Swamp photo: Michael Terry


How the Flora will meet Virginia's SOL suggestions

The Commonwealth of Virginia introduces the goals of its standards of learning for science as follows:

"The purposes of scientific investigation and discovery are to satisfy humankind’s quest for knowledge and understanding and to preserve and enhance the quality of the human experience. Therefore, as a result of science instruction, students will be able to achieve the following objectives..."

Those objectives are listed below with a brief statement of ways in which teachers will be able to use the Flora to help meet each one.

SCIENCE SOL OBJECTIVE
 
HOW THE FLORA CAN BE USED TO MEET IT
Develop and use an experimental design in scientific inquiry.  
To identify plants in student-designed and -conducted experiments, such as setting up plots in a study of plant diversity.
Use the language of science to communicate understanding.   To familiarize students with the scientific terminology used in naming, classifying, describing, and identifying plants.
Investigate phenomena using technology.   To document new genetic information for plant classification.
Apply scientific concepts, skills, and processes to everyday experiences.   Using the Flora's keys, to identify plants found in schoolyards, parks, and students' backyards. To document medicinal, food, and horticultural uses of plants.
Experience the richness and excitement of scientific discovery of the natural world through the historical and collaborative quest for knowledge and understanding.   To enable the identification of plants and learning about Virginia's rich history of botanical exploration, from early European settlement to modern discoveries.
Make informed decisions regarding contemporary issues, taking into account the following: public policy and legislation, economic costs/benefits, validation from scientific data and the use of scientific reasoning and logic, respect for living things, personal responsibility, history of scientific discovery.   To promote the proper identification of plants—the first step in addressing all those areas. To help students recognize, explore, and document the diversity of plant life in Virginia and understand the importance of botanical exploration and conservation.
Develop scientific dispositions and habits of mind, including: curiosity, demand for verification, respect for logic and rational thinking, consideration of premises and consequences, respect for historical contributions, attention to accuracy and precision, patience and persistence.   To kindle scientific curiosity as students examine the plant descriptions and illustrations and use the identification keys in their own studies. To inspire fresh appreciation of the important and challenging work of explorers and botanists.
Explore science-related careers and interests.   To motivate students to explore the processes and requirements of scientific inquiry and to stimulate interest in careers in botany, ecology, environmental consulting, and teaching.