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Forensic Botany Investigations (FBI)

This new curriculum unit on economic botany introduces sixth through eight graders to the vital roles plants play in culture, commerce and in our daily lives. Students are presented with fun and challenging scenarios and investigations, and work in teams to solve plant based mysteries while learning about plant science, ecology and conservation. The lessons are accompanied by a documentary style DVD which features New York Botanical Garden scientists and their long term research projects.

The curriculum includes classroom lessons, a teacher’s guide and handouts, a 24 minute documentary style DVD and materials for hands-on activities and investigations. Lessons found in the curriculum include understanding different plant parts and their functions; the important role bees play in maintaining balance with forest ecosystems; analysing ecological and botanical data; and learning the important variables for growing rice.

Funded through a generous grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb, the curriculum was developed in collaboration with Education Development Center EDC), a leading science curriculum development firm.

Forensic Botany Investigations, 2008, Glencoe, the science education division of McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0078804477. www.glencoe.com.  Currently not available outside the USA.