Ask your child: what is a botanist?
Today NUSTEM have been into school to do the botanist workshop with your child. During the workshop, we supported the children to feel more confident that a career in STEM is for ‘people like them’ by trying some of the activities a botanist would do in their job.
We introduced three attributes that the children may already have or can develop. By discussing STEM careers in terms of these attributes, we are encouraging children and young people to see themselves as having the skills to work in STEM.
Botanists are: curious, patient and observant.
What do Botanists do?
Botanists study plants including algae, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants. They study how plants live and grow, the evolution of plants and the relationship plants have with their environments. Botanists’ research involves improving crops, developing medicines, cleaning up contaminated sites, and even powering our cars.
Do try this at home: make a plant pop up
During our botanist session in class we looked at Venus Fly Traps. We made these plant pop-ups to record our observations in a creative and imaginative way.
You may have a favourite flower in your house, garden or yard that you would like to observe and record using a pop-up. If you haven’t, then you could use one of our flower photographs as inspiration.
You will need:
- Card or paper (A4 is easiest but any size will do)
- A pencil
- Felt tips, crayons or colouring pencils
- Photographs of plants (see below) or the ability to search the internet for these
Fold the card or paper in half, and then in half again so it is in quarters. Open up the card so that it is folded in half, with the quarter fold running across the middle and the half fold along the left hand side.
Fold the top left hand corner and bottom left hand corner into the centre fold. Open out these folds. Turn over the card and fold the corners into the centre fold again, so they have been folded both ways.
Inside the triangle created, draw a curved line from the left hand folded edge to the diagonal fold. This will make the shape of your petals. Cut along the curved line with your scissors.
Fully open up the card. Put your finger on the centre of your petal, at the top of the vertical fold line. Pull your petal towards you and fold it along the vertical line. Do the same with the lower petal. Fold the card in half again. Your top and bottom petals should be folded to form a flower inside your card.
Draw your flower by adding extra petals and then colour these in. You can add the stem and leaves if you want to.
Now try experimenting with different shaped petals. You could make the petals more narrower or wider by folding in the corners more or less (step 2). You can also change the shape of your curve (step 3).