Preservice-teacher-Fast-Plants-experiences

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 …

"everyone’s favorite days have been pollination days..."

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 …

Gizmo-Fast-Plants-simulations

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, …

Fast Plants investigation

Investigations with Wisconsin Fast Plants lead to powerful learning

Teaching and Learning with Fast Plants Investigations We know it is important to “help students make sense of the natural world by designing and carrying out authentic, student driven investigations (Wingert & Bell, 2015).” Compared to other living organisms, Wisconsin Fast Plants are easy to manage and very responsive to factors in their environment. In addition, many easy-to-observe Fast Plant phenotypes …

Growing Healthy Fast Plants is Fun

Three mistakes to avoid for growing healthy Fast Plants

Maybe you’ve grown Wisconsin Fast Plants before, or perhaps you’re just getting started–either way, we all want to grow strong, healthy Fast Plants. Nobody wants tall, spindly plants that need support or sickly plants that barely flower. No problem! Read on, and we’ll explain three common pitfalls to avoid when setting up growing conditions that support healthy Fast Plant growth. 1. Not …

population variation at seven days

Inheritance and Genetics: Observing Variation and Measuring Selection in Fast Plants

Variation is a fundamental attribute of life; understanding its nature is important to all. Wisconsin Fast Plants are an ideal model for teaching this concept, with easily observable variation in many plant traits. This variation can be observed, described, and measured or quantified to gain greater understanding of plant traits. Development of selection experiments allows analysis of recorded data and measuring …

genetics phenotypes inheritance

Inheritance and Genetics: Understanding Patterns of Inheritance in Fast Plants

Wisconsin Fast Plants are an ideal model organism for observing and learning about inheritance patterns! Monohybrid and Dihybrid crosses demonstrate Mendelian patterns while other genetic stocks provide opportunity for observing cytoplasmic traits and developing of selection experiments. What inheritance patterns are observable in Fast Plants? Mendelian traits: monohybrid cross this investigation focuses on the genetics of the plant stem color trait     Mendelian …