1st Grade Naturalists Sprouting Up in STEM

The first grade students have been busy growing plants and building terrariums in STEM class as part of a plants and animals unit. Students began investigations into how to make new plants from seeds using water, sun, nutrients, and space to grow. They grew ryegrass and alfalfa and then gave them "haircuts" to see what would happen to their growth. They also experimented with how to grow new plants from old ones by observing ivy cuttings in water. Then they looked for new growth around the leaves to see if the cuttings grew roots. Students also planted wheat seeds using rolled-up paper towel and straw dipped in water. They have been recording all their observations in science journals, monitoring when roots are poking out of the bottom of the straw, which ones have long green stems, and noting that some have even grown upside down. 

Next, it was time to build terrariums. The class talked about what plants need to survive and then added soils, seeds, and plants they have grown in previous lessons. The students went outside and added leaves and sticks to create shelter for insects. Later, students added native bugs from the schoolyard to their terrariums and then each group added 6 isopods (aka. rolly pollys) to their bins. Two groups also found monarch caterpillars in the garden and added them to the terrariums. One is still eating and gaining weight, while the other has transformed into a chrysalis. The 1st graders are having a blast! 


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