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How Plants Grow & Mischievous Microbes | OPRO Meets Mariama Carter​

Mariama Carter, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on behalf of the What's Eating My Plants? (WEMP) student organization at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Science outreach activity: How Plants Grow & Mischievous Microbes.

Type of event: An at-home learning activity.

Intended audience: K–12 students.

The activity homepage on WEMP’s website​​​​

Description of the activity:  WEMP developed an activity packet based on the Magic School Bus episode “Gets Planted." In this episode, Ms. Frizzle takes her class on an adventure to discover how plants grow. The packet materials (provided in both English and Spanish) include a lesson plan to guide guardians through the activities, a crossword puzzle with a coloring sheet based on information from the episode, a word search with a coloring sheet on bacterial wilt disease, a hands-on learning activity about the plant vascular system, and an answer key. Together, these fun and engaging activities teach core concepts in plant physiology and plant pathology.

Children engaged in WEMP’s outreach activities
(before COVID-19).

Materials needed for this activity:

  • Magic School Bus “Gets Planted" episode (available to stream from several websites).
  • Crossword puzzle.
  • Word search.
  • Hands-On Bacterial Wilt Activity: timer, paper, markers, four drinking glasses, drinking straws, water, peanut butter (or any kind of nut butter), multiple kinds of fruit (fresh or frozen), ice, blender. Optional: dairy products such as milk or yogurt.

Links to publicly available resources used for this activity:

​How many times has this activity been hosted? The activity has been freely available on our WEMP website since August 2020. The activity packet was also distributed by the APS Family Friendly Group during Plant Health 2020.​

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