Bring teaching to life with Learning Suite: group sunflower project

Perhaps your school might be craving a dynamic environment for learning, where students of all ages can discover and express themselves. Learning Suite can help. What is it? Learning Suite is an integrated package of software that includes the latest multimedia, reference, and presentation tools.

Computers are increasingly part of our daily lives, no more so than in education. From the classroom to the lecture hall, from the playground to the laboratory, technology plays a critical role in the way that we learn, study, and create – individually or in groups. But computers themselves aren’t enough. Students and teachers need familiar, easy-to-use software, which supports the fundamental objectives of education and encourages new and exciting ways of learning.

In this on-going series of blog posts, we will provide an overview some of the following Learning Suite applications in action in the education sector. Learning Suite applications include; Access, Digital Image Suite, Encarta, Excel, FrontPage, MapPoint, Movie Maker, One Note, Outlook, Photo Story 3, PowerPoint, Producer, Project, Publisher, Visio, Windows Desktop Search and Word.

Today it’s all about a group sunflower project where students use Encarta, Digital Image, Photo Story 3 and PowerPoint.


At the start of the summer term, students are set a project to plant the seed of a domestic crop, measure its growth and study its yield. In the final week of term, they are asked to present their findings, as a group, to the rest of the class.


Using the Microsoft Encarta Reference Library, students look up information on seed germination. After comparing growth rates and nutrition, they discuss the options and select a sunflower for their project group.


Every week they use a digital camera to take pictures of the sunflower from a number of angles. They use Microsoft Digital Image Suite to enhance these pictures and show the growth of the plant.


Once the sunflower has reached its full height and flowered, the students take a series of photos during a single day. Using Photo Story 3, this set of photographs is transformed into a dynamic sequence showing the sunflower following the sun.


All text, images, commentary and statistics are stored on a single PC. At the end of term, pupils bring together data, charts, photographs, and commentary into an exciting PowerPoint presentation that makes a real impression.

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