Collection jars (1 per student/group)
Cloth or paper to wrap seeds in
Blank white stickers (labels)
Notebook & pencils (1 per student)
Investigate what occurs at the seed bank at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan and become a seed scientist by preparing your own seed bank.
Task 1. What is a seed bank & how does it work
As a class, discuss the following questions:
- What is a seed bank?
- Why might scientists keep seeds?
Students read The seedbank: into the vault and watch the video of the Forest Red Gum seeds being prepared for the seed bank
As a class or individually, ask students to use the information to construct a flow chart showing the steps involved in preparing seeds for seed banking.
Task 2. Become a seed scientist
Seed scavenger hunt
As a class, find and collect seeds from around the school ground. Before students go on a scavenger hunt, identify several plants around the school that are appropriate for seed collection.
Prepare seeds for storing
Seeds need to be kept cool and dry in either cloth or paper (if stored in plastic they may overheat and start to germinate). Label each seed with the following information: What is the botanical name of this plant? What plant family group does this plant come from? When is the best time to sow this plant? How far apart should the seeds or seedlings be planted?
Engage students in a seed swap to build diversity into their seed bank.
Germinate a selection of seeds to test seed viability and to re-plant into the school environment.
Throughout this process, students will keep a science journal detailing the aims and procedure of each step, a catalogue of the seeds in their bank, and a reflection. Use the following questions to prompt reflection: What happened? Why did this happen? What would I do differently next time? The template for this journal is located in the student resource.