Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS): secondary and post-16 resources

Innovative and reliable practical activities to engage students with biology, focusing on plant science. Where appropriate, the resources include detailed background information for teachers and technicians, and questions to stimulate discussion with and between students.

The Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS) website includes over 200 resources, starter ideas, and articles, with new resources based around contemporary science added each term. Science & Plants for Schools has been supporting teachers for over twenty years, and is now based at the University of Cambridge, associated with the Department of Plant Sciences and the Botanic Garden.



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Gum Fun: Investigating Plant Gums

Plant gums are often used in the food industry as thickening and stabilising agents. Gums are water soluble polysaccharides, such as starch and cellulose. In this activity, students investigate what happens to the texture when different polysaccharides are mixed.

When solutions of some polysaccharides are...

What Is Wood?

This student sheet invites students to consider lignification in detail. Students take thin sections from successive internodes of the shoot and calculate the lignification index of each section. These can then be compared with sections from other parts of the plants to consider where lignin is deposited in other...

Koch's Postulates

This protocol allows students to demonstrate and test Koch’s Postulates using apples infected with the fungus Penicillium expansum. The required experimental work extends over 3 to 4 weeks, but the essential steps can be demonstrated in a single practical session if students are provided with cultures and infected...


This practical activity outlines how to grow plants hydroponically in the classroom. It aims to give students an understanding of the basic growth needs of plants. It also shows how hydroponics can be utilised to provide food to humans as our population expands.

This technique can be expanded in a number of...


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