Dr. Colette Jacono discusses freshwater plant ecology during an Osceola County teacher workshop. 
Here she discusses the native cat-tail, which can become a nuisance in disturbed areas but is not considered invasive. Teachers learn about aquatic plant morphology at the 4-day invasive plant teacher workshop. Graduates of the 2009 CSI-Osceola County invasive plant teacher workshop, hosted by the County and UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

Resources for Teachers

Development and dissemination of interactive science curricula in Osceola County has been an important outreach component for this Demonstration project. Designed to reach the next generation of Osceola County citizens, it has the potential to “keep giving” as students mature into adulthood and teachers continue to cover the topic each year in the classroom.

CAIP staff assembled and distributed resources for teachers to use in the classroom and with their assistance, also developed content for the following lessons and activities:

This invasive plant curriculum was further reinforced with intensive professional development training for Osceola County science teachers (upper elementary, middle and high school). Two 4-day workshops, in 2008 and 2009, included field trips and hands-on plant identification activities as a catalyst for generating excitement and interest in the curriculum. A one-day follow-up workshop was held in April 2011 to revisit the lessons/activities provided in earlier workshops and demonstrate improvements that had been made as a result of input from the teachers.

Participants earned professional development credits and returned to their classroom with lots of new resources, greater background knowledge on the topic of invasive aquatic plants, and a better understanding of the challenges associated with managing invasive aquatic plants.

Osceola County Teacher Workshops

2009           2008


The Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative

The Education Initiative was created to provide educators with the information and resources needed to teach students about the harmful impacts some non-native, invasive plants are having on our natural areas and neighborhoods. Our ultimate goal is for today’s youth to draw on this knowledge as they mature into responsible environmental stewards.


The Hydrilla Game—Tracking the Journey of an Incredibly Invasive Plant

Click on the link to download and print out this game. Students will have fun creating bracelets and learning how invasive plants are spread from place to place.


Invasive Plant Student Video Challenge

This webpage showcases a video project conducted with Osceola County teachers and students to educate and promote awareness about invasive aquatic plants. It includes links to teacher guides, job descriptions, sample scenarios, and more!


Plant Morphology Lab: Aquatic Plant Identification Key

This dichotomous key relies on easily seen features that characterize the growth and form of aquatic plants. It is not intended for identification to a species level; instead, it allows for categorizing a plant according to the way it grows and to the appearance of its parts. It is based on a larger key developed by C.D.K. Cook in which every aquatic plant in the world may fit (1996 Aquatic Plant Book, Amsterdam).