Photo Credit: Alexander C. Yang

Botany Ambassadors at Work

Sraavya Sambara with 4th and 5th graders in April 2019

For the second year in a row, Sraavya Sambara, a high school student and member of the Rothfels lab at UC Berkeley, has been teaching special botany classes to 4th and 5th graders at Bella Vista Elementary School in San Ramon, CA.

Sraavya Sambara with 4th and 5th graders in 2018

Sraavya is a Botany Ambassador at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, CA. She is also a member of the Rothfels lab at UC Berkeley, where she participates in research on ferns.

As part of the Botany Ambassador Program, Sraavya visited Bella Vista Elementary School to lead a lesson on plant anatomy. She taught a class of 4th and 5th graders about major plant organs, the anatomy of an angiosperm, and flower parts. Although the students were familiar with flowers generally, they realized that they didn’t know too much about the different parts of a flower and their functions.

To discover more about flowers, Sraavya’s students formed small groups to examine and sketch the parts of lily flowers. After sketching, students attempted to identify the function of parts based on their morphology – for example, since the stigma felt sticky, the students reasoned that it functioned in holding on to pollen. Students had a lot of fun botanizing in the classroom!

Rachael Olliff Yang with 4th and 5th graders in May 2018

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c/o Jepson Herbarium 1001 Valley Life Sciences Building Berkeley, California 94720-2465



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