Spectacular Seeds - CBS talk 2017

Useful information
Kit List: 

Paper, paperclips, scissors - sycamore seeds
Many different types of seeds
Fan and paper punchings
Gloves and velcro balls
Small fruit and rocky road (fake poo)
Half pipe, bucket of water, small ball
Catapult and small bean bags


While you wait activity; design/make a sycamore seed (or several) cut out paper template, make adjustments, attach paper clip or two (ready for throwing later during the talk - showing how seed shape affects dispersion)

But there isn’t one universal seed shape [many pictures and props] different seeds have different adaptations for the various environments that the plants inhabit [more pictures]

And there are two important jobs/features of seeds;
Dispersal mechanisms - just dropping the seeds at the base of the tree would be no good! (potentially have a volunteer keep on dropping the seeds (probably a bean bag so that it doesn’t roll away and spoil the demo!) - start off just dropping, ask where the plant will grow
Wind - dandelion, orchids (use a fan, or a large model that we can blow)
Animal - burdock, fruit (normal and large fruits and megafauna) (get the velcro balls from last year and fluffy socks and have two volunteers brush past each other) then eat some fruit, walk off and drop some fake poo (syrupy rocky road with lots of seed in it) mini quiz, ‘typical’ of animal to fruit
Water - coconut (have a section of half pipe to float it down into a bucket)
Catapult - broom (make a coiled catapult which fires with elastic uncoiling and the video of it happening in real life)
protection/durability Not always the best conditions when the seed first lands somewhere, sometimes need to wait, but need to survive the waiting…
Seed coatings; surviving digestion, water (have some uncoated & swollen and coated & unswollen seed?), squashing, fire
Detecting the right conditions; light, water, smoke (not sure how any of these would work out though)

Risk Assessment
Date risk assesment last checked: 
Mon, 13/02/2017
Risk assesment checked by: 
Date risk assesment double checked: 
Mon, 13/02/2017
Risk assesment double-checked by: 
Risk Assessment: 

Experiment Seed design Examples of seeds None dispersal Wind dispersal Animal dispersal pt1 Animal dispersal pt2 Projectile dispersal Water dispersal
Description Children cut out sycamore seed template under parental supervision, then add a paper clip, ready to throw the seed later in the talk Examples of different seeds placed under the visualizer, potential to handle at end of talk Volunteer or presenter drops bean bag onto floor Using a fan to blow small paper circles ("seeds") across the front of the lecture room Picking up velcro balls and moving them across the lecture room Eating fruit then dropping fake poo on the other side of the lecture room Catapulting a bean bag across the front of the lecture room Volunteer floats a ball down a half pipe into a bucket
  • scissors
  • thrown objects
  • Choke and trip hazard
  • Trip hazard
  • Small bits of paper on floor could be slippery
  • Scratching from velcro
  • Choking as eat fruit
  • Slipping on fake poo
  • Flying bean bag
  • Spilling water, slip and electrical hazard
  • Risks to audience
  • Cuts from scissors and paper cuts
  • Getting hit by the paper seeds when thrown
  • Child eating a seed at the end and choking
  • None
  • Could slip while leaving lecture room
  • Scratched by velcro
  • Slipping whilst leaving lecture room
  • Hit by bean bag
  • Volunteer getting wet and cold
  • Slip hazard when leaving lecture room
  • Risks to presenter
  • Getting hit by paper seeds
  • Slipping on paper seeds
  • Slipping on seeds if they fall on the floor
  • Tripping on bean bag whilst finishing lecture
  • Could slip while finishing lecture
  • Scratched by velcro
  • Choking on fruit when eaten
  • Slipping on dropped ‘poo’ whilst finishing the talk
  • Hit by beanbag
  • Getting wet and cold
  • Slip hazard when finishing lecture
  • Control measures
  • Require parental supervision
  • Ask parents to use the scissors on behalf of small children and remind everyone to be careful with them
  • Have a designated drop point for seeds
  • Warn children not to throw the seeds at anyone, particularly avoiding faces
  • Keep seeds in lidded containers until they are used
  • Supervise seed handling, making sure that they don't get put in mouths
  • Pick up bean bag and tidy away immediately after demo
  • Ensure paper blown into corner away from exit route. Lay out large sheet under area blowing paper to speed up tidying up and avoid paper everywhere
  • Ensure gloves are used to brush past the velcro
  • Eat a small fruit or pretend to eat it
  • Drop ‘poo’ onto plastic so that it can easily be tidied away after the demonstration
  • Fire catapault across front of lecture room, away from audience, other presenter and door
  • Use light bean bag
  • Presenters hold the pipe of water at the right height for the volunteer to easily reach it
  • Carry out demo away from front desk and electrical cabling
  • Have a large bucket to catch water in and supply of paper towels to mop up potential spillages
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