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A Botanical Experience

 
 

On Monday, 9th May, 2011, the Grade 10 Biology students visited Argotti Botanical gardens in Floriana as part of their curriculum where they had the opportunity to enter part of the garden belonging to the University of Malta.

A specialised guide showed the students round and introduced them to the gardens and their history in front of the Nyphaeum which was built by the Bailiff de Argote in 1741. The wall of this structure is covered with red coral, pebbles and calcite crystals.

Students had the opportunity to see the topics discussed throughout the year brought to life as the guide questioned students on the adaptations of plants. The students were well prepared with answers and enjoyed questioning further.

It was truly an experience that brought learning to life in which the students saw many interesting plants such as the 250 year old Dragon tree and the carnivorous pitcher plant. They saw the water fern and learnt how it manages to stay the right way up using its hydrophobic eggbeater hairs. Initially, they were appalled to see the guide put her hands in the seemingly murky water but soon realised that the water was clean thanks to the filtering action of the same water fern.

In the Mediterranean section of the garden, students saw the Maltese national plant, the Maltese Rock-centaury and the national tree, Sandarac Gum Tree. They also discussed mimicry and the halophytic adaptations of the African Tamarisk.

Head of School Ms. Vicki Anastasi commended this educational activity as it is in keeping with San Anton`s ethos of connecting classroom education with the outside world.

 

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