23 Jan Science 7 More on flowers, fruits, biodiversity

  1. Have you turned in a paper copy of your PIP proposal? Do you have a digital copy in your DSN?
  2. Review notes from previous DSN entry.
  3. Is your DSN complete? Are you reflecting in each entry? Is your DSN uploaded correctly? Do you have all photos and notes included? Is everything well-organized and well-labeled?
  4. Look over today’s blogpost. There is homework!
  5. Prepare your DSN entry for today’s class.
  6. Together let’s watch (using a stop, ask, discuss, and write technique):

A Confusion of Names from Botany: A Blooming History: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVDpdmlpZKw

Some information about the episode:

A Confusion of Names

What makes plants grow is a simple enough question. The answer turns out to be one of the most complicated and fascinating stories in science and took over 300 years to unravel.Timothy Walker, director of Oxford University Botanic Garden, reveals how the breakthroughs of Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, Chelsea gardener Phillip Miller and English naturalist John Ray (sometimes Wray) created the science of botany. Between them, these quirky, temperamental characters unlocked the mysteries of the plant kingdom, and they began to glimpse a world where bigger, better and stronger plants could be created. Nurseryman Thomas Fairchild created the world’s first artificial hybrid flower – an entirely new plant that didn’t exist in nature.Today, botanists continue the search for new flowers, better crops and improved medicines to treat life-threatening diseases.

Some information about Timothy Walker:

A few questions to consider:

  • How do we learn what to notice? How do we know what to look for? How do we learn to notice something that we have never noticed before? How do we learn to “un-notice” something our mind has invented that is not really the way things are–think of the backwards bike or the drawings of ants we made from memory?
  • What do you make of Walker taking the time to show a statue of Newton during a video documentary about plants?
  • Early in the video Walker discusses the idea of variation in a plant species. What does he say?
  • What questions captured the attention of historical botanists and directed their observations and thinking?
  • What patterns and relationships came to mind as the various botanists in history observed plants?
  • How did Darwin’s ideas help explain the patterns and methods of organizing and classifying the plant world that had emerged from the work of Ray (Wray), Linnaeus, Miller, Fairchild, and others?
  • So far, we have looked at Darwin’s ideas (for example, more offspring are produced than survive), at the structure of some flowers and fruits, at the idea of plants being related based on similarities of flowers and fruits, at particular trees (your partner tree), at the diversity of certain groups of animals (during WOW 7 and preparation for WOW7), like spiders and aquatic macro-invertebrates, and birds.
  • One primary set of questions is about the diversity of living things (biodiversity): How many kinds? How many of each kind? How are the kinds distributed?
  • More complex questions follow:What are the relations among different kinds of living thing? How do different kinds of living thing interact with the environment? How does an organism’s genetic inheritance interact with the environment?

If there is time today, begin the following. If not, do this as homework.

  • Find as many examples of flowers with corresponding flower shapes (http://flowersofindia.net/flowershapes/) as you can on the AES campus. Take photos and categorize by shape. Include names if you know. Put plants into groups based on your assessment of the similarity of their flowers.
  • Add to your partner tree information by both direct observation and research from reliable references. What can you find out about the various names of your tree? How can you relate the scientific name of your tree to information from the video “A Confusion of Names?”

We will conduct a biodiversity walk together during the next class. Be prepared to notice flowers, fruits, different kinds of plant. Be prepared to see things you have never seen or noticed before. Be prepared to point out your partner tree and to share information with the class at the appropriate time.

Please ask any questions that you have.

About rfrazier

AES profile = http://aes.ac.in/viewprofile.php?u=6946
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