Skip to content Accessibility statement

Giant plant in Badger Hill

Posted on 27 November 2003

A 15ft-high plant 'stem' made with bubble wrap and a flag dyed in natural colours extracted from plants will be on show at Badger Hill School on Friday (28 November) after pupils have spent two weeks working with University of York scientists.

Proud parents and school governors will be turning out in force on Friday afternoon to see the work of the nine and 10-year-olds in Years 5 and 6.

Professor Peter Lillford and Dr Alex Brabbs of CNAP in the Department of Biology have been running the project - called Tall Trees, Red Roses and Grand Designs - with funding from a Royal Society Partnership Grant. The Year 5 children have been looking at how plants brighten up life, and the Year 6 children investigated why plants don't fall over.

They have been researching why plants produce coloured material, and comparing the sustainability of natural and synthetic dyes. And some children explored basic engineering principles by looking at plant structures and function.

In the workshop on why plants don't fall over, 20 pupils in Year 6 had four daily workshops designed and led by Professor Peter Lillford (Honorary Chair of Public Understanding of Science at the University of York). The children kept a diary of the week's activities, inspecting leaf sections under a microscope to understand structure, building a large model leaf, and testing its stability.

Dr Brabbs said: "The children have had some fantastic fun and produced an inspiring model of their work. I'm very impressed by the quality of what they've done and learned."

Mrs Alex Hodgson, Science Co-ordinator, Badger Hill Primary School said "this has been a fantastic hands-on project and the opportunity of working with 'real-life' scientists will give the pupils a picture of science that will remain with them for a long time to come".

Notes to editors:

  • CNAP is a plant and microbial gene discovery centre in the Department of Biology at the University of York. It aims to solve problems for industry, society and the environment through its research. The Science and Society office in CNAP aims to promote an awareness of, and interest in, biological science and technology to all audiences.
  • Badger Hill Primary School was awarded the grant by the Royal Society, the national academy of science, to carry out a project called "Tall trees, red roses and grand designs - what we can learn from plants". The school was one of just 45 successful applicants from across the UK in the fifth round of the Royal Society's Partnership Grants Scheme, sponsored by Exxon Mobil and the Mercer's Company. The scheme was established in recognition of the importance that today's scientists and engineers share their experience and knowledge with schools.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153