Wisconsin Fast Plants Network

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Wisconsin Fast Plants Program's Blog (18)

NSTA in San Francisco

We are hoping to see those of you going to San Francisco next week for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference at our booth, #600, in the exhibit hall! Did you know this is our 25th anniversary as a Program? We'll write more about that in the next blog entry . . .

It's always great to connect in person and share our latest ventures with those of you who are able to make the trip to NSTA. We will be making discovery necklaces and lenses (with a bit of…


Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on March 4, 2011 at 9:42am — No Comments

Elementary Learners, Fast Plants and The Science of Spring

Happy Spring and Hello, Fellow Fast Plant Educators!

You may be interested to know about an online resource for students that was started by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to accompany the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll yesterday.

The site is called The… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on April 7, 2010 at 9:13am — No Comments

Getting Started on our Social Network

WELCOME to the Fast Plants Social Network! Help us build

our community of educators sharing ideas about using Fast Plants to

teach important science ideas.
Here's a link to a Plain English video that explains what a

social network is and gives an overview of how it works.

We've put together a short "road map" about ways to participate on the… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on March 4, 2010 at 12:30am — 1 Comment

Fast Plants in 2010

Happy New Year to all!

Each new note we receive from a teacher, parent, researcher or volunteer who is helping learners plant Fast Plants reminds us how grateful we are to all of you for keeping the world of plants actively present in children's lives.

So many different sources tell us that children have fewer and fewer opportunities now to explore nature outdoors or develop understandings of our interdependent relationships with plants. However, we see time and… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on January 4, 2010 at 3:07pm — No Comments

Life Cycle

We were surprised to find that the majority of people come to the Fast Plant website through a Google or Yahoo search for plant life cycle. We also realized that we could improve our life cycle webpage by using a mouse rollover to show details about each step in the Fast Plant life… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on September 22, 2009 at 3:59pm — No Comments

Fast Plant Tweets

About four months ago we started posting on Twitter as a way to share ideas and links to free resources on the Fast Plant website with a broader audience. At first, we hesitated to begin to "tweet" because it was hard to imagine that such abbreviated communication could have much value, but we've found it to be an interesting venue for sharing focused recommendations for resources and updates, and we also found that many other education-oriented organizations are doing the same.

We… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on July 17, 2009 at 8:30am — No Comments

Bioenergy Institute

We've been running some interesting experiments to find new ways that Fast Plants can be a model organism for understanding fundamental photosynthesis concepts. Biological and environmental literacy must include understanding our dependence on plants for life, and understanding photosynthesis is foundational for grasping how the world functions as an ecosystem. So, Fast Plants can be an important tool for making the invisible processes associated with those concepts more… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on June 7, 2009 at 8:54am — No Comments

Good to see many of you at NSTA in New Orleans!

NSTA in New Orleans offered another great opportunity to visit old friends and meet lots of new folks. We look forward to continuing on the network many of the interesting conversations we started in the booth about using Fast Plants to teach a wide variety of science concepts and lessons about life. Thanks to all who joined us!

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on March 24, 2009 at 10:07pm — No Comments

NSTA in New Orleans

Our new partnership with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and the materials for exploring bioenergy using Fast Plants are going to be be part of the Fast Plant booth at NSTA. This is a tremendous opportunity to build on all our work using Fast Plants as a model organism to support learning the critically important concepts related to understanding how matter and energy flow through ecosystems.

We've been testing an experimental inquiry that will be central to the bioenergy… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on March 12, 2009 at 6:46pm — No Comments

Congratulations! We have over 200 members!

In celebration of the online Fast Plant community that we are building together, we would like to share with you in a short video ANOTHER way to use Fast Plants.... ;-)

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on February 2, 2009 at 3:39am — No Comments

Experimental variables and Fast Plants

What Fast Plant traits have you or your students observed and/or measured to look for the affects of changing environmental variables? Looking back through Fast Plant resources, we recently re-visited the Fast Plant Farmer's Almanac, which outlines key environmental factors in relation to growing Fast Plants. Farming Fast Plants also suggests (on the… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on December 7, 2008 at 7:38pm — 6 Comments

Learning about Producers

Understanding that plants need sunlight is fundamental for young elementary students. Working with elementary teachers across the nation, we found students in grade four did not understand that light is a basic need, which plants must have to be able to manufacture “food” for their own use (and for other organisms eat plants). Without that understanding, learning about food chains and webs became a memorization exercise. Typically, grade 4 or 5 expectations for understanding about matter and…


Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on August 24, 2008 at 2:36pm — No Comments

Modeling scientific thinking

Several comments have circulated about strategies for encouraging students to ask scientific and relevant questions, design well-thought-out experiments and collect meaningful observations and data. We've been working on these challenges as well, and one strategy that teachers have been implementing with successes at all grade levels is the "think aloud."

In the work we've been doing, the Think–Aloud strategy is intended to be interactive. Rather than the teacher simply describing the… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on June 24, 2008 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Middle/Secondary Lessons to Learn about Science Notebooks

Do you have students organize their notes and observations in a science notebook? This can be a really valuable learning experience, and we co-developed a series of lessons designed to involve middle (or high school) students in actively learning about science notebook strategies. We've posted the video "How Fast are Fast Plants? and a link to the week-long sequence of lessons to share here at http://tinyurl.com/6bf8a8

If you'd like to know… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on May 27, 2008 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Have you checked out Paul's Sandbox?

Have you have had a chance to visit "Paul's Sandbox" on the Fast Plant website? This is the place where Paul posts his current innovations. We added the sandbox to our website as a way to make it easy for Paul to quickly post pictures and scans of his latest work (when he gets a chance to do so!). If you haven't visited there, yet, wander through sometime! The URL is http://www.fastplants.org/sandbox.php and from there you will see a number of categories for Paul's posts.

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on April 29, 2008 at 11:19am — No Comments

Sharing Data -- so exciting!

One dream that we have for the Fast Plant network is for it to become a place for sharing Fast Plant investigations on a scale that is hard to do in person. The wide range of experiments that teachers and students conduct with Fast Plants around the world are fascinating, and we have much to e-learn from each other through sharing our observations and data online. We hoped to see the network grow and eventually take shape as a place where data would be shared and investigations would take place… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on April 12, 2008 at 3:38pm — No Comments

Exploring and tweaking

Have you wondered why we have some members with a shadow-human image, some with a student planting seeds (drawn by our wonderful Fast Plant artist, Amy Kelley), then a bunch with a cut off Fast Plant illustration that's a little fuzzy . . . ? Well, in the spirit of inquiry, we've been experimenting with our network settings!

We want the network to radiate the spirit of enthusiasm that has always been at the heart of the Wisconsin Fast Plants program, and the default image set by the… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on April 7, 2008 at 1:52pm — No Comments

Just getting started

This is the first time the Wisconsin Fast Plants program has ventured into online social networking; however, it builds on a long tradition of networking through newsletters, US mail, phone calls, and personal contact. We are inspired by Coe Williams's talent for fostering collaboration and communication as well as the ongoing commitment by Paul and Dan and all of the Wisconsin Fast Plant program contributors to valuing collective wisdom. We surely stand on the shoulders of giants.

We look… Continue

Added by Wisconsin Fast Plants Program on April 4, 2008 at 12:30pm — No Comments



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