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In which liquid do seeds grow best?

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by

Varsha Shankar

on 27 April 2014

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Transcript of In which liquid do seeds grow best?

In which liquid do seeds grow best?
Hypothesis: Germination is possible without soil; seeds grow best in water or liquids similar in composition to water.
Materials required
• 240 ml tap water
• 240 ml milk
• 240 ml vinegar (white)
• 240 ml orange juice
• 240 ml club soda
• A packet of bean seeds
• Five 300 ml glass beakers
• Permanent marker
• Tray or shallow pan
• Metric ruler
• Paper towels
Procedure
1. With the permanent marker, label each of the five beakers.
2. Place the beakers on a tray/pan
3. Pour 240 ml of each liquid in their respective beakers.

4. Put 5 seeds each in each of the 5 beakers
5. Keep a record of the daily observations for a week.
6. Make sure the seeds get sunlight and warmth (independent variables)
7. A week later, measure the length of the sprouts in centimeters.
Observation/Results
The seeds grow best in water. Most seeds were able to sprout in soda water as well, and the table shows that no seed could germinate in milk, vinegar or orange juice. Bean seeds grow quickly; in a week, the sprouts in water grew as long as 15.6cm. The length of sprouts in soda weren't as long; the longest one was around 9.6cm. Taking an average of the length of sprouts in both water and club soda -

Water: 9.5+10.2+11.5+15.6+11.4 = 58.2 = 11.64
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5 5

Soda: 0+0+9.6+7.5+8.4 = 25.5 = 5.1
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5 5
Conclusions
Seeds do not need soil to germinate. When placed in liquids, they can grow just as healthily provided they are given the right amount of nutrients. Most of the nutrients available in milk are not needed by plants to grow. Proteins in milk are rich in nitrogen but they are not in a form that plants can synthesize. Vinegar is too acidic for germination to happen. Similarly, orange juice is also too acidic (citric acid) for the seeds to sprout. Club soda is essentially carbonated water. The seeds in the beaker with club soda was able to germinate because it has a sufficient amount of carbon, hydrogen and phosphorous which is known to aid plant growth.
Although this experiment does not use gadjets it supports inquiry based learning in that it presents a testable hypothesis. When done with children in the classroom, it can be done
as a confirmation inquiry lesson (if the students are old enough to know the results in advance) or as a structured inquiry lesson where the teacher provides the hypothesis and let the students investigate through this prescribed
procedure. Inquiry is all about satisfying the curiosity, and answering questions like "how?" and "why?". This experiment can thus open a broad set of options for research or follow-up.
Reflections
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