Fridays here at CTBC International Academy are reserved for specialty classes that can help students buff their skills in TOEFL, TOEIC, and IELTS. Also, Friday afternoons are reserved for a series of specialized, 3-hour camps that investigate specific topics and are organized to one of the staff’s special interests or fields of expertise. So far, the CIA has completed sports camp, Japanese and Korean camp, English camp, Art and Design camp, and a Humanities camp. These camps help to expose students to subjects they may not have learned on their own, nor are they typically offered in regular schools. Last Friday, the students attended the final camp; Natural Science.
Natural science is an umbrella term for a large variety of topics that fall under the main branch of science. Natural science can be divided into two main subgroups: life science (botany- the study of plants and zoology- the study of animals) and physical science (physics, chemistry, geology, and astronomy). The students spent the afternoon learning about botany, more specifically, how do vascular plants complete the process known as transpiration.
Transpiration sounds like a difficult concept, but we can compare this process in humans. Humans use the process of perspiration to rid the body of toxins and to regulate body temperature. As a result, water is lost through the pores of our skin. Plants do this as well. However, transpiration is the process by which water is evaporated through plant leaves when water from the roots is brought through the stem and up to the flower and leaves of plants.
A question was posed to the students; how fast does the transpiration process occur? And what is the nature of this process, ie. what pathway does the water take as it travels up the plant? To test this, the students took two types of white flowers, daisies, and chrysanthemums. They cut the stem in two halves but not all the way to the top. They then placed each half of the stem in a different cup of water that had been mixed with food coloring. As the stem of the flower pulls in water, the food coloring will also be absorbed, showing the pathway up to the petals of the flower. Students recorded the rough time the transpiration process began and gave observations on how the color represented the pathway of transpiration over a series of three days. Many students were surprised at how quickly it occurred and how the colors appeared!