Tucked away in a corner of London’s Royal Botanic Gardens, there is a very peculiar plant. At first glance, it resembles a stumpy palm tree, but this ancient specimen is incredibly rare. It is, in fact, the very last of its kind on Earth. Encephalartos Woodii is a cycad, a type of plant that once dominated the planet during the Jurassic Period. Over the millennia, the age of the cycad came to an end. And in the case of Encephalartos Woodii, we may have been left with only one—a single male specimen. This tree is the loneliest bachelor on Earth.
It has many projects in multiple subject areas, along with very cool online tools for students to use when doing the research. The site also has lesson plans for teachers to use when introducing students to the site.
A site like this offers real purposes for student learning. I’m amazed that I hadn’t heard of it before today when Stephen F. Knott sent the tweet about the Civil War project. Further exploration led me to all the site’s other features.