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Educational Resources -- Investigations with Fast Plants

View Resource Observing and quantifying differences in plant height over time

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 Is There a Pollution Solution?

Page 14 of this newsletter begins the activity called, Is There a Pollution Solution? This is an experimental investigation into the affects of salts on plant growth and development, and it is related to the real affects of irrigation on farm fields.

View Resource Fast Plants and Families I

Description: This is an investigation describing the procedure for looking at a seed pod from a mature Fast Plant with a dry pod by sandwiching the pod between layers of clear tape, then exploring the sibling seeds. Questions that might be considered: - In how many ways can you describe the pod (the mother)? Are the pods from one plant more like each other than they are like the pods from other...

View Resource Monohybrid and Dihybrid Mendelian Genetics

This booklet describes how mono- and dihybrid Mendelian inheritance patterns can be investigated with Wisconsin Fast Plants and three heritable traits. Investigations can be done by either growing Fast Plants in soil or germinating seeds in Petri dishes to observe the traits.

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 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 Fast Plants in Space: US-Ukrainian Collaborative Experiments, Questions, and Investigators

Written by Drs. Mary Musgrave (US) and Elizabeth Kordyum (Ukraine), this is an appendix from the manual used when Fast Plants went into space through a joint NASA and Ukraine research project that involved a collaboration between scientists on the Space Station and students in the US and Ukraine. In this appendix, titled: CUE-TSIPS Experiments, Questions, and Investigators, the project's research...

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 Bee-ing an Engineer

Download this complete set of lessons for an elementary, NGSS-aligned inquiry that foregrounds engineering practices. During the days that are supported by this investigation, students observe flowers on their 14 to 16 day old Fast Plants along with bee structures, learning to connect how the shape of a structure is related to its function. Then, students make and/or use bee sticks to conduct...

View Resource Interpreting phenotypic variation in plants

This article by Coleman, McConnaughay, and Ackerly discusses how phenotypic variation (variation in observable traits) in plants is influenced by environment, genetics, and developmental stage. The authors stress that understanding the interplay of these factors is important for investigations that involve plant comparisons.

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