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Lavender – Nice Smell, Bad Idea

Episode:58Te Papa Collection:Art and Photography

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 6

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Science: Nature of Science

Description:While lavender may smell nice and seem harmless enough, preventative conservator Tony Clarke explains to Riria Hotere why it's not a good idea in a museum.

Questions for students

  1. Have you ever seen or heard of lavender being used in this way? Have you ever used it this way yourself? Check with older relatives to find someone who has a lavender bag and discuss their reasons for using it.
  2. Why doesn't Te Papa use lavender to keep bugs away from clothes? Why is it especially bad to use lavender for uniforms?
  3. Describe the experiment the presenter carried out, step by step. Explain each step and describe the results. What conclusion did the presenter come to? Try this out yourself and see if you get the same results.
  4. What other methods of pest control do you know of? Use the 'Connections and conclusions' response template to explore other methods of pest control and draw some conclusions. Which methods would you prefer to use in your house?
  5. Research the domestic and commercial uses of lavender. How many different lavender products are made and sold in New Zealand? What particular lavender qualities do they use?

Related templates:

Connections and conclusions