Summer SAVY 2018: Session 5, Day 4 – Becoming a Botanist (Rising 1st)
We had a nice morning warm up discussion about the input and output in the plant system after reading an entertaining and informative book called, Tops and Bottoms, and another engaging book called “Next Time a See a Maple Seed”. We discussed how plants use photosynthesis to make nutrients for plants and that they use chlorophyll. We then connected our learning to inputs in the plant system as being sunshine, nutrients, water and carbon dioxide (and a little oxygen), and that the outputs in the plant system are moisture and oxygen. We took breaths in and out to model how we inhale carbon dioxide, thanks to plants, and that we exhale oxygen for plants to also use to help with photosynthesis. We related the water system with plants releasing moisture into the air that gets evaporated.
Now that we have two investigations going at once, everyone is excited to examine the bean seed progress and the plant stem experiment first thing. A few students noticed that their seeds were beginning to turn green which led them to infer that there was chlorophyll was building up in the seed. Others noted that the root stems were really growing and were spiraling downward. We think our bean seeds will be ready to go home tomorrow and be officially planted at home to watch for continued growth including the roots, stems and ensuing leaves!
Regarding the stem experiment, some students reported that they thought they could see some green food coloring showing up on some of the petals. In addition, our terrarium systems are looking like they have all the things they need to thrive. Note to parents, you may need to transplant the plants to a larger container when they come home tomorrow. Our budding botanists will have a few items to be taken home, so if you would like to come prepared to take their plant items home after the Open House that might make it easier for your student to carry things to the car at pick-up time.
Our greenhouse field trip was amazing! Our greenhouse botanist took us into a room that had plants that most people don’t see because they are native to South American, and particularly, the rainforest. We learned about how some plants have adaptations to allow them to trap insect and then digest them to be used in photosynthesis to create their sugary plant food. Students were surprised to know that these types of carnivorous plants don’t chew their food and swallow it! We also saw other unique plant adaptations such as plants that wrap their thick roots around host plants and strangle them! Still another plant we saw from Costa Rica found a way to attach its roots to the side of a tree and with exposed roots, it creates its own type of compost to make food! Perhaps one of the more amazing plants the students saw, was a mimosa plant that has leaves that deflate when they are touched to protect themselves from being eaten. Our host also gave students some advice on trying to grow new plants from the shoots they brought home yesterday. I’m sure your budding botanist will have even more to tell you tonight during your plantation dinner conversations!
Tomorrow is Open House! We look forward to seeing you in our room, Murray 3 from 9:00am-9:30am. After the Open House, we will continuing learning with more hands-on activities. It has bean another stellar day!