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The 12 Principles of Plant Biology: These foundational ideas of basic plant biology are designed for science education at the K-12 levels. ASPB offers materials based on the principles to help students gain a better understanding of plant biology:

My Life As A Plant - Coloring & Activity Book: Sally Sunflower and her pals inspire kids (PreK-2) to explore the world of plants.  This interactive story created by ASPB Education Foundation Grant program winner Alan Jones with co-PI Jane Ellis and science educator Janice Anderson, is a fun first foray into the 12 Principles of Plant Biology. Download at or order from Amazon at .

So you want to share plant biology fun & expertise with your high school students?   This menu of free resources created or vetted by ASPB will help you integrate plant biology into any high school life science curriculum.  Options range from 1-hour lessons to semester-long collaborations with plant scientists.

Life Science Teaching Resource Community:  Find or share your own lesson plans, collections or tools for teaching plant science. ASPB partners with this robust digital archive to offer plant biology options in an integrated life sciences network.

Picture Books for Plant Biology: The mastery of reading and science can be rooted in and grown from the pages of picture books. Titles reflect endless interests. Reading picture books aloud benefits kids of all learning styles. Book art gives sophisticated visual examples and new perspectives on complicated, abstract concepts. The images spur interest in reading new vocabulary and gaining deeper, wider knowledge.

Do You Speak Plant? Explore the verdant garden of words and phrases rooted in plants through science-oriented word play suitable for sophisticated middle schoolers & up.

BASEic Botany is a program for fostering inquiry-based exploration of botany and sustainable horticulture in K-8 after school/summer enrichment settings. Program elements include:

The Challenge of Food by Science Forward: How will we feed the estimated 9 billion people that will be on the planet by 2050? How can food be distributed equally? This ~8-minute video with classroom resources presents making more nutritious food via genetic engineering and how science can inform food policy. This video includes Science Sense, a set of skills that scientists and scientific thinkers possess that allows them to question and evaluate information presented as scientific. These skills include interpreting graphs, making evidence based arguments, designing experiments, and more. The skills fall under three categories: Number Sense, Data Sense, and Knowledge Sense.

Educational Resources from (with ASPB support):

  •  NEW in 2015: All in the Touch curriculum covers key areas in plant diversity, cell structure and function and genetics. The curriculum provides many hands-on activities that make learning fun and educational in both classroom and after school settings.
  •  DNA for Dinner and Backyard Mystery are available to download for free! Primarily for middle school.

Plant Biology Videos on YouTube: These short videos offer creative, informative and entertaining perspectives on plant biology. The videos were produced by film and biology experts for a contest series created by ASPB Education Foundation Grants program winner Dan Cosgrove.

Greening the Classroom - Teaching Modules and Resource Center: Use the reference plant, Arabidopsis thaliana  to introduce basic concepts in plant biology, development and genetics. Materials and support free to educators.

Petunias & RNA Interference (RNAi): A wayward petunia has helped plant biologists unveil how modest little RNAi molecules can provide important medical treatment options. This 15-minute film uses appealing and accurate cartoons to clarify basic gene expression and the function of RNAi.

Plants-In-Motion: This site offers beautiful and technically accurate images of the varied motions plants make during their life-cycle. This clever plant biology resource was created by ASPB member Roger Hangarter. Also visit Roger's sLowlife page for another view of plant movements. Radio Show: Plant Detective Flora Delaterre explores the benefits, risks and efficacy of the world's medicinal plants.  Beth Judy, creator and voice of Delaterre, won funding from the ASPB Education Foundation Grants program for these 90-second radio shows with podcasts and online archive.

MicrobeWorld Radio: This educational outreach initiative revolves around a daily, 90-second radio series (ith podcasts and archives) designed to increase public understanding and appreciation of the vital role microbes play on our planet. MicrobeWorld is sponsored in part by the ASPB.

A Moment of Science Media Library: This two-minute radio program on the wonders of science gets listeners excited about important science concepts across a broad array of topics. Search the site's list of audio file titles to find plant science segments sure to amaze. This outreach project is supported by ASPB.

10 Classroom-Friendly Uses for Plant Science Radio & Lively Links of Radio Programs

iTAG Barley Project (grade 9-12): Genetic segregation of traits is critical to genetics and genomics projects in agriculture and human health. With iTAG lab and classroom activities using Oregon Wolfe doubled haploid barley (easily grown on a lighted window bench) students will discover the link between an organism’s genes and its outward appearance.To acquire module-specific seed contact Roger Wise, or visit Barley World. For additional information and/or seed of the complete Oregon Wolfe population, click here.

iTAG Barley Project Digital iBook for iPADA 9-12 curriculum to explore inheritance of traits and genes using Oregon Wolfe barley" by Hayes, N., Maffin, L., McGhee, L., Hall, G., Hubbard, T., Whigham, E. and Wise, R. P. (iTUNES;  51 pp).  2013.

Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) offers inquiry-based K-16 classroom activities on bioenergy and resources for teacher support and professional development. Get your students started learning the lingo with "Bioenergy 101: Common Vocabulary". PDF Available

The Huntington's botanical gardens and museum resources promote life-long learning. The site's education page offers classroom activities, images & resources, as well as institutes for classroom teachers.  Several of the Huntington's outreach programs were funded by the ASPB Education Foundation and Education Committee.

Wisconsin Fast Plants
Use Fast Plants® in K-16 classrooms and beyond to explore a wide variety of plant biology questions and engage in genuine scientific inquiry. Developed by ASPB member Paul Williams, these fun, affordable activities meet the pedagogical objectives of most any biology program.

