Reaching Out beyond the Ivory Towers
Carroll, Steven .
A Time to Every Purpose: Using a Clock Garden for Teaching and Learning.
IN Spring 2005, a solar clock garden was installed on the campus of Truman State University. This 3500 square-foot garden, which sits along a public sidewalk and street, includes two main features, a horizontal sundial and a floral clock. The sundial is constructed of low concrete walls and a 12-foot tall, shadow-casting post (the gnomon). The floral clock consists of carefully selected species that are planted between the sundial’s hour-lines and whose flowers open sequentially through the day. (For details and photos go to: www.botany.org/PlantScienceBulletin/psb-2006-52-1.php.) Linnaeus proposed the idea of a floral clock garden, and although he never planted such a garden, he did publish a list of plants that open and/or close their flowers at predictable times of the day. Last year we included 30 species in our garden, and most flowers opened at the expected times – or nearly so. Those species whose flowers opened early or late will be moved this year, and additional species will be added. The garden has already presented numerous opportunities for research, teaching, and outreach, and we expect these opportunities to increase. In this workshop, I will show images from the garden and explain how it works; I will describe several ways in which the garden has been used for undergraduate research, lab exercises, and service learning; and I will share plans to involve K-5 students and community members in an outreach project. This project will be based on lessons developed by Truman undergraduates enrolled in a class called “Science for Elementary Teachers.” We will spend the final part of our time working in groups, formulating ways in which garden-based projects can be used in your schools and communities.
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Clock garden article
Clock garden website
1 - Truman State University, Biology Department, Division Of Science, 100 E Normal Street, Kirksville, Missouri, 63501-4221, USA
Presentation Type: Education Forum Session:Informational Session
Location: 303/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Saturday, July 29th, 2006
Time: 8:15 AM