DC Teachers’ Night at the U.S. Botanic Garden: An Evening Filled with Plant-astic ASPB Outreach Activities

On September 22, ASPB participated in an evening of outreach at the United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C., as an exhibitor at the annual D.C. Teachers’ Night hosted by USBG and the District of Columbia Environmental Education Consortium.

The evening features dozens of exhibitors with hands-on activities, lesson plans, and resources for K-12 teachers to bring back to the classroom. Teachers had the opportunity to learn about student and teacher field experiences, professional development opportunities, and more.

ASPB Volunteer Hemayet Ullah (Howard University) explains how to use Arabidopsis as classroom teaching tool

At the ASPB booth, teachers had the opportunity to plant Arabidopsis garden cup necklaces and learn about how to use the plant as a teaching tool in their classrooms. Additional hands on activity resources were available including creating solar-dye cells and extracting DNA from strawberries. ASPB volunteers also shared other resources such as the ever-popular My Life as a Plant activity and coloring book for young scientists, the 12 Inquiry-Based Labs CD and Bookmarks to explore the 12 Principles of Plant Biology, and picture books that teach about the plant sciences.

The booth was manned by Winnie Nham (ASPB. She was joined by Tyrone Spady (ASPB) and Hemayet Ullah (Howard University), both DC Teachers’ Night veterans and outreach superstars. Many thanks to Hemayet Ullah for supplying Arabidopsis seedlings and providing teachers with an enthusiastic overview of the plant’s many uses for teaching in the classroom.

Teachers at the event praised the variety and quantity of resources available at the ASPB booth for use in their classrooms. They enthusiastically engaged with ASPB volunteers, conversing about best practices for implementing hands on activities and expressing enthusiasm for the materials that they would bring back to their students. This energy and productive interaction is what makes ASPB’s outreach at DC Teachers’ night a perennial hit.

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