Fast Plants/C-Fern




DynamicPlants for Teaching and Investigating Biology Principles


Inquiry and Hands-OnWorkshop


Middle/High School Biology Teachers


Ferris State University

August 16-19, 2000



Learn From the Experts Who Helped Develop These Unique Plant Systems!


Bring Life Into Your Classroom




Fast PlantsandC-Fernare

InstructorandUser Friendly


Fast Plants and C-Fern are unique teaching tools for middle and high school biology teachers. Their unique features make them easy to grow and maintain in the classroomThey are excellent systems for inquiry-based instruction and student-initiated research.


Learn FromtheExpertswhoHelped DeveloptheseUniquePlantSystems!


Paul Williams,University of Wisconsin and developer of Fast Plants, and Stephenie Baxter, C-Fern Project, University of Tennessee will travel to Michigan to show you how to establish and maintain these plants, and then guide you through a series of lab activities that you can easily use in the classroom to liven up and improve your science teaching.Donít miss this unique opportunity to learn from the experts who developed these plants to meet the needs of biology teachers for addressing the national Science Education Standards.


MajorinOne, LearnAbout theOther


Participants will register for a 3-day workshop in either Fast Plants or C-Fern, but will have opportunities to explore both systems during several open-lab demonstrations.




Plants/spores, culture supplies, educational kits and manuals are available through Carolina Biological Supply Company.The C-Fern ( and Fast Plants ( web sitecontains information that instructors and students can use, including:background information, general culture and manipulation instructions, a photo gallery and examples of research questions.


Fast Plants Workshop


ExperienceFast Plants as a vehicle for modeling inquiry, for implementing hands-on activities, and for addressing the national Science Education Standards.Explore the life cycle by measuring the impact of environment on plant growth, development and reproduction.


Investigate the relationship of variation, selection and inheritance among individuals and populations.Learn friendly and engaging ways of introducing genetic principles which are adaptable for various grade levels.

Ease into the variation and diversity of the plant kingdom.Explore tropisms for gravity and microgravity situations.And wrap up everything in the genre of Bottle Biology.


Participants will construct the versatile Plant Light House -- your own low-cost environmental chamber, and receive a manual that includes model lab activities, instructions for growing and maintaining, and resource information.





C-Fern, a specially derived strain of the tropical homosporous fern Ceratopteris richardii, offers a dynamic approach to teaching many basic aspects of biology.Students can explore general biology, cell biology, genetics and ecology using hands-on activities, inquiry-based investigations and independent student-initiated research.


C-Fern has rapid gametophyte and early sporophyte development which allow for investigations that can be completed typically within a two week period.All phases of gametophyte growth and differentiation, fertilization, embryo development and sporophyte growth can be easily observed using low power microscopy.


The rapid development, compact growth and simple, inexpensive culture requirements make C-Fern an excellent research organism that is both instructor and student-friendly!


Participants in the C-Fern workshop will learn how to prepare cultures, complete investigations and analyze data involving gametophyte and sporophyte development, germination, fertilization, chemotaxis and mono- and dihybrid crosses.Wild type and mutant cultures at various stages of development will be available for observation and experimentation.


A wide variety of mutant strains are available, ranging from striking visual types like polka dot to developmental mutants and types resistant to environmental stresses from agents such as herbicides and salt.Students can use readily visible C-Fern sperm for controlled crosses between various strains or to demonstrate chemotaxis and fertilization.Large numbers of individuals can be cultured in a very small space.This allows students to work with populations and to obtain large quantitative data sets (e.g., growth rate, germination rate, population sex ratio).


Participants will receive a C-Fern Manual, basic culture supplies and will Ďmake and takeí a C-Fern Growth Pod which allows easy maintenance of cultures.

Registration Specifics††


Science Building, 2nd Floor

Ferris State University

Big Rapids, MI


Lodging:A block of rooms at a special rate of $50 per night plus tax for workshop participants is available at the Super 8 Motel, located just a few blocks from FSU campus.Please call 231.796.1588 and indicate you are attending a workshop at FSU.


Registration Fee


(Eligible under local Eisenhower Funds)

Wednesday, August 16, 1:00

†††††††††††††††† Saturday, August 19,12 noon

Fee covers food (except Friday evening), manuals and lab supplies.


Graduate credit available: 1 or 2 semester hours--$230 per hour

(see registration form)


Workshop objectives are consistent with the Michigan Standards and Benchmarks which are directly related to the Michigan Core Curriculum, and Michigan's Essential Goals and Objectives for Science Education in K-12.

SB-CEUís will be available at no charge.


Registration Deadline:June 16, 2000

The number of participants is limited for this special workshop!

Participants are encouraged to send ASAP via email to or fax 231.591.2540 their intent to register (indicate either Fast Plants or C-Fern) before mailing their completed registration form and fee.


' For additional information, telephone Jim Hoerter at 231.591.2550 or e-mail


Register early!A letter of confirmation and map will be sent upon receipt of paid registration.Please submit one registration form per person.Tuition is nonrefundable after the registration deadline date ofJune 16 but may be transferred to another person.All refund requests prior to the deadline date will be given minus a $25 administrative fee. Ferris State University reserves the right to cancel the course due to insufficient enrollment.


* Mail completed registration to: FSU Fast Plants/C-Fern Workshop, Ferris State University, Dept. Biological Sciences, ASC 2004, Big Rapids, MI49307.


Registration Form Ė Fast Plants/C-Fern Workshops




Street ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††




State†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Zip†††††††††††††††††††††††††


Daytime Phone††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††






School††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††

Registration Fee:$425

Circle workshop you wish to attend:


Fast Plants††††††††††† C-Fern


If this workshop is full, I wish to enroll in the other

Yes ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††No


Optional Graduate Tuition Credit (additional assignments will be required): $230 per semester hour

1 One Semester Hour1Two Semester Hours

1 I am interested in SB-CEUís (no charge)

Total Amount Enclosed $††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

FAX credit card registration to 231.591.2540


Payment(check one)

††††††††††††††† 1 Check for $†††††††††††††††††††††† enclosed payable to

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Fast Plants/C-Fern