Watching Their Plants Grow

by Michael Porter
Third graders are learning a bit of botany this year. Starting in the classroom, they learned about seeds, germination, pollination, photosynthesis, and what conditions are needed for plants to grow. In Science Lab, the students had the opportunity to plant lima beans, peas, popcorn, or kidney beans.
"Mine's doing pretty good." said Saurav M., who was proud of his rising lima bean plant.

The students learned the importance of plants in our ecosystem. Besides being a source of food (many plants are edible), plants breathe in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen — which is just the opposite of animal life, including humans. Plants are something that we need.
"We did this experiment where we put a leaf under a rock in a water filled tub and we're seeing if it breathes out oxygen," said 3rd grade Chris D.
Indeed, some of the submerged leaves were surrounded by little bubbles.

Cassandra F. described a completely different way of growing plants:
"Some plants can be planted in water and it has to be a special type of water cause it can't be any water," Cassandra excitedly explained. "It's a type of water that has vitamins in it for the plant. It's called hydroponics."
This week the students used their iPads to take photographs to document the progress of their experiments.