Sci-Seedlets are developed by a cross-disciplinary team of researchers from the University of Glasgow and Lancaster University working together with artists, designers, school teachers and non-scientist members of the public. 

The Sci-Seedlets team builds upon its experiences from the hugely popular ‘StomaToys’ project (2018-2021), with a focus on developing resources to deliver plant science educational experiences to children in classrooms. 

Plant-Science Education

Education-Through-Play

Cross-Disciplinary Scientists

What Sci-Seedlets do?

Sci-Seedlets are designed to fulfil the need for plant-science education/research kits and games providing enhanced educational experiences to upper primary and secondary school children. The plant scientists have worked with cell and computer engineers, artists, teachers, members of the public and sci-comm advisors. This work of the cross-disciplinary team has made it possible to incorporate STEM concepts into the resource designs, and outreach surveys have allowed us to identify responsive target audiences – school children in an educational set-up with an ‘education-ready’ mindset and will deliver additional learning outcomes in literacy, math and art, at the same time as promoting plant science.

The aim of Sci-Seedlets is to engage young minds in the exciting intricacies of science through activities and play. Sci-Seedlets offers an eclectic mix of educational tools to help nurture wider interest in plant sciences and STEM research by giving a feel of the scientific process. Research shows that young children have made their minds up about science/careers by the age of 9-10 (Seligman, L., Weinstock, L., & Heflin, E. N., Elementary School Guidance & Counselling, 1991). Therefore, to infect future plant science with enthusiasm for research it is important to inspire children early on in life and to bring scientific awareness to members of the public who care for the children. These ‘tasters’ deliver focused experiences of plant science research through easily accessible digital and physical resources that are suitable for use by parents at home for extra-curricular engagement and teachers in schools as part of lesson plans.

Legacy

The Plant Science Department at the UofG, originally the Department Of Botany is over 150 years old. It is currently home to a group of world-leading Plant Scientists who study plants and their interactions with the environment and climate.

We have developed the core concepts for Plant Science public engagement at UofG proposed here for over a decade. For the past three years, a multidisciplinary team has worked to create innovative and carefully designed plant science education through-play resources (StomaToy project), for primary and secondary school children. We adopted most of these resources for virtual delivery during COVID, to meet the specific needs of science-at-home and PE worldwide and tested them with educational partners (local primary schools) and at science festivals (virtual and in person, with the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Biology). The virtual distribution greatly expanded the availability of our resources to the educational communities not just in the UK, but also worldwide. We have collected feedback and measured impact and used this information to identify the market niche and to fine-tune our delivery and formats for Sci-Seedlets resources.

Engagements are posted on social media (Twitter, Instagram) @Stomatal_2019 and currently on Twitter @SciSeedlets

Our Team

Sci-Seedlets is the brainchild of a cross-disciplinary STEM team working together with artists and non-scientists.

Dr. Rucha Karnik
Dr. Rucha Karnik Plant Scientist
Focused on addressing the overarching question, ‘How do plants grow?’
Dr. Mathis Riehle
Dr. Mathis Riehle Cell Engineer
Creates amazing doodle art images for Plant science outreach
Professor Mike Blatt
Professor Mike BlattPlant Sciences
Committed to expanding our awareness of plants and their importance for every aspect of our existence on this planet
Dr. Abe Karnik
Dr. Abe Karnik Human Computer Interaction
Transforms plant science concepts into interactive learning experiences