Today, May 18, is the fourth international Fascination of Plants Day! Fascination of Plants Day aims to get as many people as possible around the world fascinated by plants and enthused about the importance of plant science.
Submissions for the ASPB Fascination of Plants Day Social Media Photo Contest (#PlantDayUSA) and Event Raffle were open from March 17 to May 14, 2017. We received many submissions including nine events and over 60 photos – thank you! Today, ASPB is happy to announce the contest winners!
USA Plant Day 2017 Event Raffle Winner ($300):
Jason Wallace (University of Georgia) for his event with the Whit Davis Elementary School in Athens, Georgia.
About the Event: On May 12th, Dr. Jason Wallace gave a presentation to the first grade class at Whit Davis Elementary School where he talked about plants, genes, diversity, and breeding. Dr. Wallace’s research focuses on diversity in corn (maize), so he told the students about how he hunts for useful diversity in a lot of different types of corn. The talk also covered diversity in other foods, how genes are basically the instructions to build living things, how much foods have changed from their wild state, and ways breeders are still working to make foods better and more nutritious. He showed off a “mini-maize” variety of corn he uses in greenhouse experiments, then answered students’ questions about food, plants, corn, and anything else. Dr. Wallace was invited to speak by Andrea Rowe, one of the 1st-grade teachers, after she saw him at the school’s career fair a few weeks earlier. Her students were fascinated by the different colors of corn kernels he had on display and the pictures of corn diversity rotating on his laptop, so she invited him to come back and give a full presentation to the entire grade. The students really enjoyed seeing all the pictures of crop diversity, and they loved playing “Name that food,” where they had to guess a modern food based on a picture of its wild ancestor. This event was a nice conclusion to the students’ science learning on food and gardening, and everyone is looking forward to doing it again next year.
Learn more about other USA Fascination of Plants Day events.
#PlantDayUSA Photo Contest Winners:
Facebook First Prize ($100) – Marwa Zafar (UC Davis)
Photo Caption: “FASCIATION in my Arabidopsis Thaliana (Model Plant). “Fasciation is a relatively rare condition of abnormal growth in which the apical meristem produced flattened, ribbon-like or contorted tissue.” I found this “RARE” Plant in my Experimental Material that is Amazingly “UNIQUE” and showing Fasciation in Stem. P.S. For Comparison, you can see the Normal Plant on Bottom Right corner of the Picture. #PlantDayUSA #Myplantphoto #Natureisunique“
Facebook Second Prize ($75) – Sandra Raimundo (Skidmore)
Photo Caption: “I took the photo of these crabapple tree blossoms with an iPhone SE at Skidmore College campus. Looking at these flowers is the best way to end my day after work. It reminds me that Spring has arrived, announcing not only the months of blue sky ahead, but also the constant work of Nature, reinventing itself and putting on its show by dressing trees in colorful flowers. Flowers are life, and in a general way, a symbol for plants. To a scientist they are fascinating because of all the things they tell us about life, survival, adaptation, how their existence is essential to us all, and how fine and delicate, although persistent, is the balance that keeps Earth alive. To a non-scientist plants are silently showing their mysterious powers, in their gardens, in their perfumes, in their medication, in their food. But to everyone, plants are fascinating just because of the simplicity of their beauty.”
Twitter First Prize ($100) – Jen Robi @OshnGirl
Photo Caption: “Happy Mother’s Day was inspired by my mother. Her favorite flowers are daises and they were in full bloom at her house Mother’s Day weekend. I wanted to capture the brightness of the spring.”
Twitter Second Prize ($75) – Lynn Sosnoski @LynnSosnoskie
Photo caption: “Scouring rush (Equisetum spp.) #PlantDayUSA”
Honorable Mentions ($50) –
Thank you to everyone who participated in the ASBP 2017 Fascination of Plants Day Contests! You can learn more about events happening in other countries on the Fascination of Plants Day website.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Fascination of Plants Day.