Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.
Login

Resource facts

  • Independent of the number of students
  • Up to 3 lecture units
  • Internet connection necessary
  • English, German

Resource Description

Instruction file

Root Sciences(Resource ID: 118)

This building block is designed to explore the topic of roots and should provide a look into research on roots. A founded knowledge base of the “hidden half” of plants, their roots, can contribute to an increased use of their ecological and agronomic potential for practical uses such as drought tolerance of plants, slope stabilization or improved humus balance in soils. This building block includes a “root experience kit” and optionally root unearthing in the field or laboratory. Application in the classroom allows students a playful and sensory-oriented encounter with the topic of roots. In this way the construction, functions, diversity and qualities of various roots and root systems can be approached. Gleaning an understanding of the material in this way provides the basis for a sustainable practical application. In a concluding discussion open questions can be discussed and the connections to sustainability worked out.

Please note:
This English translation of the „Baustein Wurzelpädagogik“ is a service provided by the Sustainicum team. Currently, it has not been approved by the authors.

This building block was created in cooperation with Dr. Monika Sobotik of the Institute for Plant Sociology, Klagenfurt.

Basic idea of the building block

This building block is designed to explore the topic of roots and should provide insight into research on roots.

The building block is comprised of the following elements:

  •  Root-unearthing exercise in the field or laboratory
    Appointments for the root-unearthing workshop in the field or laboratory can be made upon request at IHLW 
  • Root experience kit:
    Root “Memory” (card game); including instructions
    Recipes – culinary
    Herbarium puzzle
    Article on roots
    Instructions to unearthing roots
  • Provided material: PowerPoint presentation and instruction for implementation

Description of the building block

Unearthing roots in the field or laboratory

The technique of unearthing roots, for example as used for the root atlas series, will be explained within the framework of a workshop. The location of the unearthing is selected with consideration to the target group in question (e.g. soil profiles with different soil cultivation, test fields, mountainous locations). Alternatively the root unearthing can be carried out using “flowerpot” trials. For this purpose the appropriate plants are raised in the climatic exposure cabinet of IHLW.

Wurzelpädagogik

Root experience kit

The root experience kit includes multiple components, all of which deal with root-plant interactions. The kit more closely illustrates root systems and plants that are of great importance, particularly in agriculture. The components of the root experience kit can be used in the course depending on time and target group constraints.

Wurzelerlebniskoffer

Root “Quartet”: The game is comprised of eight groups of four matching cards and can be played with three or four persons. “Quartet” playfully shows the different root systems of plants.

Root “Memory”: The game is made up of 16 pairs that depict selected plants and their root systems. The pairs are matched by the root system of the plant, the card’s colored border, or soil profile.

Further components of the root experience kit include: culinary recipes, herbarium puzzle (5 versions), an article on roots, and instructions to unearthing roots.

Provided materials

  • Presentation material (PowerPoint presentation) for the presenter
  • Implementation instructions for use during the course

Application during the course

The application of this building block can be individually adjusted for each course and is explained in the instructions for implementation.

The following agenda is recommended (see presentation material)

  1. Lecture on the subject of roots
  2. Explanation of root-unearthing
  3. Root experience kit
  4. Follow-up talk and discussion

Aha- effect for students

Application in the classroom allows students a playful and sensory-oriented encounter with the topic of roots. In this way the building block broaches the topics of composition, functions, diversity and qualities of various roots and root systems. Gleaning an understanding of the material in this way provides the basis for a sustainable practical application (for example water management, agriculture, engineering, and forestry amongst others).

--> Roots ≠ Roots

Contact details for borrowing physical devices
IHLW:
+43-1-47654-5450;
E-Mail: ihlw-office(at)boku.ac.at
Learning Outcomes
• Acquiring knowledge (growth, functions, diversity and particularities of various roots and root systems)
• Understanding the material as basis for sustainable and practical application
• Raising awareness
Relevance for Sustainability
Having a founded basic knowledge of the “hidden half” of plants- their roots- reinforces the ecological and agronomical potential of roots for practical goals including drought tolerance, incline stabilization or amelioration of the soil’s humus balance.
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Preparation Efforts
Medium
Access
Free
Funded by
Funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research within the framework of the call "Projekt MINT-Massenfächer" (2011/12)

Comments Write Comment

Author

Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.nat.techn. Willibald Loiskandl
Dipl.-Ing. Isabella Schalko
Dipl.-Hydrol. Dr.nat.techn. Gerlinde Scholl
Dipl.-Ing. Alexandra Strauss-Sieberth

Contact

Alexandra Strauss-Sieberth
alexandra.strauss-sieberth(at)boku.ac.at
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Institution:
Institute for Hydraulics and Rural Water Management
Date:

License

Creative Commons
BY-NC

Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Game
  • Written material
  • formteaching_experiment