In 2004, undergraduate student Stefanie Lawniczak and professors D. Timothy Gerber and Judy Beck pilot tested a program enabling teachers and students to have direct access to plants at their schools. This program was created around three of the twelve principles of plant biology established by the American Society of Plant Biologists (#4, #7, #12) (learn more, get bookmarks).
Lawniczak et al. applied the National Science Education Standards to these principles and created five themed plant displays. The themes they chose to address were: Environment, Plant Families, Plant Organs, Growth & Reproduction and Plant Origins. Displays were placed in the media centers at three elementary schools and were left in place for 10 weeks. The theme of each display changed every two weeks. Teachers were invited to use display plants as subjects for their classroom studies and students were invited to drop questions in an “Ask a Botanist” box. At the end of the 10-week program, teachers received surveys and were asked to share their thoughts and experiences. Lawniczak et al. received positive feedback from teachers, as well as helpful recommendations about how to improve their displays.
Learn how each themed display was created and get a list of the easy-to-find plants (e.g., orchids, geranium, Hippeastrum) used in each theme.
Order a copy of Plants on Display at the NSTA Store for 99¢.
Lawniczak, Stefanie and D. Timothy Gerber, Judy Beck. 2004. Plants on Display. Science and Children. 41(9): 24-29