Fascination of Plants Day 2017


Great enthusiasm at the Fascination of Plants Day 2017
150 pupils from 3rd and 4th grade learnt on May 18th about plant’s superforces and could carry out several experiments themselves at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. The whole event took place in frame of this year’s international Fascination of Plants Day.

Five school classes from different elementary schools in Düsseldorf respectively the International School on the Rhine from Neuss visited Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf for one day to dive into the fascinating world of plant science.
The interactive workshop day on the topic „Plants have superforces“ was jointly organised by CEPLAS, the Cluster of Excellence for Plant Sciences, and the Institute for Quantitative und Theoretical Biology of Jun.-Prof. Dr. Oliver Ebenhöh. All parts of this event were planned and carried out in an easy understandable way, as one aim was to stimulate the interest and enthusiasm of kids for plant science. First part of the day was an interactive talk in one of the lecture halls of HHU where already the first experiment “plants can glow in the dark” took place and fascinated the kids. Subsequently, during the guided tour in the Botanical Garden the kids got to know even more superforces of plants – some being toxic and some being even able to survive a fire!
After those theoretical parts it was time to get hands-on experiences with real experiments. Six different experiments were set up in the Orangerie of the Botanical Garden. Divided into small groups, pupils learnt that plant’s can breathe, move and even swim! For most of them it was totally new that algae are so small and therefore have to be observed with a microscope.
All kids were totally enthusiastic about the experiments and couldn’t wait to do all of them. Their motivation was stimulated even more by a little “researcher pass” and they received a stamp for every successfully completed experiment. At the end of the day the pupils proudly received a certificate about their participation. Furthermore, instructions and seeds for experiments with plants, which can be carried out at home, were handed out. Due to the very positive feedback, CEPLAS will participate next time as well in the Fasciation of Plants Day.

Participation in this workshop was free of charge.

Photos: Steffen Köhler

Aim of the „Fascination of Plants Day“ is to fascinate people from all around the world for plant sciences and as well to show them the importance and need of plant research, e.g. for agriculture or for the sustainable production of food and feed. The „Fascination of Plants Day“ is coordinated by the European Plant Sciences Organisation (EPSO).

Heinrich Heine University
University of Cologne
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research
Forschungszentrum Jülich