest of ideas will lead us.
We had more learning to do with the help of our microscopes, so students looked at plant cell slides, cross-sections of a plant stem, a sliced apple with seeds in it, and other items we had brought in from our plant exploration/observation yesterday. With each passing day, our botanists become more proficient with using scientific tools. Another fantastic day has bean had! I will leave it at that until tomorrow!