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What Makes Plants Grow Best? Using a Data-based STEM Approach to Find Out

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-08-31, 05:12 authored by Noleine FitzallenNoleine Fitzallen, Suzie Wright, Jane Watson, Caroline Smith
Life as we know it would not be possible without
plants. Plants supply food to many organisms
(including people), produce oxygen, absorb
carbon dioxide from the air, provide products
for human use, and homes for many other
living things. It is not surprising, therefore,
that plant growth is a familiar topic in the
primary school science curriculum. This paper
describes an extension of the topic of plant
growth for Year 6 students to include elements
from the mathematics, in particular, statistics,
and technologies curricula. In doing so, the
importance of carefully collecting and analysing
data to make decisions illustrates the way in
which the practice of statistics supports learning
outcomes in science. In the activity described
here, students decide on the details for their
science inquiry about plant growth to answer
the question “What makes plants grow best?”,
collect and analyse data over time using digital
technology, and present a report of their findings
to their class.

Note: Publisher requested version of record be used in institutional repository.


Publication Date



Teaching Science





Article Number



14p. (p. 35-48)


Australian Science Teachers Association



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