Summer SAVY 2018: Session 5, Day 3 – Becoming a Botanist (Rising 1st)
While reading The Magic School Bus Plants book , we began wondering how the stem delivers the water and nutrients to the all the parts of the plant. We decided that if we could somehow see evidence of this function, we could better understand how this element of the plant system supports the plant. So we designed a research question: How do stems deliver water and nutrients to the leaves of the plant all the way up the plant? Next we came up with a few hypotheses. One students said, the flowers help the stems breathe all the way to the top of the plant by pulling them like a straw, while another student thought maybe the roots had a way to push the water and nutrients up the stem. Still another student hypothesized that the stems soaked themselves like a sponge and push the water up to the leaves. We decided we would know how the stem works as we watch for signs of green food coloring travelling up the stem of a plant and all the way to the top of the flower petals. The evidence might take a few days to appear, so we will have to be patient and use our science notebooks to record our observation details on a daily basis. Wow, being a botanist sure calls for a heap of patience! Good thing we have a science notebook to records our data so we won’t forget.
As a next step in learning about plants as a system, our botanists discussed what systems do and we even created a frayer’s map with our own definition of a system and examples of things that are systems and things that are not systems. Everyone agreed that plants are a system because, as one student put it, “the roots get the nutrients to the stem, the stem gets the nutrients to the leaves, the leaves make food and the flowers attract pollinators so seeds can be made”. Students said if one part of the plant system was taken away, the plants would not survive long term. We used the example of cut flowers that we put in vases where the roots are not on the plant anymore, so the plants only continue living for a short time.
Now that we didn’t feel so green with our understanding of recognizing systems, we expanded our learning to investigating another type of system that applies to plants, terrariums! Each budding botanist created their own terrarium step by step, and they were so excited to see the bundled up roots, as well as how to learn how to trim off long branches. In fact, your botanist should be bringing home their trimmed branches in hopes of making new plants from the shoots! This would be a fun research project at home, learning how to create new plants from branches that have been trimmed from the plant. Be on the lookout for these cuttings in backpacks!
Tomorrow is our walking field trip on campus to the Vanderbilt green house. Students will be well supervised with three adults including Miss AJ, one of our administrative adults from our SAVY office, and me Please make sure your student is wearing comfortable shoes and clothes for the beautiful walk to and from the green house. A wonderful plantation dinner topic tonight would be to discuss questions your student might want to ask our green house botanist tomorrow. Students are welcome to bring in some questions on a piece of paper! Students really love walking across campus and seeing squirrels, college students and other picturesque things along the way.
Also, Friday Open House is just around the corner too! Our Family Open House is in our classroom, Murray 3, on Friday from 9:00am-9:30 am. This is your student’s time to show you all around the classroom and tell you what they have learned. It has bean another fantastic day!
Photos From Our Day