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Science Teachers to Wipe Out 1 Million Invasive Plants - Press Release

by Julie Knernschield | Feb 12, 2016

Statewide Citizen Science Project Announcement - All Schools Welcome to Join!

The Science Teachers of Missouri (STOM) organization represents over 2,100 Missouri science educators to promote quality science instruction for all students.   Science education is in the midst of exciting changes that shift the focus away from the memorization of facts and to problem solving and critical thinking in order to help citizens make educated decisions in their community.


One issue that students recognize as a problem is the introduction of invasive organisms that can harm local ecosystems.  One of these invasive species is the bush honeysuckle plant.   This plant was brought over from Asia years ago for landscaping purposes.   Unfortunately this plant rapidly takes over local forests by blocking native trees and plants from growing.  Birds spread the seeds of the invasive honeysuckle, which helps the rapid spread of the plant.   Most forest floors near cities have been overtaken by the bush honeysuckle, which means that as mature trees die they may not be replaced by new trees.   This will turn quality forests into areas of brush. 


Students learn about invasive species but rarely have an opportunity to help.   However, STOM, with the support of many other organizations, is running the Missouri Honeysuckle Project.   Residents, teachers, organizations, and students can learn more at www.mohoneysuckleproject.com and to join the fight to remove at least 1 million of the invasive plants in Missouri.   The website allows participants to track the amount of plants removed for recognition and encouragement. 


With the assistance of organizations like the Missouri Department of Conservation, and many other organizations that are listed at www.mohoneysuckleproject.com, the Science Teachers of Missouri and our students hope to make a lasting and positive difference to the health of our forests, parks, and communities.  


For more information on this project please visit www.mohoneysuckleproject.com or you may contact the 2016 president of STOM, Mike Szydlowski, at mszydlowski@cpsk12.org or 573-214-3945.






Mike Szydlowski

K-12 Science Coordinator

Columbia Public Schools


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