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Growing the future - track 01
Terms in this set (27)
Welcome, welcome everyone! Gather round! The esteemed (scientist) will be here soon to give us one of their famous presentations! I wonder what it will be this time!
I'm here, I'm here! (Comes on stage) hello everyone! I am so sorry I'm late. I kept stopping at flower beds to note the varieties. This festival really is captivating!
I was just gathering everyone for your presentation. Are you ready?
Let's see... We have masks on - well keep those on the whole time so that we can be together and perform our experiments safely. Everyone down there will also want to be six feet away from other groups of people. stick with your group and you'll be all set to explore the wonders of botany with us.
(scientist) and I will want to keep our clothes clean while doing the activities today so we need to put on our lab coats. ( takes coat and puts it on then notices S doing the same) what is on your lab coat?
Oh I decorated myself with all my favorite plants. Just to be a little more festive for the Taste of Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!
Okay then... So I assume today's presentation is about flowers and plants?
Yes of course! And we're ready to start! Welcome to Growing the Future, presented by Murata Electronics in partnership with Science from Scientists.
We are Science from Scientists, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing real, exciting science to folks just like you! Our fellow scientists are working virtually and in classrooms across the US in California, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.
Today, we're going to learn more about plants, what makes them grow, and the technology farmers and agriculturalists use to grow plants smarter and more efficiently. My name is _ and I'm a Science from Scientists trained botanist and biologist. This is my newest assistant.
Hi everyone, I'm _____. I'm a Science from Scientists trained professional studying STEM —Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. I am especially passionate about chemistry and new technologies!
For decades, electronics companies like murata have been exploring new ways for science and technology to work together. (Holds up CO2 sensor) Their engineers have developed sensor technology that allows farmers, scientists, and agriculturalists to monitor plant growth and health.
So that's what the sensor is for? That sounds like it could be interesting... I was hoping for something a little more... Futuristic and flashy. But agriculture could be cool.
Agriculture is cool! And technology plays a huge role in helping agricultural scientists grow food, care for the environment, and even grow beautiful flowers like the ones we've seen at the festival!
But before we talk about these sensors and why we need them, we need to understand more about plants and how they grow. Who here has heard the word photosynthesis before?
Photo the assistant? Yes, please! Where's the camera? (poses obnoxiously)
No, no. Photosynthesis. The process by which plants make food?
Ohhh. Right, yeah, photo synthesis... Could you tell me move about that? As a reminder of course it's been a while since I've brushed up on my plant science.
Of course! Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants, and some other organisms create their own food and produce oxygen by using three major ingredients. Can you tell us what these ingredients are (assistant)?
Uh... Sugar, spice, and everything nice?
Not exactly. Photo synthesis is the process by which green plants use light energy from the sun to make chemical energy from carbon dioxide and water. This chemical energy can be stored as Good for the plant to use later as it grows OR that energy can be used by consumers who eat the plants, like us!
Oh right! Photosynthesis is how plants synthesize their own food and energy. Doesn't photosynthesis also produce the oxygen we breathe?
(S picks up three ingredient paddles from their cart on stage and holds them up while discussing each ingredient — sunlight, water, and co2)
Let's go through each ingredient, shall we? Starting with sunlight: where does the sunlight come from?
That's an easy one - the sun!
Right! And, in some cases when natural sunlight isn't available, we can use artificial growing lights for home and indoor gardens. Plants absorb sunlight through structures inside their cells called chloroplasts.
Ohhhhh okay. So chloroplasts are like little restaurants inside plants where photosynthesis takes place and food is "cooked".
Umm, yeah! That analogy actually works.
(A pumps fist, proud to have been praised)
The second ingredient needed for photosynthesis is water. Where do you think the water comes from?
(Perks up, excited to participate) they I know this one too!
(Thoughtfully, as if trying to recall the information as it's spoken)
Water is cycled naturally through the earth's water cycle. The sun heats water on the surface of the oceans and other bodies of water and it then evaporates into the atmosphere. As it rises, it cools and condenses into water drops that can form clouds. Once those clouds are saturated, or fall, the water falls to the ground as rain, hail, sleet or snow. We call this precipitation! Water then soaks into the soil and eventually makes its way back to the oceans through rivers, streams, and runoff.
