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Educational Resources -- Background Fast Plant information

View Resource Around the World With Brassicas

Wisconsin Fast Plants, rapid-cycling brassicas, are part of a large family of plants called crucifers (Latin = Cruciferae). This resource tells the story of Crucifers, which are easily distinguished by the characteristic shape of their flowers—four petals in the shape of a cross or crucifix. A section, or genus, of the crucifer family is the genus Brassica. Brassicas have great economic and...

View Resource Quantitative Variation, Selection and Inheritance with Fast Plants

This article describes how Fast Plants can be used to help students understand how, through genetic selection associated with phenotypic variation, traits are passed on to future generations. This resource includes information about how to analyze variation in a population and selectively breed to change the frequency of a particular trait in future generations. Advanced Placement teachers who are...

View Resource Farming Fast Plants

This Farming Fast Plants activity introduces a classroom investigation that is easily adaptable for all grade levels and designed to engage teachers and students as investigators. The activity has the practical outcome of producing an abundant supply of Fast Plants seed for future classroom use and for sharing with other teachers. The central question of the activity is "How many seeds can your...

View Resource Growth, Development and Flowering in Fast Plants

This document provides extensive background information about how Fast Plants grow and develop. The distinction between growth and development is explained. Also discussed is how genetics plus interactions with the environment produce variation during growth and development.

View Resource Bees and Brassicas: Partnership for Survival

Background information for teachers and an activity description for engaging students in the processes that occur during pollination, fertilization and seed development in Fast Plants. Symbiosis between bees and brassicas is explained and illustrated. Includes an activity for students to pollinate Fast Plants.

View Resource Rapid Cycling Brassica rapa (Wisconsin Fast Plants) Genetic Terminology

This glossary was developed for students, teachers and scientist to help with communication about the genetics of Fast Plants through standardized genetic terminology. The Wisconsin Fast Plants Program follows the standardized rules for the designation of phenotypic and genotypic symbols for Brassica species.

View Resource The Story of Fast Plants

This is "The Story of Fast Plants" - a short story of the origins of Brassicas and the work of Dr. Paul Williams, developing Brassica rapa. Reading level ~7th grade.

View Resource Variation: Data Organization, Display, and Analysis

This pdf document provides background information and examples for collecting, organizing and analyzing data that could be collected through experimentation with Fast Plants.

View Resource Serendipity and the Space Farmer

Who knew that rocket science could have so much in common with botany and plant pathology? This is a human interest and science story that documents from firsthand accounts and artifacts the historical context and scientific events relevant to an important collaborative Fast Plant investigation on the MIR Space Station. The project coincided with pivotal historical events and involved many...

View Resource Physical Environment: Growing Healthy Fast Plants

Read this blog post for background information about the relationship between the physical environment and life processes and systems in Fast Plants. Growing healthy Fast Plants is easy if you understand how the environment can affect growth and development. Three broad categories of environmental factors influence how an individual plant matures through its life cycle:  1) the physical...

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