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 …

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 …

bottle growing system

Guest Blog: Construction of a Universal Reservoir Bottle Growing System

Wisconsin Fast Plants presents this guest blog as a contribution from a member of our sister program, Bottle Biology. Bottle Biology projects encourage creative ways to grow plants, such as the bottle growing system, to promote science as a tool everyone can use to explore the world. This guest blog is provided by Bottle Biologist Joel Cryer. Thanks Joel! Construction …

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 …

Life cycle of Wisconsin Fast Plants

Teaching the Flowering Plant Life Cycle with Wisconsin Fast Plants

Wisconsin Fast Plants are an ideal model organism for teaching and learning about the life cycle of a flowering plant. With their rapid life cycle (flowering in about fourteen days and seed maturation in about forty days), petite plant size, and simple growth requirements, it is easy to observe the different developmental stages of Fast Plants in your own classroom! How …

fast plants life science

Teaching Hands-On Life Science Using Wisconsin Fast Plants

Wisconsin Fast Plants are perfect for teaching life science in the classroom! Initially developed as a research tool at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Fast Plants have 30+ years of use as a model organism in K-12 education. This post is an introduction to teaching with Fast Plants, with links for easy access to materials that support developing and implementing hands-on life science …

Fast Plants were developed through conventional breeding; they are not genetically engineered plants

Are Wisconsin Fast Plants Genetically Engineered Plants?

Simply stated, Wisconsin Fast Plants are not genetically engineered plants. Rather, Fast Plants are the result of over 30 years of ordinary plant breeding that continues, today. This plant breeding began in about 1974, using the same ways of doing things that people have used for at least 10,000 years to tame/control and improve crops for human use (p. 65). In other words, …