Webinar: How Do Plants Breathe?
This Zoom webinar aired April 7, 2022, as part of the Smithsonian Science How series. Watch a recording in the player above.
This video has closed captions and American Sign Language interpretation.
Take a journey inside a leaf to investigate how it exchanges gases. Have you ever wondered how plants breathe without noses or mouths? As humans, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, but plants do the opposite; they take up carbon dioxide and release oxygen with different specialized “mouths” called stomata. In this video, plant scientist Nidhi Vinod takes you on a visual journey inside a leaf, where she illustrates how a plant breathes, a process called respiration. Nidhi focuses on why this science matters by connecting leaves to forests and helping students understand why this process is important for mitigating the effects of climate change. Nidhi works with the Smithsonian's Forest Global Earth Observatory Network (ForestGEO) program.
Moderator: Maggy Benson, a museum educator at the National Museum of Natural History
"How Do Plants Breathe?" can be used as an extension resource for students who have or will participate in the following NMNH Online School Program:
- Hot Potato: Climate Change, Food Systems, and You – Extend your students' understanding of how trees extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
As a result of this program, students will be able to:
- Meet Nidhi Vinod and hear her story of why she became a plant scientist and why she cares about plant respiration
- Recall the gases involved and the basic process of plant respiration
- Discuss a reason why it’s important to know about plant respiration
- Explain how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be decreased through plant respiration
- Have fun, share ideas, and ask questions!
About Smithsonian Science How
Connect your students to science experts in this series of free live, interactive webinars. Hosted by Smithsonian educators, Smithsonian Science How connects students to authentic science, discoveries, and collections while inviting them to participate in live polls and ask and answer questions throughout.
Thematically aligned with NMNH School Programs, the webinars serve as excellent extension activities. Each webinar aligns with core content from a school program, but is an independent experience.