Enthusiasm and hands-on activities were in no short supply today at the the first-ever Wisconsin Science Festival. With a new, acute understanding of “hot bone, pre-rigor” bratwurst, blogging and story-writing will commence tomorrow. But today, I at least want to share my favorite moment of the whole shebang. It was watching Tom Bryan, a Bottle Biology volunteer, show kids how to make succulent plantlet necklaces and handle manduca worms. If child awe and parental gratitude were currency, the guy would’ve made six figures today. Below is his three-part, wonder-filled necklace construction process:
Step 1: Pluck a plantlet from the Mother of Thousands (aka Mexican Hat Plant and Devil’s Backbone) specimen. The kids were already hooked at this point, here was a plant producing fully-formed prodgeny by the thousands free for the taking! This was unique and cool. Plus, they were now holding a baby plant, and mini things are cute.
Step 2: Fill a small, clear plastic cup, conveniently pre-fabricated into a necklace, with soil. “Ahhhh, a home for my new baby plant,” thought the kids.
Step 3: Lovingly place mini Mother of Thousands onto the recently acquired soft, nutrient-filled bed. Ta-da, a succulent plantlet necklace!