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Flower Bulb Science: Activities for the Hands-on Classroom
All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions

This Web Seminar, developed in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) took place on Thursday, February 7, 2008, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In this program, the presenters discussed various activities examples and applications of how teachers can use flower bulbs in their teaching. The topics presented included experiments and observations in growing bulbs out of season, altering bulb growing variables, and learning extensions associated with the activities and experiments.

Craig Cramer, Communications Specialist at Cornell University’s Department of Horticulture, provided examples of bulbs flowering at different seasons and how geophytes act as storage reserves, allowing bulbs to grow rapidly under certain conditions. Marcia Eames-Sheavly of the Garden-Based Learning Program at Cornell, discussed activities and examples for using bulbs in the classroom, including experiments based on a technique called forcing; allowing bulbs to be grown out of season. Eames-Sheavly demonstrated how changing variables and conditions can influence how tall flowers grow, using paper white bulbs as an example. Elly Cramer, Web Research and Development Specialist for the NSDL, provided an overview of a newly developed site the team of presenters is working on, known as The Bulb Project. The web site is a portal for educators to retrieve and share information and activities related to flower bulbs.

Twenty-one (21) participants were present at the live Web Seminar, in addition to the presenters, the NSDL moderator, and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Participants received a one-year subscription to one of NSTA’s SciGuides for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “This was an incredible team of experts who talked to all levels of educators-
    from preschool to high school. Excellent topic, presentation and resources.”

  • “I am a purple thumb gardener, but the ideas presented have given me encouragement to try working "outside my comfort zone." I think this may
    also be a way to build collaborative relationships between our
    science center and local groups like garden clubs.”

  • “AWESOME! Many exciting ideas and activities provided for plant units.”

  • “Thanks! (The Web Seminar) was educational and very fun!”

Thanks to the participants and the presenters for the learning opportunity, the interactions and a job well done!


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