The Tale of the Exploding Peat Moss

Seventh grade is currently studying asexual reproduction in Life Science. One method of asexual reproduction that many organisms use is the releasing of spores. Mrs. Yuska asked the students how they thought the spores were released and how were they able to be carried by the wind. After some lively discussion, educated guessing, and more questioning, Mrs. Yuska showed them the video "The Secretly Speedy Life of Plants - The Tale of the Exploding Peat Moss". When the video ended they continued their discussion with a hands-on activity, building vortex cannons. The air pressure released by the cannons is similar to the air pressure release that moss capsules produce when they release their spores. The students were able to build and modify their cannons to produce the most force for launching our pretend spores - ping pong balls and cotton balls.