Seed harvest by students at all ages is a valuable learning experience.

Successful Seed Harvest

Producing Fast Plants seed for investigations that need offspring generations Seed harvest is an essential step in any Fast Plants experimental design that involves gathering evidence from offspring plants that students produce themselves. For example, you may have students conduct an inheritance investigation in which they inter-mate Fast Plants from an F1 generation to produce and observe the F2 offspring. …

NSTA Chicago Fast Plants Booth Resources

NSTA Chicago Fast Plants booth was no exception–our conference booth is always packed with living Fast Plants and related resources. If you visited our booth in Chicago, recently (2022), you likely met plant researcher and Brassica specialist, Dan Lauffer. In the booth, we featured the following and include related resources in this post: Life cycle: Living examples of key stages …

New DIY Grow Lights for Fast Plants

Superior Grow Lights: Easy build your own What grow lights do I need for growing Fast Plants? That’s an important question. However, it also may be the start of a missed learning opportunity, if we’re not mindful. Consider for comparison your reaction when a student asks: “What do I need to know for the test?” Likely, your response includes hoping this …

Conceptual flow ecosystem dynamics investigation

Ecosystem dynamics investigations

Why hands-on ecosystem investigations? Ecosystems are highly complex systems; how can we support learners to grasp the affects on populations when one component of an ecosystem changes? Using a model ecosystem and model population in a hands-on investigation is an effective teaching strategy. In addition to making abstract ecosystem concepts more concrete, using Fast Plants as a model organism in …

Polycots for selection experiments with Wisconsin Fast Plants

New! Polycots Fast Plants Seed Line: Engaging & versatile for selection experiments

Polycot seedlings are easy to distinguish just a few days after germination! Our new Polycots seed line of Fast Plants features a trait that students can easily see at the seedling stage. In addition, we’ve developed a procedure for producing parental (Generation 1) and offspring (Generation 2) Polycot seed stocks, so it is not necessary for students to produce their own …

Preservice teachers on the frontline in ending plant blindness

Preservice teacher learners become effective teachers of science by developing strong content and content pedagogy knowledge that support all learners. In other words, the learning arc for preservice teacher learners is multilayered and jam-packed! So, it’s a tall order to hope that future teachers of science–elementary and secondary–are the solution to our national epidemic of plant blindness. “Plant blindness” may …

Hands-on learning with Fast Plants grows critical thinking

Hands-on learning with Fast Plants grows minds-on learning

While occupied by hands-on Fast Plants tending tasks in my role as co-director of the Wisconsin Fast Plants Program, I often listen to podcasts. Spoiler alert: I love podcasts about plants! No surprise, one of my favorites is  Matt Candeias’ podcast, In Defense of Plants. Beyond my fascination with the wide array of topics Matt dives into in his podcasts, I appreciate …

Growing Fast Plants with children inspires learning

Growing plants inspires a botanical path

Growing plants inspires everything from a solid appreciation for plants to a lifelong passion. Equally important to inspiration, growing plants can be key to developing citizens literate about our dependence on plants for life. With this in mind, we share here Daniel Murphy’s firsthand account of his experiences growing plants and becoming–in his words–“a bona fide plant nerd.” Daniel publishes a weekly blog titled, Awkward Botany, sharing his …

My first experience teaching with Fast Plants

Classroom teacher, Julie LaConte, tells about her first experience teaching with Fast Plants in this guest post. Thank you, Julie, for sharing your insights and experiences! Fall 2019 was my first experience teaching with Fast Plants, and plants are one of my least favorite topics to teach.  After 18 years as an upper elementary and middle school science teacher, I have had my fair share …

NEW! ExploreLearning releases Wisconsin Fast Plant® simulation Gizmos®

Two Wisconsin Fast Plants® simulation Gizmos® were created as a collaboration between ExploreLearning and the Wisconsin Fast Plants Program. These simulations were designed to support a variety of investigations and growing Fast Plants. AND they replace the simulations created nearly two decades ago that can no longer function on modern operating systems! Simulations complement physically growing Fast Plants Using these Gizmos during or after growing Fast Plants, …