The grant funded the purchase of native plants and seeds for an education program that features the following:
Comments on the grant application from the judges noted, "Glad to see a park system and school district collaborate on a hands on science project that meets state science standards. It will be interesting to learn more about how the project engages student learning."
General Seed Dispersal Investigation (9/6/18) – Approximately seventy-five (75) 2nd and 3rd graders learned about dispersal methods that plants incorporate. Students had the opportunity to examine and journal about seeds from 13 native plants. Each student looked at examples of seeds, seed pods and plants, then chose to more carefully investigate 3 – 5 of the seeds.
Wind Dispersal (9/19/18) – Approximately seventy-five (75) 2nd and 3rd graders worked in groups to measure the wind dispersal of four types of native seeds. Students were familiar with the seeds from the earlier investigation. They measured the distance seeds from each plant traveled with measuring tapes and compared these distances between seeds and the different fans that were used as a wind source. Students preformed two trials with each type of seed and entered their data on data tables.
Native Plant Uses (9/25/18) – Approximately one hundred (100) 4th and 5th graders investigated uses for native plants. Specific plants highlighted during the introduction included: Maximillian’s Sunflower, Wild Strawberry, Blue Flax, Showy Milkweed, Blue Gramma, Cattails, and Willows. Students used branches from willows and fronds from cattails to create fans and understand the time-consuming process of creating all the materials that one might need.
Gardening (10/4/18) – Approximately one hundred (100) 4th and 5th graders planted the example plants and seeds, creating a native plant garden. This garden can be used by future classes for seed collection and dispersal investigation, and investigation of native pollinators. Students will learn gardening skills including how to plant small plants, how to plant seeds, watering, and weeding.