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Planting the Seeds of Science!

Thirteen hands-on science experiments teach basic concepts about plants in this new book from the science experts at the Ontario Science Centre and Kids Can Press!

Plants are smart.
Plants are strong.
Plants are sensitive.
Plants, a new book from Kids Can Press, is a surefire way to turn students' excitement about gardening into a true learning experience!

Plants Book CoverPlants, one of the "Starting with Science" series produced by the science experts at the Ontario Science Centre, includes 13 hands-on science experiments perfect for kids in grades PreK-4. Each experiment reinforces a basic "plant" concept. Use the experiments with your entire class. Or choose a handful of them, divide your class into small groups, and let each group tackle an experiment and report the results. The book's simple experiments can be used to prove that:

  • Plants are smart. Plants (seeds) knows which way is up -- thanks to some basic chemical science and gravity!
  • Plants are strong. They can even push up a sheet of cardboard! (No wonder the can push up through tiny cracks in sidewalks!)
  • Plants are sensitive to light. Plants will bend and stretch to reach any light source. Use this experiment to prove it!
  • Plants are sensitive to acid rain. Prove it by watering two plants -- one, the "control" plant, gets fed water while the other one gets a water/vinegar (acid) mixture!

Plants will have your students creating hyroponic gardens (gardens without dirt), making their own soil, and learning what kinds of materials are biodegradable. In addition, students will learn to turn table scraps into food for plants, grow plants from potato eyes and other readily available "seeds," and feed some fungus with a piece of bread!

Each experiment from the Toronto-based science centre -- world renowned for its hands-on approach to teaching science -- is a proven kid-pleaser. Each year, more that a quarter-million kids participate in the Centre's interactive programs and workshops! All materials needed for the experiments are easy to find, simple directions are written so kids can follow them, and each experiment includes a straightforward explanation of the science behind it.

All of the Plants experiments are vividly illustrated with the most beautifully expressive photographs of kids in science-experiment action! Among the book's other terrific features are a glossary of "words to know" and a special page for teachers and parents that includes ideas for extending each of the book's 13 experiments.

Plants is a one-stop-shopping resource for teachers. After "experimenting" with plants, you'll want to pick up the other titles in the "Starting with Science" series: Living Things, Simple Machines, and Solids, Liquids, and Gases.

Plants and the other books in the Starting With Science series from the Ontario Science Centre are written by Adrienne Mason and Deborah Hodge, with photographs by Ray Boudreau. The books can be ordered by your local bookseller; or contact the Kids Can Press distributor at General Distribution Services, Inc., 85 River Rock Drive, Suite 202, Buffalo, NY 14207-2170. For information about Kids Can Press books, call 1-800-805-1083 or write [email protected] .

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 1998 Education World