As exciting as watching grass grow

Grass. You just want to run through it. Or lie in it. Image: Flickr / hummyhummy

Grass. You just want to run through it. Or lie in it. Image: Flickr / hummyhummy

By Mikayla Keen

Contrary to popular belief watching grass grow is awesome.

For Rasha Kardo it won her the opportunity to visit CSIRO’s High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre. The HRPPC is a high-tech research hotel which studies plant function and performance under controlled conditions (in the lab) and in the field.

Rasha, a South Australian secondary student, was the student winner of the 2012 Battle of the Plants – a national battle to grow the biggest, greenest, meanest Brachypodium plant (the equivalent of a lab rat for plant scientists). Rasha wasn’t able to outgrow CSIRO’s Richard Poiré whose job entails growing many thousands of ‘Brachy’ a year.

“It was a close call, Rasha really gave me a run for my money, but luckily my Brachy was the biggest,” Richard said. “Having Rasha in the lab for a week was a great experience.”

Richard Poire and Rasha Kardo battled over Brachypodium in the 2012 Battle of the Plants.

Richard Poire and Rasha Kardo battled over Brachypodium in the 2012 Battle of the Plants.

Rasha was able to experience every aspect of the Centre, from meeting the Director to helping Richard collect seeds for the 2013 Battle of the Plants.

“I was quite surprised they weren’t all biologists. It’s an amazing team of all sorts of scientists, students and engineers working together on global issues like world hunger,” Rasha said.

“Working with instruments like PlantScan, which the team built and helping out with different projects was a real eye opener, biology has so many applications.”

Rasha has come full circle. Her Battle of the Plants adventure began and ended with a seed and a pot of dirt.


2 Comments on “As exciting as watching grass grow”

  1. Jas says:

    Reblogged this on Helix @ CSIRO.

  2. Vivienne McQuade says:

    How cool is it that students at school get to have these incredible learning experiences. Congrats Rasha ( I know its probably not cool to write ‘how cool’ but didnt know how else to say it)


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