For a seed to successfully grow it must have water, sunlight and soil, just like its parent plant – whether it is a daisy or a redwood. However, it is not always ideal for a seed just to drop to the ground under the parent plant. If it sprouts and grows right next to the parent plant it will be competing for water, nutrients and light (unless it is an annual that will not come back the next season). Ideally the plant wants to spread its seeds as far and wide as possible. This will allow more offspring to spread throughout the habitat and not compete with its own resources.
Plants have developed many ingenious ways to successfully disperse their seeds. We will look at some of the structures they have developed to accomplish those goals and how they work.
Students will observe, study and hypothesize about the adaptations of seed structures to aid in their dispersal.
Optional: provide a puffball mushroom that is ready to puff out spores for students to see.
Experimenting with Dispersal:
Be prepared to discuss each seed and how it responds to your “dispersal” techniques.
Activities that Bridge Outdoor Exploration with Classroom Science
The activities in Wild Science will integrate outdoor exploration with the understanding and appreciation of science and environmental issues. Using Wild Science as a guide, we invite you to rediscover your sense of wonder about the natural world and share it with the children you know.