Studying invasive species is a great opportunity in science class. Many of the organisms plague our ecosystems and out-compete native plants and animals. In this lesson I asked my students to take a clipping of Japanese Knotweed and bring it back to the lab to study this fast growing invasive. Here's a few things you can do.
1. Take scientific pictures, include rulers for scale
2. Study the roots, stems and leaves of these organisms.
3. Grow sample plant (contained in the classroom)
4. Research effective uses. Many of my students found recipes for invasive edible plant species.
5. Talk to kids about safe ways to control and destroy these plants.
From the teaching side, just be sure you understand how to dispose of these organisms. In our case we need to dry them and bag the plants before disposal to prevent the spread. Also research your states noxious weed list to be sure there is no specific law governing the organisms you are working with.
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