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Salt River Elementary School Fifth-Grade Class (Pothos)
By Keith E. Idso with Sherwood B. Idso


Experiment Description



Upon receiving my Ph.D. in botany from Arizona State University, I accepted a position at the Salt River Elementary School of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community near Scottsdale, Arizona, where I was assigned to teach fifth grade.  Halfway through the year, in early January of 1998, I introduced my students to the Poor Man's Biosphere approach to studying the effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment and depletion on plant growth and development in a joint "technology transfer" effort sponsored by the USDA's U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, where my father (S. B. Idso) works as a research physicist.

I began by spending portions of several class periods describing the technique to my students and trying to create some enthusiasm among them for actually conducting a real experiment.  Then, about a week later, when I thought they were ready to start, I brought in the materials we needed one day after school; and the next morning we assembled everything and set the experiment in motion.

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