Plant Science at School

1) A Continuing Education Program for Secondary School Teachers

Over the past four years, this program has become a national example of successful collaboration between researchers, teachers and regional learning centers. In one-day workshops filled with practical experiments, theory and discussion with regional experts, teachers learn cutting-edge research methods and experiments. The format is designed so that teachers can use the knowledge and experiments afterwards in their own classrooms, thus becoming mediators between active researchers and high school students.

The workshops cover a number of themes, including: 

  • genetically modified vegetables as food
  • sustainable use of plants in agriculture
  • plants and biodiversity
  • plant systematics

To highlight how the science impacts daily life and fundamental societal questions, each workshop will end with a discussion lead by distinguished experts in the respective field.  For example:

  • how can modern methods in plant physiology provide new approaches for sustainable agriculture?
  • how can modern methods in plant physiology contribute to a better understanding of climate change?

The workshops are offered through regional learning centers in the local language with experts from the region. We can thus create a regional dynamic for plant sciences with a national perspective. These activities are accredited and offered as continuing education opportunities for Swiss secondary school teachers though our partners at the Life Science Learning Center (Zurich), l'Eprouvette (Lausanne) and BiOutils (Geneva).

For more information, contact Carole Rapo.

2) PSC Discovery Program for Youth – new Agora project

In collaboration with educators of the ETH MINT Lernzentrum, the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center (PSC) offers workshops for school classes at the secondary school level.

Particpants engage in the latest innovations in plant science research. This includes advanced 3D microscopy, novel breeding methods, “omics” technologies and predictive evolutionary and climate change models.

These classroom activities address the Lehrplan 21 syllabus and teachers can implement this inquiry-based science education in their classroom.

Link to the PSC Discovery workshop website (in German).

The program is funded by SNSF Agora.

The workshops are  offered on demand.

Contact: Carole Rapo and Juanita Schläpfer.