Agriculture Technologies Class
Plant Sciences
Roland-Story High School Fall 2015

This class provides a foundation of plant science knowledge and skills. Students will experience various plant science concepts through exciting “hands-on” activities, projects, and problems. Student experiences will include the study of plant anatomy and physiology, classification, and the fundamentals of production and harvesting. Students will learn how to apply scientific knowledge and skills to use plants effectively for agronomic, forestry, and horticultural industries. Students will discover the value of plant production and its impact on the individual, the local, and the global economy. Students will work on major projects and problems similar to those that plant science specialists, such as horticulturalists, agronomists, greenhouse and nursery managers, and plant research specialists, face in their respective careers.

Units of Study

Lesson 1 -- A world without enough plants.

Concept 1: Many people work in a variety of agricultural enterprises to produce food, fiber, and fuel, which are essential to daily life.

Concept 2: Plants are used to sustain human existence by providing many essential products, such as food, fiber, fuel, and medicine.

Concept 3: The many different types of plant industries provide career opportunities in plant production and management.

Lesson 2.1 -- Understanding Soil Properties.

Concept 1: The proportion of sand, silt, and clay in a soil determine the texture and influence soil use decisions.

Concept 2: Soil permeability is influenced by the texture and structure of soil horizons.

Concept 3: Organisms found in soils improve soil quality.

Concept 4: Internal drainage, evidenced by color, mottling and permeability, affects soil management decisions.

Lesson 2.2 -- Soil chemistry

Concept 1: Soil pH determines the availability of nutrients required for plant growth and health.

Concept 2: The optimal pH and salinity level required for plant growth varies among plant species and the levels are adjusted with the use of chemical treatments.

Concept 3: Soil salinity concentration determines how well plants uptake water, and as a result the ability of plants to absorb the available necessary nutrients.

Concept 4: Testing of soil samples detect imbalances related to soil chemistry factors.


Lesson 3.1 -- Mixing Media

Concept 1: Potting media has specific qualities suited for container crops, such as using lightweight and inexpensive materials that provide the essential components needed for drainage and porosity.

Concept 2: There are a variety of ingredients used in potting soil that provide permeability, porosity, and fertility needed for container crops.

Concept 3: Media is sold in cubic feet or cubic yard increments and calculation of usage is an important skill for greenhouse and nursery production.

Lesson 3.2 -- Hydroponics

Concept 1: Growing crops with a hydroponic method relies on using water with or without potting media instead of mineral soil to provide the necessary growth requirements.

Concept 2: There are many considerations to examine when choosing between hydroponic production and traditional crop production, such as the spread of disease and increased equipment costs.

Concept 3: Hydroponic crop production has advantages over traditional cropping systems, such as efficient use of space and resources.

Lesson 4.1 -- Cells: Life's smallest units

Concept 1: There are different classifications of cells based on their utility.

Concept 2: Plant cells are comprised of many parts that have essential functions for the survival of plant tissue, such as respiration.

Concept 3: Plant cells contain microscopic organelles specific to plant functions.

Lesson 4.2 -- The radicle root

Concept 1: The four major parts of a plant are the root, stem, leaves, and flower; and their functions are vital for plant health and growth.

Concept 2: The root has specific anatomical features responsible for anchoring the plant in the soil.

Concept 3: Plant roots use differentiated cells that perform specific functions in the root, such as the absorption of water and dissolved nutrients.

Lesson 4.3 -- Stems, stalks and trunks

Concept 1: Stems of plants provide physical support, storage of nutrients, and necessary pathways for translocation of materials throughout the plant.

Concept 2: The majority of plant growth takes place in meristematic tissue.

Concept 3: Environmental conditions, such as temperature and precipitation are reflected in the growth rates of plants and evidence of those conditions can be found in woody stems.


Lesson 4.4 -- Leave it to leaves

Concept 1: The understanding of leaf characteristics assists agricultural scientists in identifying species or varieties of plants.

Concept 2: Leaves produce food in the form of sugars that fuel the metabolic functions of a plant.

Concept 3: Leaves produce and store food.

Lesson 4.5 -- Flower Power

Concept 1: The parts of the flower are the mechanisms for pollination and fertilization and are used by a plant to complete sexual reproduction.

Concept 2: Flowers are classified as either complete or incomplete based on the inclusion of either male or female parts, or both.

Concept 3: Flowering structures are precursors for seeds, seed pods, and fruit structures.


Lesson 5.1 -- Sorting out plants

Concept 1: Physiological categories are used to identify and select plants.

Concept 2: Plant parts are used as visual clues for differentiating between plant species often referred to as plant identification.

