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Educational Resources -- Grade Level: Secondary -- AP Biology Resource

View Resource Exploring Variation and Natural Selection with Fast Plants

Download this complete and coherently designed, middle school level unit to teach fundamental concepts that underpin the theory of evolution. The unit was collaboratively designed by teachers, college faculty & staff, and the Fast Plants Program at UW-Madison to support student-centered inquiry-based learning. The unit's storyline is underpinned by the 5E model. Like three dimensional...

View Resource Investigating Life With the Cabbage White Butterfly and Brassicas in the Classroom

In this investigation, students observe what happens with the Brassica Butterflies as they go through their life cycle on Fast Plants. In doing so, students will learn about the life cycle of an economically important insect (the Cabbage White Butterfly) and the interdependence between two organisms (Brassica Butterflies and Brassica plants).

View Resource The Cycle of Life

The growing of rapid cycling Brassica rapa, Rbr, through a life cycle from seed to seed can provide the basis for learning many aspects of biology that are relevant to the students’ understanding of themselves as individual organisms among the many others inhabiting the Earth.    

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 Investigating Plant Physiology with Wisconsin Fast Plants

Download this 17-page booklet with several investigations that can be geared towards middle or high school students. Includes background information to support investigations inthree primary areas of plant physiology (how plants function): Nutrition, Tropism, and Hormone Response (using Gibberellic Acid). The nutrition and tropism experiments are particularly relevant for both middle school an...

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 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 Generalized Artificial Selection Fast Plants Schedule

This fill-in-the-blank timeline is a planning tool for teachers to use when figuring out when to begin the steps associated with conducting a two-generation artificial selection experiment using Fast Plants. Teachers preparing for any selection experiment will find this timeline helpful, including those planning for the AP Biology Lab 1 of Big Idea 1: Evolution, Artificial Selection.

View Resource Getting a Handle on Variation: Quantifying Difference in Traits

This article is designed to help students and teachers think about the nature of various determinants underlying biological variation. Teachers facilitating any selection investigation will find this background information helpful, including those planning for the AP Biology Lab 1 of Big Idea 1: Evolution, Artificial Selection. Learners at secondary or tertiary grade levels who are preparing to...

View Resource Around the World with Brassicas

This PowerPoint slide show (slides with notes) is an updated version of the original show that Dr. Paul Williams (who bred the first Brassica rapa or Fast Plants) used to tell the story of Brassicas. Humankind's worldwide use of Brassicas--each having been bred to take on a wide variety of forms and each particularly suited to the people and their environment--demonstrates how tightly woven...

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