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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 you...

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 Fast Plants Simulations

Description and links to computer simulations that allow students to perform genetic crosses quickly. Students can use these simulations to test their genetic models developed from experiments done in the classroom with actual Fast Plants. These simulations were developed in 2000-2001 by Tom Whitaker and were tested successfully by hundreds of students at Madison West High School in Madison,...

View Resource Artificial Selection Lab, Investigation #1

This is the 2012 inquiry-based Advanced Placement Investigation into Artificial Selection (#1). The investigation was developed by the College Board for use in AP Biology classes. This inquiry is guided by the question, Can extreme selection change expression of a quantitative trait in a population in one generation? Students study and carry out an artificial selection investigation using...

View Resource AP Biology Investigation #6: Cellular Respiration

This is the Advanced Placement Investigation into cellular respiration (#6). The investigation was developed by the College Board for use in AP Biology classes. Students begin by investigating the question, What factors affect the rate of cellular respiration in multicellular organisms? Later, students investigate one of their own questions that arose during the first investigation. Wisconsin Fast...

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 Data Chart

This PDF chart provides an organizational guide for recording student data as observations, measures(estimates), counts and descriptions on the growth, development, and reproduction of up to 5 Fast Plants (Rapid Cycling Brassica Rapa or "RBR"), and statistical summaries of the data. Data from individual student charts can be aggregated into class or group data charts or a spreadsheet for further...

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