A creative laboratory that comes to life thanks to plants (and that smells good!)

Developing the creative spirit of science students by transforming plants is quite possible. We present to you a project experienced at Collège Sainte-Anne.

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By Alexandra Bernier and Keivan Farzaneh, respectively teacher of the SciMaTIC program and technopedagogue at Collège Sainte-Anne 

Developing the creative spirit of science students by transforming plants is quite possible. Soap, herbal tea, soup, lip balm, inks or antiseptics ...  large-scale projects that do not require the use of complex technologies. Let's take a closer look!

During the fall of 2020, students of 5e secondary school of the SciMaTIC program at Collège Sainte-Anne, located in the Lachine borough in Montreal, were able to use the scientific knowledge they acquired throughout their school career by carrying out a botanical project. Under the supervision of their teacher Alexandra Bernier, the students let their imaginations run wild to transform a plant into a product of their choice. At the same time, they also produced herbaria. All of this took place within the College's creative lab. The result is a digital portfolio, produced by the students, where their projects are listed.

The transformation of a plant, from A to Z

Soap, herbal tea, soup, lip balm, inks or antiseptics… The students did not lack imagination to transform a wild plant of their choice by applying the concepts of the scientific process. They were masters of their protocol, materials and resources, as well as control of their variables and results.

In order to complete their project, the students were accompanied by Alexandra Bernier, teacher of the SciMaTIC program, Pierre Guiot-Guillain, educational advisor of the College's creative laboratory and Anthony Pilorzé, laboratory technician. Educators and students also received advice from Alice Roy-Bolduc, naturalist, at all stages of the project. Considering the great freedom granted to the students, the interveners acted more as consultants and facilitators to help each team achieve its own objectives. Students were then assessed on their ability to plan and manage a scientific project, provide reflective feedback and demonstrate resilience in their results.

Inès Elkaissouni, Élodie Fouejieu & Olivia Qin

Some examples of student achievements:

According to Keivan Farzaneh, technopedagogical advisor at Collège Sainte-Anne, this type of project shows that it is possible to carry out large-scale projects without resorting to the use of complex technologies.

Herbaria, do you want some here?

Along with their scientific project, the students also carried out herbaria featuring local plants. These herbaria were intended to connect them to nature near school or home by using technological tools for identifying plants in a practical context. To highlight their work, certain herbaria have been chosen to decorate the school's creative laboratory.

Link: Portfolio gathering the botany projects of secondary 5 students (2020-2021)

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