October 2014 – Science Trip to Lakehurst Place

On Tuesday 7th October Lilac class visited Wakehurst Place to explore the world of plants and seeds. Lilac class have recently been learning about the different parts and purposes of plants during their Science module with Mrs Charman. The class were greeted by a botanical expert who talked with the children about the importance of plants in our lives. Everything around us has come from plants, or has been derived with the help of plants. Lilac class then moved in to the science lab to dissect a flower and label all the various parts. The children learned how pollination works and were impressed at how amazing pollen looks under the microscope. Lilac finished their morning outside discovering some amazing trees. We saw the worlds largest living christmas tree, a magnolia tree (did you know magnolia trees have been around since before bees, and are pollinated by beetles, which explains their hard, waxy petals?), a wedding cake tree, but best of all was the Cercidiphyllum Japonicum, otherwise known as a Katsura tree. This tree has delicate heart shaped leaves which smell of candy floss when they start to fall in Autumn. Well done Maisie for discovering this wonderful phenomenon!

We shook the cone to see if we could find the seeds, and they easily fell out. Why do you think these seeds have little wings?

We shook the cone to see if we could find the seeds, and they easily fell out. Why do you think these seeds have little wings?

Working in the lab

Working in the lab

Looking at the anther under a microscope. Can you name another part of a flower?

Looking at the anther under a microscope. Can you name another part of a flower?

Labelling the different parts of the flower which we dissected.

Labelling the different parts of the flower which we dissected.

Using the microscopes was very exciting. The flowers looked amazing up close.

Using the microscopes was very exciting. The flowers looked amazing up close.

Pink Sycamore seeds. The wings help the seeds scatter though the air, far from the parent plant to increase the chances of survival.

Pink Sycamore seeds. The wings help the seeds scatter though the air, far from the parent plant to increase the chances of survival.

The rotting conkers had lots of amazing green mould.

The rotting conkers had lots of amazing green mould.

There was thousands of seeds in each catkin, and the tree and ground were covered in thousands of catkins. How many seeds could one tree produce? Thousands? Millions? Billions?

There was thousands of seeds in each catkin, and the tree and ground were covered in thousands of catkins. How many seeds could one tree produce? Thousands? Millions? Billions?

There were a lot of beautifully coloured leaves to discover. Do you know which tree this leaf might have fallen from?

There were a lot of beautifully coloured leaves to discover. Do you know which tree this leaf might have fallen from?

These are the bitter fruit of the crab apple tree. Have you ever tried crab apple jelly? Was it sweet or bitter?

These are the bitter fruit of the crab apple tree. Have you ever tried crab apple jelly? Was it sweet or bitter?

Smelling the leaves of the Candy Floss tree. When you smell candy floss does it remind you of anywhere?

Smelling the leaves of the Candy Floss tree. When you smell candy floss does it remind you of anywhere?

Maisie discovers these leaves smell good! Do rotting leaves normally smell good?

Maisie discovers these leaves smell good! Do rotting leaves normally smell good?

All sorts of leaves, some as big as our heads.

All sorts of leaves, some as big as our heads.

These seeds are great to play with, and are very shiny when they first come out of their shells. Do you know what they are called?

These seeds are great to play with, and are very shiny when they first come out of their shells. Do you know what they are called?

Discovering more seeds.

Discovering more seeds.