The Great Plant Hunt

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The Great Plant Hunt invited primary school children to follow in the footsteps of Darwin by going on nature walks in and around their school grounds. Encouraging them to find out more about plants and in the process learn key scientific skills.

To mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, commissioned and funded by the Wellcome Trust, created the Great Plant Hunt. This exciting project will encourage children to explore the natural world around them and join other schools in the biggest ever school science project.

Forming part of the Darwin 200 initiative, the Great Plant Hunt invited primary school children to follow in the footsteps of Darwin by going on nature walks in and around their school grounds. Encouraging them to find out more about plants and in the process learn key scientific skills.

Basic information

Country: United Kingdom

Coordinator: The Wellcome Trust, Email: contact (at) wellcome.ac.uk

Programme: Other

Project Acronym:

Target groups: primary school students, teachers

Topic: Biology, Ecology, Environmental sciences

Start year: 2009

End year: 2013

Url: http://stem.org.uk/cx3uf

Contact person: The Great Plant Hunt, Email: contact (at) wellcome.ac.uk

Information on the Wellcome Trust’s work around Darwin can be found here.

A related report on teachers’ views, approaches and needs in relation to ‘Darwin-inspired’ science can be found here.

The Great Plant Hunt resources were created by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and commissioned and funded by the Welcome Trust to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. The resources encourage children to draw inspiration from the life and work of Charles Darwin to develop their understanding of the natural world.

Originally designed for children from age five to six, Darwin's ‘Lookouts’ activities encourage children to look out for plants in the local environment and examine them carefully. In these resources they learn about plant parts and spot similarities and differences between plants.

Darwin's ‘Discoverers’ encourage children, aged six to seven, to go out and discover the amazing plants that grow in their part of the world. In these activities they observe the similarities and differences between plants in different habitats, collect specimens and study them in simple experiments. Darwin's ‘Thinkers’ resources encourage children aged seven to eight to reflect on their findings and pool their ideas. In these activities they explore how we use plants and investigate how they grow successfully.

Darwin's ‘Collectors’ asks children to make collections, observations and recordings to document how plants and animals adapted to their surroundings. Darwin's ‘Investigators’ investigate seed dispersal, collecting and storing seeds in their own mini seed banks and plan and carry out a germination experiment. And finally, designed for children working in upper Key Stage Two:

Darwin's ‘Plant Detectives’ find out how Kew scientists identified mystery seeds and then embark on their own detecting challenge. Children identify mystery seeds by combining evidence from observations and creative thinking.

More information can be found here.

 

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