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Algal Balls - Photosynthesis Using Algae Wrapped in Jelly Balls

This reliable practical allows students to use algae to look at the rate of photosynthesis with quantifiable and replicable results. In this protocol, the green alga Scenedesmus quadricauda is immobilised in alginate beads. Changes in the colour of hydrogen carbonate indicator solution (also called...

Cabomba: Investigating Photosynthesis with Bubbling Pondweed

This resource describes the use of Cabomba to investigate the effect of light intensity in photosynthesis. The video demonstrates how best to use this protocol with students in the lab, supported by student sheets with four different investigations, technical notes and...

Cauliflower Cloning

This video introduces a reliable technique to demonstrate tissue culture and totipotency, and shows how best to use this protocol with your students.

Unlike animal cells, many plant cells are totipotent, meaning that...

Bog Core Analysis and Climate Change

This activity looks at climate change and its effects on succession in a location in Norfolk over 12000 years ago.

Students carry out a simulation of a bog core analysis, based on work by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research together with data from the Department of Geography, University of...

Tackling Tropisms: Gravitropism and Phototropism

This set of demonstrations into the effects of tropisms on seedlings is both simple and extendable. Seeds sown on damp cotton wool in Petri dishes are grown either flat, or stuck vertically to a wall, showing the different effects of gravitropism. After a week, students...

Hydroponics

This practical activity outlines how to grow plants hydroponically in the classroom. It aims to give students an understanding of the basic growth needs of plants. It also shows how hydroponics can be utilised to provide food to humans as our population expands.

This technique can be expanded in a number of...

Plants as Chemical Factories

These teachers' notes from Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS) describe how students can investigate the trichomes on the surface of vascular plants, including hairs and glandular hairs, using a microscope.

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Adaptation, Natural Selection and Winged Fruits

In this activity from Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), students investigate the role of natural selection in evolution by considering the extent to which the winged fruits from a tree are adapted for successful dispersal.

This practical approach to studying natural selection and competition...

Carnivorous Plants

This resource from Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS) describes the work of Charles Darwin on carnivorous plants to determine what causes the leaves to curl up when stimulated.

Darwin’s experiments are very easy...

Investigations with Venus Fly Traps

In this activity from Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), students investigate what causes a Venus’ Fly Trap to shut. These experiments are related to a series of investigations that Darwin carried out as part of his work on evolution and adaptation and background...

Inside STEM Careers: cloning endangered plants

Produced by Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), these materials look at the work of conservation biotechnologist, Jonathan Kendon. Through investigating the effects of human activity on the environment, students gain a greater understanding of the career...

Inside STEM careers: investigating habitats *suitable for home teaching*

Produced by Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), these materials look at the work of landscape ecologist, Amy Eycott. Through investigating habitats and biodiversity, students gain a greater understanding of the career opportunities available in ecology and biology...

Inside STEM careers: investigating antioxidants

Produced by Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), these materials look at the work of plant research scientist, Jess Chu. Through investigating vitamin C in plants, students gain a greater understanding of the career opportunities available in plant biology.

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Growing Pollen Tubes

One of a series of resources from Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS) investigating key topics in plant biology. An enjoyable and thought-provoking introduction to the topic of sexual reproduction in plants. Students observe in real time the growth of a pollen tube, over the course of a lesson. When a pollen...

Sea ice from space

In this set of activities, students will investigate Arctic sea ice and its connection to climate. They will discover what happens when oceans freeze by carrying out a series of practical experiments. They have the opportunity to analyse real images from ESA satellites (CryoSat and Copernicus) to locate sea ice...

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