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Video Resources

Radio Programs and Audio Resources

Programs & Websites for Students & Teachers

Classroom-Ready Teaching Materials

Cool Plant Science News & Useful Research

Testable Questions & Other Science Fair Survival Tips

The 12 Principles of Plant Biology
The American Society of Plant Biologists has developed twelve Principles of Plant Biology to provide basic plant biology concepts for science education at the K-12 levels and to help students gain a better understanding of plant biology. These principles are aligned with NSTA's science standards and can be coordinated with any quality science curriculum.

12 Activities for the 12 Principles of Plant Biology

Video Resources

A Contest for Plant Biology Videos on YouTube
This open competition is for the best new plant biology videos published on YouTube. Created by ASPB Grant Award Program winner Dan Cosgrove, the contest aims (a) to encourage budding film makers and other creative individuals to produce informative and entertaining plant biology videos, (b) to increase the availability and range of short videos for use by educators, (c) to increase exposure of the public, particularly younger members of society, to plant biology, and (d) to establish a simple webpage with links to recommended videos.

Petunias & RNA Interference (RNAi)
A wayward petunia has helped plant biologists unveil how modest little RNAi molecules can provide enormously important medical treatment options. In just 15 minutes this fun video shows how. Using appealing and accurate cartoons that clarify basic gene expression and the function of RNAi this video is an excellent teaching tool for advanced biological concepts.

Visit this site to enjoy beautiful and technically accurate images of the varied motions plants make during their life-cycle. This clever plant biology resource was created by ASPB member Roger Hangarter. Also visit Roger’s sLowlife page for another close up view of plants.

Radio Programs & Audio Resources - PDF FLYER

Floradelaterre.com Radio Show
Access 'Radio Show', leading to the 'Audio Archives' option for audio files of radio shows of ASPB member and producer, Beth Judy. She has been very busy spreading seeds of enthusiasm for plant science since winning a Grant Awards Program award from ASPB in 2006. With the help of GAP funds, Judy has expanded the outreach of her radio show, “The Plant Detective” starring Flora Delaterre (voiced by Judy). The 90-second show features the world-wide adventures of Detective Delaterre as she searches for specific medicinal plants and discourses on their benefits, risks and efficacy. The ASPB Education Foundation provides grant funds for this program.

MicrobeWorld Radio is an educational outreach initiative that revolves around a daily, 90-second radio series designed to increase public understanding and appreciation of the vital role microbes play on our planet and to promote the science of microbiology. This site contains archives and podcasts of the shows. MicrobeWorld is sponsored in part by the ASPB Education Foundation.

A Moment of Science Media Library
A Moment of Science offers two-minute radio programs on the wonders of science. Listeners will get excited as they learn cool facts about important science concepts. A Moment of Science programs cover a broad array of topics. Search the site's list of audio file titles to find plant science segments sure to amaze your students. The site also allows users to email requests for new topics to be aired. A Moment of Science is an outreach project supported by ASPB's Good Works and the ASPB Education Foundation.

10 Classroom-Friendly Uses for Plant Science Radio & Lively Links of Radio Programs (pdf)

Programs & Websites for Students & Teachers

Interested in going green with sustainable energy? Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) offers inquiry-based K-16 classroom activities on bioenergy and resources for teacher support and professional development. Get your students started learning the lingo with "Bioenergy 101: Common Vocabulary". PDF Available

Rader's Biology 4 Kids
Learn how to learn from plants using the kid-friendly explanations, hands-on activities, and plant species slide show on this site geared to the next generation of plant biologists.

Plant Explorer
Young plant explorers can click & read through this appealing site blooming with basic information about food, botany, and plant biology.

The Great Plant Escape
Help Detective Leplant and his partners Bud and Sprout solve six mysteries of plant life. Spanish versions also available.

The Huntington's art galleries, library, and botanical gardens promote life-long learning. The site’s education page offers classroom activities, images & resources, and institutes for classroom teachers.

Learning to Give
Phil's Garden of Good is a well-organized, motivating 4-part unit that combines kid-lit and plant biology while teaching very young students (K-2) about community service and joyful giving.

