Learning Genetics with Bees on a Stick!
Thanks to a GLCS Foundation grant from funds raised in memory of Jim Fish, 230 7th-grade students now are learning about the entire plant life-cycle, including plant reproduction, genetics, and heredity. The grant was used to purchase Wisconsin Fast Plants, which are a quick-growing Brassica plant that has specific genetic traits--growing tall or short and sporting purple or green stems and leaves.
The students start the plants from seeds, use dried bees on a stick to manually pollinate the plants, and then harvest seeds from the mature plant pods, which then go through the same process. This is a very hands-on, engaging way for students to study heredity, as they are part of the process and can see which plant traits, dominant or recessive, are passed on to the second-generation plants through the entire plant life cycle.
Interesting fact! This science unit is taking place in the Middle School greenhouse, which was saved and refurbished in 2014, thanks to a collaboration of the GLSC Foundation and other community partners.
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