It's a new school year, and the Science & Plants for Schools team have spent the summer preparing free teaching resources for you and your classes.
Launching this month - our micro-film takes you from DNA to the planet in 90 seconds. If you've ever had your students ask why plant science is important, this has the answers. The 3rd in our series to support the A-level set practicals goes live. And we've got the latest news on prehistoric plants...
FROM DNA TO THE PLANET IN 90 SECONDS... IN OUR NEW MICRO-FILM
Discover the wonder of biology again in our 90 second flip-book style film and then share it with your students. The micro-film includes new images captured by top researchers at the Sainsbury Lab, Cambridge, who also acted as consultants to ensure the scientific accuracy of the film.
The film compliments our new website for students, IntoBiology (www.intobiology.org.uk) - find out more next month.
NEW RESOURCES - A-LEVEL SET PRACTICALS: THIN LAYER CHROMATOGRAPHY
Launching the latest in our series of resources designed to support the new 2015 biology A-level specifications. This, 3rd in a series of 5, is a reliable approach to Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC).
Students conduct Thin Layer Chromatography individually or in pairs to separate and identify the photosynthetic pigments from plant material within half an hour. This simple method has been designed to produce good separation of photosynthetic pigments using solvents that are suitable for use in a school biology laboratory. By using grass from a school lawn or playing field, students can see the variety of different molecules that can be separated from a plant that they are all very familiar with.
All the resources in this series include support material for teachers and technicians, a student worksheet to help provide evidence for meeting the requirements, and revision materials for the exams.
RESOURCES - CSI TREES: INTRODUCING PLANT DISEASE (14-16)
If you've been looking through the new draft GCSE specs, you'll have noticed a new emphasis on plant disease. Get ahead of the game with our resource 'CSI trees'. We'll be developing more on the topic over the course of the year.
RESEARCH NEWS - WHY THE FIRST DAISIES WERE TRAMPLED BY THE LAST DINOSAURS
Studies of fossil pollen has shown the daisy family (Asteraceae) to be 20 million years older than we thought, overlapping with the dinosaurs.
Scientists discovered the fossil pollen in Antarctica - buried for more than 65 million years - and, by comparing it against living plants, were able to identify it as an extinct member of the daisy family. With the Asteraceae considered to be one of the key drivers of pollinator evolution, including bees and hummingbirds, the team hope this will be the first of numerous scientific insights.
If you've enjoyed these resources, we'll be back in October with more.
Harriet Truscott, Dan Jenkins, Claire Pennycuick and Ginny Page
The Science and Plants for Schools team