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The Plant Science Group in University of Glasgow is a centre for excellence in plant science research and teaching.

Lancaster University's School of Computing and Communications is a top-ranking department.

The two teams have come together to produce StomaToy, a cross-disciplinary activity involving the plant scientists from University of Glasgow, computer scientists from Lancaster University and non-scientist members of public.

StomaToy | Zone 1: The World Around Us

StomaToys activity packs are free-to-download and come with how-to instructions in English, Spanish and Chinese. They include a StomaToy video (3+), a make-your-own StomtaToy leaf cube (4+),and become-a-plant-scientist activity book (6+).

Download the StomaToy activity packs here.


Plants have tiny ‘mouths’ called stomata on their leaf surface which allow exchange of gases and water with the environment.

Like humans, plants have a complex immune system for defence against microbial pathogen or ‘germs’ invisible to our eye.

If we put hands covered in germs into our mouth, we become sick; similarly, pathogen entering the stomata causes infection in plants and can make them sick!

To prevent germ infection, plants close their ‘stomata’ as a first strategy of defence.

Find out more

Find out more about the team at the University of Glasgow on their website, or follow them on Twitter.