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Getting Kids Excited About Plant Science

Posted by: CID Staff
Dec. 3, 2014

It can be hard to grab a 7th-grader’s attention, especially if you happen to be a plant: on the leafy green surface, it looks like nothing is going on at all. But with the CI-340 Handheld Photosynthesis System in hand, young STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) students were able to learn about the world of invisible activity occurring in the plants and soil all around them.

In support of the National Science Foundation GK-12 program, CID loaned a CI-340 Handheld Photosynthesis System to Simone Whitecloud, a National Science Foundation Fellow from Dartmouth College. Whitecloud, who is spending a year teaching plant science to elementary school students as part of her fellowship, used the CI-340 to show students the invisible world of Infrared Gas Analysis (IRGA) and plant respiration. Students examined plants photosynthesizing indoors in their classroom, and then conducted further experiments on plants and soil in a greenhouse, such as changing the amount of light the plants were exposed to, and measuring the effects of adding cold vs. warm water to see how soil responded.  Each student was able to use the CI-340 and record their own data. See the video of Simone Whitecloud introducing the concept of Near Infrared Gas Analysis to her students here:

 CID is excited to be able to support STEM education to inspire the plant scientists of the future!