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Paul Williams
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  • Dick Willis
  • Teresa Strong
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What is your experience with growing Fast Plants?
I've been growing Fast Plants more than five years!
Please describe yourself (in the education world). IMPORTANT NOTE: Any student MEMBER of the network MUST be over 13 years old.
university professor
Please describe the average grade level of those who use Fast Plants with you. IMPORTANT NOTE: Any student MEMBER of the network MUST be over 13 years old.
K-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-12, undergraduate students, graduate students, teachers, general public
Please describe the setting(s) in which you use Fast Plants the most.
Individual Project, Public School, Private School, Home School, Museum, Botanical Garden, After-school Program, Senior Center, Other

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Posted on May 6, 2008 at 2:30pm 0 Comments

If you are wondering who I am and would like to know a bit about me and my connection to Wisconsin Fast Plants, please visit the history of Fast Plants pages on our Fast Plants website.

Comment Wall (17 comments)

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At 2:12pm on August 31, 2010, Evelyn Cruz gave Paul Williams a gift
Hello Mr. Williams, I enjoyed tremendously the Brassica workshop in Wisconsin this past July! I am gearing up to start implementing many of the concepts that I learned.
At 10:20am on June 21, 2010, David Vaccaro said…
Dr. Williams,

I would like to measure (home school project) the circadian rhythms of Fast Plants, are there any tips you could share?

I was planning on fastening a miniature accelerometer (.25 grams) to the leaf of a Fast Plant and then sample the movements during a day-night cycle.

I noticed from the time-elapsed clips that the immature Fast Plant appears to show pretty clear circadian leaf movement... am I correct?

At 9:46am on April 5, 2010, Dick Willis said…
Finally, a comment - we had planned to follow the module steps to the letter and I had prepared EVERYTHING to make that happen. Well, the day the seeds were planted (which actually was the Friday before the Monday that was scheduled) the substitute in my room used soil that I had "hidden" that had been used on a previous project instead of the prepared planting mix. This soil was "contaminated" as it had been fertilized with Jack's Classic fertilizer. The plants grown in this soil did so much better than the plants we eventually planted "correctly" (the following Monday) using Osmocote as prescribed. I've posted several pictures here of some of the obvious differences. Interesting enough, the plants in the contaminated soil still show clear differences between those with 6 (Lo) pellets of fertilizer and those with 24 (Hi) pellets of fertilizer (the Hi group grew faster, flowered sooner and produced more seeds). We did some math and discovered that the Hi group is actually closer to the manufacturer's suggested dosage for Osmocote.
Jack's Classic seems to be a better choice except for the tendency for algae growth. Is this the reason for switching?
This has been an excellent module for inclusion with my genetics unit but is especially valuable for re-enforcing science inquiry principles just before the state test.
At 9:46am on April 5, 2010, Dick Willis said…
I'm just finishing up the genetics module for Planting Sciences and had a couple of questions.
1. What level/type of artificial light is ideal? I used 4 T-8 cool white fluorescent tubes burning 24/7 and my plants seemed a bit leggy. I kept the plants within 5 to 10cm from the light source as suggested.
2. I hadn't intended to produce seed but got several fertile pods anyway. This raises questions about control when we actually do want to make crosses to test outcomes. How do we keep the plants genetics under control when making crosses. I can see all types of problems here - flowers touching on adjacent plants, moving pollen back and forth between plants, air movement carrying pollen and volunteer insect pollinators. Do you have some suggestions here. I definitely don't want to confuse the situation for my students.
3. The plants seemed weak and flopped everywhere. I eventually added a fan to the plant shelf to see if that would help them grow stronger. Since I added this after the plants were a week old, I don't have a good idea of how this affected their growth. I'm envious of the plants I see pictured that grow straight and tall. What am I missing here?
At 11:44am on February 2, 2009, Paul Williams said…
Hi Sami:It was nice to hear from you and to learn that you are interested in Fast Plants. You will be able to learn much more about fast plants by visiting 'history of fast plants'. on the Wisconsin Fast Plants website, www.fastplants.org . I hope you will enjoy communicating with others that use fast plants on this 'network' . Good luck!
At 2:10pm on January 31, 2009, sami said…
HI am sami ,i hope ur fine iam juste astudent in in biology department , and i have litened that there is an plants that can grew to wholl plants in few days , is that true and thank u verry much ,good luck.
At 11:52am on January 31, 2009, Teresa Strong said…
Thanks for the info. I asked about the soil because the recommendation to use only distilled water reminded me of what's needed for pitcher and venus flytrap plants. And I was also thinking of where these plants grow in nature--on top of decaying plant matter.
At 10:05am on January 31, 2009, Paul Williams said…
Teresa:I am sending today(Saturday,013109), via US Priority Mail, 6 microfuge tubes of fringe heartwort lobes(~10-15tiny lobes/tube)which should be enough for a lot of discovery cup gardens. With a toothpick or fine tipped forceps, tease out the various lobes( about 2-4mm in size) and transfer each to a DCG. I would not use potting soil for my garden but use seedling starter mix with a high,< 50%peat moss and low added fertilizer.Such mixes are available at garden centers, hardware stores and at Home Depot. Scotts markets seed starter mixes. You don't need the Jiffy -7 pelletts, as you can add the soil directly to the Discovery Cup Garden pot or as illustrated in the information card, Bottle Cap Gardens, you can make bottle cap wick pots to plant the gardens in. I will have Dan Lauffer of the WFP Program invoice you for the supplies and mailing. Good luck and keep in touch! Paul
At 10:01am on January 29, 2009, Teresa Strong said…
I have some info about mini-garden necklace supplies. Go to
http://www.usascientific.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=545 for the tubes. 500 multicolored or clear tubes for $13. I finally found 50, 1 ounce, clear shot cups at a dollar store for $1.99 and they take the Solo brand caps--easy to find at any party store. Clear cups seem to be hard to find.
At 9:56am on January 29, 2009, Teresa Strong said…
I have everything now except heart wort. Can I get some from you?



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