Genomics Digital Lab (GDL) Project: This 1st-place winner in the NSF 2008 Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge is a series of curriculum-aligned biology games, modules, and interactive simulations. Users experience discovery-based learning via an array of topics. GDL was created in conjunction with ASPB grant program winner David Salt's Genomics eXplorer, an interactive walk-through plant cell.

Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (STEM collaboration from NSF & UT-K) - Students will demonstrate electron transfer by constructing a dye-sensitized solar cell using fruit or veggie products (anthocyanins). Students will analyze energy measurement and test power output from their solar cells. This lab helps students understand efficient, effective options to address societal need.

Secrets of Plant Genomes Revealed: What causes crazy corn mutations? Is GM food safe? Do genomes come in more than one size? This hip site helps you learn the answers to these questions and many more as you watch videos and see what scientists have to say about plant genomes.

Partnership for Plant Genomics Education: This site offers dynamic photos, curriculum & materials, student experiences, professional development and related links for teaching plant genomics.

Introducing Basic Biotechnology Teaching Techniques in High Schools in Sub-Saharan Africa – Ghana
This project’s specific objectives include:

  • Identify specific gaps for the effective teaching of biotechnology and genomics in high schools in Ghana;  
  • Develop a teaching model for high school teachers to implement modern biotechnology; 
  • Organize hands-on workshop to train high school teachers in basic concepts of biotechnology and genomics teaching models and also to introduce stakeholders to the technology; 
  • Provide basic teaching resources to sustain the teaching of biotechnology and genomics and its inclusion into school curriculum to pipeline students into research in the field; 
  • Encourage modern biotechnology discussion at high school science clubs to raise student interest; and empower beneficiaries to make informed decisions on modern biotechnology issues.

Agronomy K-12: This interactive program offers free resources and serves as a model for young students' campus field trips to experience plant and soil science to develop a better appreciation for agriculture in their daily lives.

Lilliputian Garden Cups: These cup necklaces germinate fertile discussions about plant development and biodiversity. See also Seeds of Change. This activity is based on work from ASPB member and Wisconsin Fast Plants creator, Paul Williams.

Teaching Tools: This monthly, online feature ofThe Plant Cell offers lecture-boosting materials on key themes in plant biology. The first Teaching Tool, Why Study Plants?, reviews the critical roles plants play in providing oxygen, food, fuel and fiber.

Career Day Power Point: This ready-to-go resource will help enlighten students on what it means to work as a plant biologist.

Phyllotaxis & Fibonacci: Students take a close look at the math & biology involved in the creation of seed, leaf, and petal spiral patterns. These multi-modal, inquiry-oriented activities align with NGSS and CCSS and are scalable for middle and high school/AP students.

The Gizmo Poster: This 11x17 full-color poster highlights how plants improve the world and enhance daily living.

Careers in Plant Biology: A career in plant biology offers a myriad of engaging challenges while exploring how plants work in their environment and how this work can be more efficiently channeled to benefit people throughout the world.

Plants in Your House: Plants are everywhere and are important to people in many ways! Use this form to take a plant treasure hunt around your house.
Italian translation: Piante nascoste

Hamburger: Find out just how many plants you eat with your hamburger.
Italian translation: Quante piante in un hamburger

Plant Science Radio - Activities for Fun & Learning: Tune into three lively Plant Science Radio shows sponsored by ASPB. Then try some of these hands-on, inquiry-based learning activities.

Plants in Your Pants: Find out how the cotton plant helps create those jeans you love to wear.

Plants in Your Pants - Indigo: See why the perfect shade of denim depends on the indigo plant.

How to Host a Plant Biology Film Fest: Invite friends, students or family to enjoy plant-centric plot twists and biological themes. Pick a title from this list, do some simple prep, and call 'action' to start your Oscar-worthy edutainment.  

Genes in Your Jeans
Learn what plant genes have to do with getting your jeans broken in just right.

Transparency Rulers
A quick, cheap, and easy way to create a classroom set of microscopy rulers.

Grow a Chewy-Ooey-Gooey-Chocolatey-Nutty Candy Bar 
Learn about the plants in every delicious bite.

Bottle Biology
Use soda bottles and other recyclable materials to create Decompostion Columns, Bottle Gardens, and more to explore science and the environment.

Spanish Translations of items above:

Celdas solares sensibilizadas con colorantes (de NSF y UK-T) - Demonstración de la conversión solar usando sensibilizadores con colorantes naturales.

Plantas en tus pantalones: El Algodon - El algodon crece en Asia, Africa, Australia, y las Americas. Es usado en 40% de las telas tex-tiles. El algodon es la fibra principal en los pantalones vaqueros.

Plantas en tus pantalones: Indigo - Como las plantas indigo llegan a tus pantalones vaqueros denim?

Genes en tus patalones vaqueros - Hoy en dia, los cultivadores prefieren aquel algodon que tiene fibras duras y largas para la fabricacion de un buen denim.

Los 12 Principios de la Biología Vegetal *

10 usos para presentar en salones de clases, sobre: Principios de Biología de Plantas para utilizar como "Señaladores de libros"

Reglas de microscopía

Plantas en la Casa


The Science of Teaching and Learning:
Teachers' Participation in Research Programs Improves Their Students' Achievement in Science
A summer research program for teachers enhanced their skills in communicating science to students, students' achievement scores, and job satisfaction. See
Science 16 October 2009 (fee may be required).

Purple Tomatoes?
Discover how snapdragons & tomatoes use the power of purple to fight disease.

Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education
This peer-reviewed journal is written by and for educators in the life sciences, natural resources, and agriculture disciplines. Educators in extension, industry, administration, and grades K-16 settings use JNRLSE to access and provide objective data on timely and evergreen topics. Special rates for ASPB members may apply.  Subscribe or submit a manuscript.

Testable Questions & Science Fair Tips


Hot News

7/9/2016 » 7/13/2016
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