Helicopter Seeds

1.1  Objective
        To make a Helicopter Seed and observe how plants ensure the survival of the species.

1.2  What You Need --> ( Paper with a sketched design & Scissors )

1.3  Science Concept
       Seeds can't grow too close to other plants, including parent plants because they fight for light, space, water   and nutrients. Flowering plants reproduce by producing seeds. If the plants don't spread the seeds far away from the parent plant, then the germinating seedlings world grow very close together, forcing a competition for survival with the parent plant.
       Seeds can be dispersed in many ways such as carried by wind, water or animals. The sizes of the seeds are importants and determine how they are eventually dispersed. "Helicopter Seed" is an example of a seed model that is dispersed by wind. The 'Meranti' tree or 'Shorea acuminata' , a common tree in the Malaysian rainforest disperses its seeds this way. When the Helicopter Seed is released, the wings cause the airflow system to twirl the seed and move it away from the original release point. The rotation is due to the pull of gravity.

1.4  Suggested Further Activities
  • Instruct students to create other models based on real plant seeds and discuss the variations. Draw a picture and discuss the factors of dispersion.
  • Like plants, animals also have their own unique ways to ensure the survival of their species. Let students discuss the similarities between plants and animals in term of these factors.


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