The Evolution of Flowers - Past, Present and Future!
This was four days of drop-in art-meets-science workshops held at The Eden Project looking at the evolution of flowers over hundreds of millions of years - and how flowers are adapting to changing conditions today and will be facing evolutionary pressures in the future.
As well as delivering creative environmental sciences sessions, SnapdragonWorkshops
provided an extensive exhibition of posters, pictures, text, specimens, music and
display paraphenalia to provide an environment where visitors to The Eden Project could have
the opportunity to learn about the evolution of flowers and consider how they might evolve in
the future in response to their currently changing environment.
We hoped to impress upon visitors that: The plant world we see around us today is merely a snapshot in time and not the “norm”; Plants have been evolving for the last two billion years to bring us to this point in time when the flowering plants are the dominant global vegetation; Our floral landscape is still evolving today in response to various pressures; and our native wildflowers are increasingly threatened by several environmental concerns. By suggesting that visitors focus on designing a plant for the future as the main activity for the sessions, we hoped to assist them in exploring these ideas.
The posters and information sheets that we made beforehand discussed the concepts of geological time, the processes of fossilisation, the evolution of plants in general and the evolution of flowering plants in particular, the co-evolution of plant and animal species in mutually beneficial symbiosis, the evolution of carnivourous flowering plants, flower anatomy and reproduction, the state of our native wildflower populations today, the challenges they face in the future and what we can do to help our indigenous wildflower species survive, plus designing flowers for the future.
The following activities on offer provided visitors with different opportunities to
learn through creativity:
Snapdragon Workshops provided all the materials for these activities (coloured paper, card, tissue paper, pens, pencils, crayons, charcoal, ribbon, wool and string), and also provided handouts and worksheets on relevant themes.
With thanks to: Lydia, Helen, Tom, Liam, Patricia, Jackie, Joe, Thomas, Kath, Emily, Alice, Rosanna, Laura, Lucy, Georgina, Paul, Holly, April, and Josie.
The information laid out in the display provided access to information for most learning styles. We always try our best to include everybody by using a wide range of equipment, information and specimens that stimulate as many of the senses as possible. We aimed to provide a fun, friendly, and relaxed atmosphere where people could explore the themes under discussion through creative processes and talking. Risk assessments were of course undertaken for all of the activities provided.
Some of our photos of Eden from this visit:
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Please note that everyone appearing in photos on this website has given their permission, and childrens' parents have signed forms giving pernmission.
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