February 27, 2016
How do you measure a growing plant?
An interactive session led by Dr. Edgar Spalding
Professor in the Department of Botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Let’s say you wanted to know how fast or slow a plant would grow. How would you measure it? Look around your house or classroom for ideas. There is a measuring tape in the garage, a piece of string and a ruler in your desk, a magnifying glass, a sharpie marker, a laser pointer, a photocopier, a digital camera, a computer… By now you might have thought of several ways to measure the growth rate of a plant, just one leaf, or a piece of one stem, or maybe even a root. But what if the plant was a tiny seedling like this one: https://youtu.be/l_o46YVwaa8?
What if they were large and you needed to measure a hundred of them? What if you needed to measure the growth of all the plants in a whole cornfield? We will discuss various different ways in which scientists measure plant growth and how they use the measurements to discover genes that control plant growth.
Edgar Spalding is a professor in the Department of Botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The laboratory he supervises includes students and Ph.D. scientists performing research on various aspects of plant growth, both in ‘lab rat’ species that are only ‘useful’ as subjects for experiments and in crop species like corn that are useful in so many ways. The ultimate goal of his research is to understand what controls plant growth well enough that better-performing crops can be produced more efficiently.
February 2016 - Hands-On Exhibits
After the interactive session the students will be escorted by their parents to have lunch and then to the hands-on portion of the event. There the students will enjoy the experience of interacting with various exhibits from the Bowling Green State University community.