Plants and us

Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40h) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation. 

 

Tutors: Sabine Beutin, Elodie Renouard, Emmanuelle Bouffé and Jean Ichter/ botanists

Project manager: Mathieu Marion

 

Objectives:
How do plants relate to one another and how do they interact with their surroundings? To shed light on these questions and many others, the students become botanists. As part of this project, they learn to catalogue the various developments and interactions that occur within a single environment, observing the “actors” and different mechanisms, and then expanding on their observations by creating an area that can develop significant biodiversity. 

Workshops:
Urban Nature
By observing a plot, the group is directly confronted with the notion of biodiversity. For this, the contributor allocates the group with an area near the school and helps the students define the nature of this “environment”: soil, exposure, water flow, height of vegetation, etc. The students then have to share out a collection protocol to identify the number of plant species there. Once samples have been taken, some of them will be drawn, described and photographed.

Participative Research
The class moves from field observation to “laboratory” observation with the study of the catalogued specimens. First of all, the students learn to conserve them (cutting, drying and placing them in a herbarium). The contributor then explains how to describe them precisely, using the guidelines available on the Natural History Museum portal. This is a crucial stage and the students need to be extremely meticulous. The aim is to transmit qualitative and quantitative information to the research scientists at the Museum to improve the database of the county’s flowers.

Experimental Garden
The project concludes with a resolutely experimental phase. After observing the “actors” and different mechanisms of an existing plot, the students have to extend the process with an experiment – they have to create an environment that can support biodiversity (plot, green wall or green roof). The group has to define its programme by selecting plants and techniques: managing weeds, germinating seeds, layout plan, specificity of the zone, etc. This phase involves mastering the various elements that go into creating a lasting plant environment.

Outcome:
In June, each class inaugurated its experimental garden. The students were able to explain their selection of plants and the interactions they wanted to display. With this presentation, parents and members of the school enjoyed the sensory experience of what the class had learned during this project. 

 

Outings (selection):
OBSERVATIONS DANS LES PARCS DU DÉPARTEMENT : PARC DE LA HAUTE ILE / SAUSSET
- GRANDES SERRES DU JARDIN DES PLANTES DU MNHN.
- VISITE À L’ARBORETUM DE CHÈVRELOUP
- VISITE DE LA GRANDE GALERIE DE L’EVOLUTION MHNH
- DÉCOUVERTE DU JARDIN DES PLANTES ET RENCONTRE AVEC LES JARDINIERS DU MNHN.
- VISITE DU JARDIN ÉCOLOGIQUE ET DU JARDIN ALPIN DU MNHN.
- VISITE DE L’ HERBIER DU MUSEUM
- VISITE DÉCOUVERTE ET OBSERVATION À ARBONNE-LA-FORÊT

Participating schools:
- CLASS 6È, COLLÈGE EVARISTE GALOIS, EPINAY-SUR-SEINE
- CLASS 6È, COLLÈGE ROBESPIERRE, EPINAY-SUR-SEINE
- CLASS 6È, COLLÈGE JEAN JAURÈS, MONTREUIL
- CLASS 6È, COLLÈGE GEORGES BRAQUES, NEUILLY-SUR-MARNE
- CLASS 6È, COLLÈGE HONORÉ DE BALZAC, NEUILLY-SUR-MARNE
- class 6è, COLLÈGE JEAN JAURÈS, VILLEPINTE

Photos: PIERRE ANTOINE

Plants and us
Plants and us
Plants and us
Plants and us
Plants and us
Plants and us
Plants and us