Bureau of Land Management Teaching Resources
Find a variety of practical & interesting ideas for your classroom from BLM national, state, and field offices. For info about resources organized by states visit Programs in Your Area

Wisconsin Fast Plants
Teachers and learners use Fast Plants® in classrooms from kindergarten through college and beyond to explore a wide variety of plant biology questions and learn by engaging in genuine scientific inquiry. Developed by ASPB member Paul Williams (University of Wisconsin-Madison), these very fun and affordable activities will meet the pedagogical goals and objectives of most any biology program.

Genomics Digital Lab (GDL) Project
This first place winner in the NSF 2008 Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge offers a series of curriculum-aligned and integrated games, modules, and interactive simulations covering an array of topics in biology. GDL is a continually expanding interactive on-line environment where users experience the world of biology through discovery-based learning. GDL was created in conjunction with ASPB member and GAP winner David Salt's Genomics eXplorer, an interactive walk-through plant cell.

Secrets of Plant Genomes Revealed
What causes crazy corn mutations? Is GM food safe? Do genomes come in more than one size? This hip site helps you learn the answers to these questions and many more as you watch videos and see what scientists have to say about plant genomes.

Partnership for Plant Genomics Education
This site offers dynamic photos, curriculum & materials, student experiences, professional development and related links for teaching plant genomics.

NASA K-12 design challenge: building a lunar plant growth chamber
Elementary, middle and high school students design, build and evaluate lunar plant growth chambers -- while engaging in research- and standards-based learning experiences. Students participate in the engineering design process and learn how to conduct a scientific experiment.

Volunteer!Grades K-12 Outreach Program
The ASPB Education Committee set up this program for plant biology researchers to volunteer as a resource for K-12 science schoolteachers and schoolchildren in their area. The purpose of this program is to expose students and teachers to plant biology research from the scientists perspective and to encourage students who may be interested in pursuing plant biology as a career. Volunteers would be available as a resource to respond to plant science questions or requests from local schools. The potential requests may include giving a talk, developing a new lab experiment, acting as a mentor for a science teacher or student, teaching a lab or some other educational activity.

Know GMOs
Created by ASPB member Peggy Lemaux, this site provides resources on biotechnology, such as educational displays and informational baseball-type cards on Foods and Genetic Diversity, the GENE-ie Juice Bar and accompanying video and the Tic Tac Grow game that helps players connect plants with foods.

Agronomy: K-12
K-12 is an interactive program whereby young students visit Purdue University on field trips and experience plant and soil science then depart with a better appreciation for the role agriculture plays in their daily lives.

K12 Resource Links
A compiled list of external links that have been submitted and gathered specifically for K-12 plant science.

Adventures of the Agronauts
Adventures of the Agronauts is an online science curriculum for elementary-aged students with an overarching theme: how can we grow plants on the Moon? Children become "Agronauts in Training" and complete six different standards-based lessons towards the final goal of growing plants on the Moon. Teacher resources are included. Glossary contains some movies that demonstrate concepts. Some career information too. Developed at North Carolina State University through the NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in Gravitational Biology.

Plant Cultures: Exploring Plants & People
Plant Cultures aims to convey the richness and complexity of links between Britain and South Asia, through the story of plants and people. This site explores the uses, history & medicinal properties of 25 plants. Home-based cultivation instructions are included. You'll recognize many details from everyday life, but some facts just may surprise you!

Plant & Animal Cell Models
Users click on the individual parts of a colorful, interactive cell model for concise definitions and descriptions of functions.

Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS)
Works with teachers, schools and colleges to promote plant science and molecular biology within the curriculum. Their approach helps young people to become more aware of the importance of plants in the global economy, and to encourage more of them to follow careers in plant science and molecular biology. SAPS currently is a project of the University of Cambridge and coordinates with the university's Botanic Garden.

Virginia Native Plant Society
The Society's programs emphasize public education, protection of endangered species, habitat preservation, and encouragement of appropriate landscape use of native plants. Click to find acres of information about invasive plant sites, native plant societies, and many general plant links.

This repository for on-line plant science education resources leads to photos & video images, databases, web directories, and a plethora of teaching materials.

Trees Make a World of Difference: Students can enter an art contest, find great books to read or websites to visit at this site. Teachers can incorporate these resources along with tree-centric classroom activities and national science standards into their on-going biology and geography lessons.

