New! Teacher Resources for Fast Plants
Here are a few of my favorite resources. I am hoping we will add to this list together. Send me the information, and we'll add your favorites to the list and credit you and your school!
Heres the latest breaking news on Fast Plants!
Bottle Growing System
Watch the telecasts for examples of the great new Bottle Growing System (BGS). The BGS employs recycled plastic soda pop bottles in a self-contained planting and watering system. The Fast Plants can be grown hydroponicly adding a fertilizer solution to the reservoir in the bottom! The BGS is described in detail on the Wisconsin Fast Plants website as are details about the hydroponic fertilizer solution.
Bottle Cap Gardening
Try some bottle cap gardening with petite or rosette Fast Plant seeds. You have rosette seed stock in your TEAMS Science Fast Plants kit - they work great in a bottle cap garden. A plastic bottle cap from a two-liter soda bottle will fit snugly into the top of an empty plastic film can. Drill or melt a hole in the bottle cap and inset a fabric wick made from Pellon (the material that the water mats in your kit are made from - available at any fabric store) or unpolished cotton string. Pull a loop of string or a length of Pellon wick into the bottle cap and then fill the cap with seed starter "soil" and plant a couple of seeds. Add some water/fertilizer solution to the film can and then rest the cap in the top of the film can with the wick extending down into the water. Remember to check the water level every day and add water/fertilizer. Leave the bottle cap with the film can watering system under the lights as you would normally grow Fast Plants.
Fast Plants Light House
Are you running out of room under your light bank? Are your looking for a way to grow plants without building a complete light bank? Perhaps the Fast Plants Light House is for you. Over the years several alternative versions of the light system have been tried. The Light House is the best alternative to the bank of six, 4-foot fluorescent tubes. It can be constructed from an empty apple or paper box, lined with aluminum foil, and uses a circular fluorescent tube as the light source. Ive tried several and they work great. Keep in mind that the Light House is not as tall as your light bank and you will need to transfer the plants to the standard light system after they begin to get taller at the flowering stage. If you are growing shorter seed varieties, such as astro/petite or rosette Fast Plants, you will have no trouble. Excellent construction details can be on the Wisconsin Fast Plants website.
Film Can Magnifier
This great observation tool, made entirely from discarded materials and an inexpensive plastic lens is a must for your classroom. One of the outstanding features is the clear, film can itself, which can be used to house a mealworm, caterpillar, Fast Plants flower, or ???. A standard hand lens is handy, but the Film Can Magnifier comes complete with a viewing chamber!