Last week the YCITYSCI students learned about citizen science. After learning about how citizen science is for everyone, the students engaged in activities where they were able to search for citizen science projects that interested them. Below are the questions they had at the end of the lesson. Our graduate assistant, Lisa Drennen, had the pleasure to answer their questions.
Why does science matter?
Science matters for hundreds of reasons! For the purposes of this post, I will name and discuss a few. Science matters in all of our lives every day. From the moment we wake up to an alarm clock invented by science, turn on the light from electricity that was created from science, turn on the weather station that is predicting weather based on instruments made from scientific thought, to driving down the road on asphalt that was created based on scientific experiments. Science is all around us and a huge part of modern society. The food we eat and the medicine we get when we are sick are both made possible because of the use of scientific knowledge. Agriculture has been transformed by science in order to be able to figure out ways to grow enough food for everyone on the earth. Science has developed technology to help grow better and more yielding crops around the world. The development of medicine through science has helped humans come up with antibiotics, vaccines, and other medications that treat disease, viruses, and bacteria that would have otherwise killed many humans over the years.
Scientific knowledge can improve quality of life for people and those around them. Science can improve or help in everyday life as well as address serious global issues such as global climate change. Science matters in many aspects of our society that we do not even think about. Science is important when it comes to policies and laws that deal with conservation, energy, agriculture, health, transportation, economics, and many more. Science matters for environme
ntal issues that have to do with cutting down forests, overfishing, polluting water with agricultural and urban runoff, plastic pollution, carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, ocean acidification, and natural disasters to name some.
Information on flowers and how they work
When talking about plants, they are classified by whether they are vascular (have roots and vessels to carry water and nutrients throughout the plant) or nonvascular (no roots and absorb water around them). Flowering plants are vascular plants. Vascular plants are classified by whether they produce seeds or not. Plants that produce seeds are broken down into another two categories called gymnosperms and angiosperms. Flowering plants and hardwood trees are called angiosperms. Angiosperms are plants that produce flowers or fruits as a way to disperse their seeds. Gymnosperms are plants and softwood trees that produce seeds without anything covering or enclosing the seeds. Gymnosperms include cone bearing trees such as pine, cedar and spruce trees. Today, we are focusing on angiosperms. Flowering plants evolved on earth around 125 million years ago. Nonvascular plants evolved first from algae from the sea, then vascular gymnosperms came next, and last to evolve with plants was angiosperms. One major difference about flowering plants is that the purpose of their flowers are for the plant to reproduce. Most flowering plants rely on pollinators to help the flowers become pollinated so they are able to reproduce. Angiosperms are noted to have flat leaves and change with the seasons unlike gymnosperms.
Flowers are the reproductive part of most plants. Inside a flower is the stamen that has pollen on it and the pistil of the flower, usually in the center, that contains the egg or ovule. In order for the plant to be able to reproduce by making seeds, the process of pollination must occur. Pollination is when pollen from the stamen reaches the pistil and fertilizes the egg inside. Ways that pollination occur is by wind, rain, animals, or insects. The most common form of pollination is by insects. Some notable pollinators are butterflies, bees, moths, bats, and birds. Most animals that pollinate flowers are only doing so to get food for themselves or their colony, nest, etc.
To learn more about angiosperms and gymnosperms, click here.