What do tulips have to do with technology?
The simple answer is everything!
Why is a Technology Integration Specialist picking up a shovel, examining tulip bulbs, and planting tulips in a garden near South Elementary?
Tracking Change in Seasons and Climate Around the Globe
Each fall, people across the Northern Hemisphere plant Red Emperor tulip bulbs in Journey North Test Gardens to help monitor seasonal change in a scientific way. In the spring, when the plants emerge and bloom, test gardeners report their data to the maps. One garden at a time, the relationship between climate, geography and the greening of spring is revealed.
Local climate affects where, when, and how plants grow. Over time, the timing of plant growth can be used as an indicator of climate change. Everyone who participates in this international tulip test garden project contributes valuable information to a long-term database.
As we embark on our tulip Test Garden project, inspired students think and act like scientists. They take time to go out to the garden site, follow the maps, study data, then, page by page, capture questions, drawings, and discoveries.-Journey North
After they have planted the official test garden according to protocol, they wonder what would happen if they broke the rules: What if we planted the bulbs at different depths? What would happen if we planted the bulbs in full shade? As a class, they brainstorm a list of questions related to how variables could affect tulip growth. They review the importance of controlling variables in a scientific experiment as they discuss why protocol is necessary for test gardens: to ensure that all variables are treated the same way in every garden. The only difference between the gardens is the location. -Journey North
Classrooms then choose a partner garden from the more than 450 tulip test gardens planted across the Northern Hemisphere. They select a garden partner from North America or Eurasia.
Students are researching, examining, and comparing what they learned with others across the globe. They are becoming globally connected while learning about their own communities. They are sharing ideas, predictions, and outcomes with students and a community that is pooling their data to discover trends. Technology is such an integral part of our students’ world, it should have everything to do with all that they learn; even planting tulips.