Classroom-Ready Teaching Materials

Lilliputian Garden Cups:  Garden cup necklaces germinate fertile discussions about plant development and biodiversity.  See also Seeds of Change.  This Lilliputian Garden Cups protocol is based on work from ASPB member and Wisconsin Fast Plants creator, Dr. Paul Williams.

is a monthly, online-only feature of The Plant Cell offering teaching materials on important themes in plant biology. The first Teaching Tool, Why Study Plants?, reviews the critical roles plants play in providing us with oxygen, food, fuel and fiber.

Career Day Power Point
This ready-to-go resource will help enlighten students on what it means to work as a plant biologist.

Fun with FOOD & DNA Baseball Cards (request cards) with easy-to-use group activities. Spanish version of the cards and activities available, too!

The Gizmo Poster
This 11x17 full-color poster highlights how people can improve the world by learning about plants.

These colorful, two-sided bookmarks highlighting various types of plants and the Principles of Plant Biology have been produced by ASPB for use by members, teachers and students. ASPB member Carol Reiss designed the bookmarks.

10 Classroom Activities for the Principles of Plant Biology Bookmarks
You can learn a lot of plant science from these fun activities that use ASPB's 12 bookmarks. Order bookmarks

Careers in Plant Biology
Plant biology offers an individual with a pioneering spirit the opportunity to experience the thrill of discovery. His or her challenge is one of vision and exploration into the unknown to understand how plants work in their environment and how this work can be more efficiently channeled to benefit people throughout the world. Find out more about careers in plant biology through this brochure.

Plants in Your House
Plants are everywhere! Use this form to take a plant treasure hunt around your house. Plants are important to people in many ways. They help us have clean air and water, keep soil from eroding, impact our climate and they are beautiful. There are lots of things in our everyday lives made from plants.

Find out just how many plants you eat with your hamburger.

Dr. Watts at Sci4Kids
This USDA Agricultural Research Service site involves youngsters in solving agricultural problems with science. Follow the link and click on the happy sunflower to find links for kid-friendly information on plants. Topics include finding out why soybean oil isn't just only for cooking, jumping genes affect the color of grapes, apples have to travel so far to get to your table.

The 12 Principles of Plant Biology
Created by ASPB and aligned with NSTA standards, these principles can be incorporated into any quality biology curriculum.

Plant Science Radio
Tune into three lively Plant Science Radio shows sponsored by ASPB. Then try some of these hands-on, inquiry-based learning activities.

Plants in Your Pants
Find out how the cotton plant helps create those jeans you love to wear!

Plants in Your Pants - Indigo
See why the perfect shade of denim depends on the indigo plant.

Genes in Your Jeans
Learn what plant genes have to do with getting your jeans broken in just right.

Transparency Rulers
A quick, cheap, and easy way to create a classroom set of microscopy rulers

Can You Grow a Chewy-Ooey-Gooey-Chocolatey-Nutty Candy Bar? Find out here

Bottle Biology
Use soda bottles and other recyclable materials to create Decompostion Columns, Bottle Gardens, and more to explore science and the environment.

This repository for on-line plant science education resources leads to photos & video images, databases, web directories, and a plethora of teaching materials.

Spanish Translations

Plantas en tus pantalones: El Algodon - El algodon crece en Asia, Africa, Australia, y las Americas. Es usado en 40% de las telas tex-tiles. El algodon es la fibra principal en los pantalones vaqueros.

Plantas en tus pantalones: Indigo - Como las plantas indigo llegan a tus pantalones vaqueros denim?

Genes en tus patalones vaqueros - Hoy en dia, los cultivadores prefieren aquel algodon que tiene fibras duras y largas para la fabricacion de un buen denim.

Los 12 Principios de la Biología Vegetal *

10 usos para presentar en salones de clases, sobre: Principios de Biología de Plantas para utilizar como "Señaladores de libros"

Reglas de microscopía
A quick, cheap, and easy way to create a classroom set of microscopy rulers after

Plantas en la Casa
Plants are everywhere! Use this form to take a plant treasure hunt around your house.

Find out just how many plans you eat with your hamburger.

Chinese Translations

象有这样一个小东西 The Gizmo Poster -updated version coming soon!
This 11x17 full-color poster highlights how people can improve the world by learning about plants. 改造世界,请了解植物

植物学的十二大原理 * -updated version coming soon!

* Created by ASPB and aligned with NSTA standards, these 12 principles can be incorporated into any quality biology curriculum.

