Plant Power: The World of Plant Biology and Ecology

A scientific symposium for senior high school students

Fall: Thursday, October 6, 2016
Spring: Thursday, May 18, 2017

RBG Centre, 680 Plains Road West, Burlington

Fee: $16.00 per student (teachers and chaperones/support staff free).
Important: Confirmed numbers are required two weeks prior to the event. Groups are charged based on the confirmed number or actual number of students attending, whichever is higher.

To register for the symposium, please submit a booking request at

Twice each year, Royal Botanical Gardens offers a special learning opportunity for senior high school students focused on the power of plants. We invite well-known professionals in the plant field to speak and share their work with the students, and encourage self-directed learning and exploration.

An engaging plenary speaker sets the tone for the day, then the students embark on an exploration of our gardens and nature sanctuaries to find a series of stations. At each station they learn about a different aspect of plant biology, and collect one piece of our final puzzle. A cumulative session at the end of the day allows the students to put the puzzle together, and share what they’ve learned about the power of plants.

Topics covered through the day include diversity within the plant world, plant structure and function, factors affecting plant growth and survival, the sustainability of ecosystems, connections with the animal world, First Nations plant uses, species at risk conservation, invasive species research and more. Join us for hands-on, minds-on learning in the field!

 9:00AM - Arrival
 9:15AM - Welcome and Introductions
 9:30AM - Keynote Address by Brendon Larson, Associate Professor at University of Waterloo
10:15AM - Receive instructions for The Amazing Plant Challenge
10:30AM-1:00PM - The Amazing Plant Challenge (students take lunch when needed)
 1:00PM - Culminating Activity
 1:30PM - Departure

Curriculum connections
The symposium content is designed to complement coursework for the following:
Environmental Science: Grade 11 SVN3M — Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Environmental Challenges; Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry
Green Industries: Grade 11 THJ3M -- Fundamentals and Skills
Biology: Grade 11 SBI 3U – Diversity of Living Things; Plants: Anatomy, Growth, and Function
Biology: Grade 11 SBI3C – Plants in the Natural Environment