Concept 3: Plants and animals are categorized using a hierarchical system to group organisms by anatomical or physiological similarities.

Lesson 5.2 -- Plant names

Concept 1: Plants are classified and named based upon distinguishing characteristics, such as their physical features.

Concept 2: The scientific names for plants consist of Latin words representing descriptive features associated with the plant.

Concept 3: All plants are named using a binomial system, which is a two-word system for naming plants with the first word being the generic name and the second word being the specific name.

Lesson 6.1 -- Plant food

Concept 1: Plants obtain required nutrients from the soil provided the soil has the available nutrients.

Concept 2: Nutrient deficiencies are detected in plants by the examination of anatomical features and chemical test of tissues.

Concept 3: Nutrients can be added to the soil in various ways, such as chemical fertilizers, animal wastes, and organic matter.

Lesson 6.2 -- All wet

Concept 1: Different substances that plant containers are made from will affect the rate of water loss by evaporation in potted plants.

Concept 2: Water is used by plants for the translocation of materials within the vascular systems of plants and used to complete the photosynthesis process.

Concept 3: Water requirements and tolerances vary among plant species.

Lesson 6.3 -- Lighting it up

Concept 1: Light is absorbed by chlorophyll and used by plants to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen through the process of photosynthesis.

Concept 2: Growth of plants is altered by light intensity and poor light exposure can create undesirable physical characteristics.

Concept 3: Photosynthetic rate is affected by environmental factors, such as light exposure, availability of carbon dioxide, and temperature.

Lesson 6.4 -- Chilly Lilies

Concept 1: Plant maturity is determined by the accumulation of thermal units during a growing season

Concept 2: Temperature affects the metabolism rate of plants including transpiration, respiration, and photosynthesis.

Concept 3: Plants are classified as cool season or warm season plants based on their temperature requirements.


Lesson 7.1 -- Plant genetics

Concept 1: Plant egg cells require meiosis and mitosis for development.

Concept 2: Fertilization, a necessary step for seed development, occurs when pollen unites with an egg cell.

Concept 3:Hybrid, or crossbred, plants are an important source of agronomic commodities.

Lesson 7.2 -- Pollination and dispersion

Concept 1: Flower pollination often requires natural agents, such as wind, water, insects, and vertebrates.

Concept 2: Plants use seeds to multiply species exponentially over time.

Concept 3: Plants require methods of seed dispersal to ensure their survival in nature.


Lesson 7.3 -- Kernels of life

Concept 1: The germinating seed has visible anatomical parts and structures from embryo to seedling stages that are used to identify the plant as either a monocotyledon or a dicotyledon.

Concept 2: Plant seeds convert starch into glucose by the use of enzymes during the germination process.

Concept 3: Not all seeds are viable and therefore do not have the potential to germinate.

Lesson 7.4 -- Plant multiplication

Concept 1: Some plant hybrids will produce seeds with genetic characteristics that are inconsistent with the parent plant genotype; therefore, asexual propagation methods are required for reproducing the desired traits.

Concept 2: Using asexual propagation methods, such as grafting, division, budding, layering, or cuttings are efficient ways to produce new plants exhibiting desired characteristics of a parent plant.

Concept 3: Safe tool and equipment use is required to perform asexual propagation on plants to avoid personal injury.

Lesson 8.1 -- Pesky bugs and plants

Concept 1: Pests have negative effects on plant growth, such as yield and quality.

Concept 2: Plant pests include several organisms including insects, mollusks, nematodes, vertebrates, and weeds.

Concept 3: Proper detection of symptoms can determine plant pest threats.


Lesson 8.2 -- Diving into diseases

Concept 1: Plant disease-causing agents, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses cause detrimental health effects on plants.

Concept 2: Knowledge of disease prevention and treatment is important to protect plants from infection.

Concept 3: Plant disease-causing agents are microscopic and damage plants in various ways.


Lesson 9.1 -- Tools of plant production

Concept 1: Specialized equipment is required for soil tillage and the planting, harvesting, and transporting of agronomic crops.

Concept 2: The growing environment for plants may be altered by structures, such as greenhouses, to provide optimal temperature requirements.

Concept 3: Methods of irrigation vary and each method has advantages and disadvantages related to the impact on the environment


Lesson 9.2 -- Planting the seeds of fortune

Concept 1: Agronomy, floriculture, forestry, and nursery and landscape are the four major classifications of plant-based industries

Concept 2: Product, placement, price, and promotion are the four keys to marketing products.

Concept 3: Basic steps, such as analyze the situation, decide on your objective, develop a plan, and measure the results are key components of a business plan.



Upon completion of this class, students will be able to identify and explain the Major Concepts: