Wisconsin Fast Plants Network

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Fast Plants Selection Experiment Leadership Cohort


Fast Plants Selection Experiment Leadership Cohort

This group is intended to allow continued communication and collaboration between leaders with expertise in the following areas:

- Understanding of strategies for growing, tending, and producing seed allowing for successful raising of multiple generations of Fast Plants

- Seeing variation in Fast Plants characteristics and facilitating others to do so

- Understanding the connections of various traits in Fast Plants and their connection to genetics and the environment

- Collecting/analyzing data using evidence-based explanation and facilitating others to do so

Members: 9
Latest Activity: Jan 15, 2015

Discussion Forum

Selection toughts

Started by Mattia Rossi. Last reply by Jackson Hetue May 8, 2014. 2 Replies

Hi,as I already wrote some weeks ago I started with two classes a selection experiment on trichomes. We are nearly at the end and it’s seems that results are exactly as we expected.In addition to the…Continue

Tags: Selection

Selection on trichomes

Started by Mattia Rossi. Last reply by Mattia Rossi Mar 11, 2014. 2 Replies

Hi everybody, About 3 weeks ago I stared a new experiment on selection with my students with the collaboration of another colleague and his class (and two other curious science teachers). This time…Continue

WSST Convention

Started by Steve Gustafson. Last reply by Steve Gustafson Nov 5, 2013. 4 Replies

I would like to present a session on WFP at the WSST convention next spring. I would like some other people that intend to be there (Appleton, next March) assist. I've presented quite a few times…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Erin Walsh on October 14, 2013 at 9:52am

Thanks, Whitney.  I do have the foil drapes.  I came in over the weekend and replaced the bulbs with new ones.  I was not able to find 60 watt fluorescent bulbs, only 40 watt.  But there does seem to be an improvement in growth today.  I will try adding the incandescent bulbs.  Great idea.

Comment by Whitney Hagins on October 14, 2013 at 8:10am


If you can, use foil drapes to increase the light. Also, if you have the space you can hang an incandescent bulb at either end of you light banks. That, with the foil drapes will increase the temperature. You will have to "mess" around with it to get the right temp but I would recommend starting with 60 watt bulbs. You will also have to rotate the plants from the middle to the outside to make sure they are getting the same conditions. And, finally, make sure your plants don't get too close to the incandescent bulbs as their heat can damage the plants.

I used this method when my school was replacing the heating system in November and the rooms were in the 50's at night and barely 60 during the day.

Good Luck

Comment by Erin Walsh on October 9, 2013 at 3:04pm

Having never used Fast Plants before, I wanted to do a trial run with my AP Biology students.  They planted the seeds I brought back from the workshop this summer and are watching them grow.  I think this was a good plan because we have certainly hit some snags.  The plants are growing slowly (today is Day 14 and they look like Day 5).  We are brainstorming ways to raise the temperature of our very cold classroom.  Some of the plants are a yellowish tint, so we are playing with the idea of switching out the lights for newer ones.   All in all, this has been a good experience in trouble shooting an experimental design.  Hopefully, by the time we are ready to run the selection experiment "for real," we will have all the kinks worked out.

Comment by Jackson Hetue on September 4, 2013 at 2:19pm

To encourage some more thoughts/posting on this topic, we wanted to share (briefly) what we're thinking about alternative traits for selection.

Possible traits with potential candidacy for selection:

-Height to 1st flower
-Height (selecting for shortest plants)
-Purpleness (can design a scale allowing rating of trait along a spectrum)
-Cotyledon width

Other traits which interest us:
-wind resistance (another passive environmental pressure (like salt tolerance))

Comment by KsBioteacher on August 29, 2013 at 6:07pm

I try to pick traits that have some apparent fitness component. Jackson has made an excellent suggestion for salt tolerance with some parameters to consider.
Comment by Whitney Hagins on August 29, 2013 at 6:00pm

I am working with three teachers (5 classes) that want to try the plant selection experiment. We are "struggling" with figuring out if each class can handle 100 plants (probably) and what trait (s) to investigate. Based on what I saw this summer, the trichomes would be an obvious choice, and 5 populations would give us some quite a bit of data. However, there is some interest in trying another trait. I know it is an experiment, BW, but since I am hoping to get some suggestions as to a second trait that would be a good choice. 



Comment by KsBioteacher on August 16, 2013 at 3:46pm

I've been working on some spreadsheet models that do what Tinkerplots does--not as visual but a lot faster.  I'll share those later.  I'm back from the mountains and am starting to work now.

Hope that Hedi and Dan were able to avoid the crime scene in the back country of Idaho.





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