Cool Plant Science News & Useful Research

The Science of Teaching and Learning: Teachers' Participation in Research Programs Improves Their Students' Achievement in Science
This article explains how a summer research program for teachers enhanced teachers' skills in communicating science to students, students' achievement scores, and teacher job satisfaction. The full article is available at Science 16 October 2009 (payment may be required).

Oldest Pear Tree in U.S.
Learn about the amazing history of this hardy tree & how it's genes are helping scientists improve the future of plant biology.
Tough Trees:
Read how scientists help develop tough trees that can survive on the "mean streets" of the big city.

Purple Tomatoes?
Discover how snapdragons & tomatoes use the power of purple to fight disease.

Singing Wheat
Insects invade the grains we need for food. Find out how plant scientists developed singing wheat to help inspectors keep our food safe.

Slimy, Oozy Cactus Goo Makes Water Safe
Read how the carbohydrates and sugars in cactus goo help scour arsenic, bacteria and cloudiness out of rural drinking water.

Nutrition From Plants
Do you know how many plants it takes to make a Big Mac®? There are many resources available from articles to printable pieces for use in the classroom.

Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education
ASPB members have the opportunity to submit science education articles and subscribe to the Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education (JNRLSE), a peer-reviewed journal written by and for educators in the life sciences, natural resources, and agriculture disciplines. The American Society of Agronomy publishes JNRLSE once a year in printed format and/or CD-ROM, and continuously in electronic format for educators in extension, university, industry, administration, and grades K-16. To subscribe or submit a manuscript, visit: www.jnrlse.org.

Fun Plant Essays from Professor Gibson
These engaging summaries and illustrations highlight economically important plants. Readers will learn to appreciate the roles that plants have played in the history of civilization as well as perform in our society today. Write ups and images are updated, so check back frequently.

This repository for on-line plant science education resources leads to photos & video images, databases, web directories, and a plethora of teaching materials.

Testable Questions & Other Science Fair Survival Tips

Science Fair Ideas: Cultivate these seedling ideas from Discovery Education to grow a great science fair project. More tips


  • Botanical pesticides: do they work?
  • The effects of priming on vegetable seed germination
  • Accelerating the fast plants
  • Plant tissue culturing
  • The effects of varying amounts of water on seed germination
  • A comparison of two hydroponic techniques
  • Evaluation of fertilizer types: which works best on marigolds?
  • Hydroponics: the amount of dissolved oxygen in the root zone of the plants
  • The effects of two commonly used window cleaners on plants
  • Acid rain: an analysis of germination

Environmental Science

  • Fertilizer run-off and crop yield evaluation
  • Minimizing arsenic leaching from CCA wood
  • How contaminated is the soil?
  • Filtering the dangerous effects of road salt
  • Effect of environmental stress on plant symmetry
  • Impacts of Kentucky bluegrass on native mixed-grass prairie
  • Analysis of the oil contained in french fries
  • How fast do yard waste materials decompose?
  • Which wood is more resistant to decay?

More Testable Questions

1. How does germination differ for monocots and dicots? What are the effects of heat, light, carbon dioxide, pH level, soil content & conditions, etc. on their germination rates?

2. How do different factors such as temperature, light intensity, water, or carbon dioxide affect the rate of photosynthesis?

3. Do the numbers and sizes of leaf stomata vary with different plants? What happens if stomata are covered?

4. How much water is absorbed by the roots of different plants?

5. What is the effect of temperature, sunlight, etc., on the use of water (transpiration)?

6. How do different types of soils affect the ability of roots to anchor plants?

7. What are the preferred pH levels in the soil for various plants?

8. What life forms are found in a soil sample? How do any of them affect plant growth?

9. What factors encourage or harm root growth?

10. What is the effect of water, oxygen, soil type, or minerals on root growth?

11. What are the effects of various nutrients, amounts of water, hours of sunlight, strength of weed killer, temperature, pollutants, or pH levels on plant growth?

12. What percentages of various plants is water?

13. What genetic differences (phenotype) affect how a plant grows, functions or survives?

14. Determine the conditions that are favorable/harmful for cultivating:

- fungus
- mushrooms
- algae
- lichen

15. Determine through field studies the effects of:

- herbicide spraying
- invasive plants in a lake or forested area
- auto exhaust on roadside vegetation
- power lines on nearby vegetation
- pedestrian traffic and plant durability (related issue: erosion)

© Copyright American Society of Plant Biologists 2013 (All Rights Reserved)