Today I visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Northbrook, IL, a beautiful, amazing vast space filled with flowers, vegetables, trees, waterfalls, small lakes, natural prairie woods and walking paths, information centers, hothouses and much more.
My friends and I had been walking for over an hour when we came across a new building called, Plant Science Center which is an educational center that does research on plants that are invading the plants that are native to Illinois. Their purpose is to conserve the rapidly declining floral heritage of this area.
How they work: “Plants of Concern engages volunteers to monitor rare plant species. These citizen scientists receive training, visit sites throughout the Chicago Wilderness region, and collect data on the health of rare plant populations. These data are then shared with landowners who use the information to help with management decisions to protect rare plants.” They also exchange data with the Natural Heritage Databases in participating states.
So what does this have to do with science fair projects? Well, you can start researching the area in which you live to find out if there are species of plants that were brought to the U.S. from other countries that may be destroying the natural flora in your area.
Then see if you can be forth the awareness of your community, and if there isn’t a Plants of Concern.org in your area, start one. Create a research project, do an experiment, and make a difference.