Very good, (assistant), I'm impressed! But you left out one big part of the water cycle - plants!
(A looks slightly upset that they forgot something bumps forehead in a 'how could I forget?' Kind of motion)
Plants absorb water through their roots in the soil. That water moves up from the roots, through the stem and to the leaves. Some of that water evaporates from the leaves into the air through a process called transpiration, adding even more water back in to the water cycle!
That's awesome! I didn't know plants played such an important role in circulating water around the planet. ( getting more excited ) let's keep going! What's the last ingredient?
The last ingredient we need is carbon dioxide, or C-O-2. Any idea where the carbon dioxide comes from? I'll give you a hint: there's actually CO all around us.
Hmmmm. All around us... Do we get carbon dioxide from these shrubs? (gestures to the front of stage plants)
Not quite. Think bigger!
From. Spaceship earth!
Even bigger! Bigger than all the plants on earth! Bigger than Disney magic! What other "magic is in the air" today?
Oh! The atmosphere!
That's right! CO2 occurs naturally in our atmosphere. It is also generated through the breakdown of natural organic matter through respiration, and as a byproduct from the burning of fossil fuels like gasoline and coal.
To better understand the relationship between oxygen and carbon dioxide I've brought these ball and stick models to show—
( S and A go to pick up ball-and-stick models. A grabs oxygen and S grabs the CO2)
( Seeing an opportunity to be the expert, confidently) excuse me, chemist coming through! I've been expertly trained in the use of ball and stick models like these.
( clears throat dramatically, continues confidently) as living organisms that are alive, we need to consume oxygen molecules to produce energy. An oxygen molecule consists of two oxygen atoms bonded together. A carbon dioxide molecule consists of a carbon atom bonded to two oxygen atoms.
You're on a roll. Plants absorb carbon dioxide through small pores in their leaves called stomata.
So, back to our plant/restaurant analogy, the stomata would be like the delivery door where new ingredients and trash is come in sent out?
Yeah! Now that we've gone over the three key ingredients for photosynthesis, it's time for a little game of "scimon says!"
(skeptically) really? Simon says? Like the kids game?
Come on. Give it a try, you might have a chloro-blast!
(A rolls eyes, reluctantly picks up three paddles with roots, stem, and leaves. S grabs the 'scimon' paddle)
Okay, everyone up and on your feet!
Basically, [ scientist] will say an instruction. We will then do what they say but only if [scientist] says Simon says first.
Right, but we're going to put a little science from scientists spin on the game today, with help from our STEM robot, Scimon.
(S shows the 'scimon' paddle to the audience, A gestures dramatically, think wanna white. While S explains each pose A holds up the corresponding paddle )
For today's game, I'll be simon with Simon, and give you three different poses:
First we have roots! For this one crouch down and spread out your fingers.
Great! Next we have stems - everyone stand up straight with your arms high above your head.
Finally we have leaves. I told your arms out to the side and put your palms up toward the sun!
Remember, if you hear me say "scimon says" and I hold up Simon, then strike that pose.
If you don't hear me say hscimon says" and I don't hold up Simon, then don't do anything!
Alright, let's start with a practice round. (call out each pose once with Simon says fur and one to practice then add one or two without Simon says)
Let's play for real this time. ( play the game for three minutes, pick up speed as the game continues. To end the game I call out one made up command to stump the crowd and end on a high note)
Great work everyone! Nothing like a good game of Simon says to STEM-ulate the brain cells!
Really? That's the best you could C-O-do?
Did you just make a cheesy plant joke?
What can I say, I guess the plants are growing on me.
I'm so proud of you, young seedling.
Don't get too sappy. You still have to answer my questions about this mysterious, amazing Murata sensor thingy.
Right, right. Of course, so, we've talked about the three ingredients for photosynthesis: sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. We know where these ingredients come from and how plants use them to create food and energy.
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