This topic, from the Association for Science Education, explores the importance of plants. The topic allows classes in schools across the world to exchange information about plants grown locally, the value of these plants and how they are used.

After exchanging their findings and views with students in other countries, students compare and discuss the responses received from classes in other regions and countries.

The topic provides opportunities for students to:

*see how their lives are intricately dependent on plants

*to track where some of the plants in their meals have come from (with reference to food miles)

*to identify useful plants grown locally

*to interview older members of their community about how the uses of plants have changed.

Students can also choose an area of land in their school or local community and design a real or imaginary ‘garden’. The garden design may include plants for survival throughout the year (such as food, building materials, medicines), plants that are special to the area and plants that are important in the history and folklore of the local area. This topic fits into the general curriculum including science and health education. In most countries it is suitable for students aged 8-12. This topic is available in English and Dutch.

There are still active schools making use of Science Across the World topics and exchanging ideas and information. For details visit the Science Across the World pages of the ASE web site. This is one of a series of Plants topics developed as part of Gardens for Life which was funded by the UK Department for International Development, Creative Partnerships, Syngenta Foundation, DfES, Cisco Foundation and Future Harvest.

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