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7th Grade Science Fair Project - Myranda Ellis

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Myranda Ellis

on 11 January 2013

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Transcript of 7th Grade Science Fair Project - Myranda Ellis

Background Research Background Research Background Research Background Research Background Research Koning, Ross. "Plants and Milk." Bio.net. Ross Koning,
27 Feb. 1996. Web. 6 Dec. 2012. <http://www.bio.net/mm/plant-ed/1996-February/000470.html>. Ross Koning, Biology Dept. Eastern TCT State University Koning, Ross. "Re: How Different Liquids Affect Plant Growth."
Web log comment. Bio.net. Ross Koning, 02 Dec. 1997. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <http://www.bio.net/mm/plant-ed/1997-December/002800.html>. Which Do Plants Prefer? "Osmosis." Science of Everyday Things.
2002. Encyclopedia.com. 6 Dec. 2012 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>. Some of the nutrients listed in milk are protein, carbohydrates, sugar, fat, calcium. There is also many vitamins, and minerals in milk. Milk or Water? Hypothesis Name: Myranda Ellis 7th Grade Mrs. Ellis This topic sounded interesting
because I was curious to find out if milk would help plants to grow even better than water. Purpose The purpose to my experiment was to see if milk would help plants grow better than water. The question is, is milk good or bad for plants? It might possibly prove a way to use milk as a fertilizer for plants. Some research for my experiment stated that
feeding milk to plants might be helpful if done at a low concentration. Other sources stated that it could hurt the plants more than help them I learned that bacteria can feed on sugar and that the protein in milk is good for plants only when they are first broken down. Also, I learned that to much of anything dissolved in water becomes hypertonic. In these situations a plant will likely wilt because the cells of the plant will lose water. Also plants use sugars and proteins, but they make their own. They don't "eat" it from the soil. The sugar in the milk can increase bacteria growth very quickly. Milk does contain nutrients ( calcium icons ) that can be absorbed by the plant. Osmosis helps take in water. Osmotic pressure is the main structural support for most plants. When plants are in a hypertonic solution, the water in the plants will move out to dilute the high concentration outside the cell. When water comes into a plant cell, the center vacuole will swell and press against the cell wall. This pressure, called turgor pressure, keeps a plant from wilting. "Plant Cells, Chloroplasts, and Cell Walls."
Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012. <http://www.nature.com/scitable/topics>. If milk is fed to plants in the right concentration of water/milk then plants will survive even better than with water only. United States. Department of Agriculture.
National Agricultural Library. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. N.p., 2009. Web. 6 Dec. 2012. Experimental Design Constant Variables: Group of plants that were only fed water (Group D)

Dependent Variable: Groups of plants that were fed varying concentrations of milk (Group A, B, and C)

Independent Variables: Concentrations of Milk (2%, Skim, and 50% Skim/50% water) 2 Large plastic tubs (40”L X 20”W X 5”D)
12 African Violet Plants
½ gal 2% Milk
½ gal Skim Milk
Tap Water
Measuring cup in ml
Infant nasal suction bulb
Room Thermometer
Camera
2 rulers with centimeters
Digital weight scale with grams
Plain white Labels (12ea)
Marker/Pen
Heater
Chart Materials Procedure 1. Buy 12 African Violet Plants in plastic pots and space them apart in 2 different shallow plastic tubs on the floor in an indoor room that has windows and will get indirect sunlight. (Do not put in direct sunlight for African Violets)

2. Group the plants in rows of 3 each and label them:

Group A (1) 2%, Group A (2) 2%, Group A (3) 2%
Group B (1) Skim, Group B (2) Skim, Group B (3) Skim
Group C (1) 50/50, Group C (2) 50/50, Group C (3) 50/50
Group D (1) Water, Group D (2) Water, Group D (3) Water

3 .Keep a temperature thermometer in the area of the tubs of plants to assure proper maintained temperature (use electric heater indirectly if needed to maintain temperature of 70 degrees)

4. Mix a 50/50 solution of skim milk and tap water (1:1) ratio and keep in a bottle with lid in the refrigerator with the other milk products.

5. Water plants on an every other day schedule with the following liquids using a measuring cup and infant nasal suction bulb:

Group A: Give each plant 30 ml of 2% milk only
Group B: Give each plant 30 ml of skim milk only
Group C: Give each plant 30 ml of 50/50 solution only
Group D: Give each plant 30 ml of tap water only
*pour liquid into measuring cup and suction out with bulb and squirt into soil to water plants without getting liquid onto leaves

6 .On days 1, 7, and 14 use your chart to document:

Height (cm) – measure from soil to tip of tallest bloom
Weight (g) – weigh plant/soil/cup and all in one
Description/Color/Structure
Document any changes to any of the above on Days 7 and 14.
Document all plants at start (Day 1) based on height, weight, description
Photograph condition of pictures on Days 1, 7, and 14.
Data Analysis Data Analysis Data Analysis *Height measurements were taken from each plant in each group and then averaged to give one measurement for each group. Weight Averages for Each Group *Weights of each plant (1,2 ,3) of each group were averaged together to get these measurements *Visual Description ratings based on observing and recording changes of overall condition of the plant over 14 day period. Factors included were changes in plant turgor (wilting or firm), mold/no mold, decrease/increase in blooms. Each plant was given a rating each week of 5 as “good condition” and 1 as “bad condition” based on the factors mentioned. Then the ratings for each plant were averaged to give each group an overall rating. Results The plants did not thrive when fed milk, even in low concentrations. The plants that were fed a higher concentration of milk (2%) did much worse, much quicker than the ones that were fed the lowest concentration of milk (50% skim/50%water). The plants that were fed the 50/50 milk solution survived, but still didn't do as well as the group that was fed water only.

The purpose of my experiment was to see if milk could be helpful to growing plants because of some of the nutrients in milk being good for plants, but here are also some such as sugar that increase growth of bacteria in the soil. Apparently bacteria grows faster than the plant can break down and use the nutrients in the milk that would be helpful. Conclusion Ultimately the experiment showed that water seems to do the best job of providing what plants need, therefore it did not prove my hypothesis that the milk’s nutrients help the plant’s growth.

The information I found in my research suggested that there are some good nutrients in milk such as calcium and protein that the plants could benefit from. The fact that bacteria feed on sugar and can create mold quickly and that plants do not do well in moldy environments suggest that some parts of the milk are not beneficial. Some research suggested that low concentrations of milk might be good for plants on occasion since less of the sugar in milk reduces the chance for mold to grow quickly. Also plants need water, soil, and sunlight in order to make their own food instead of taking it from an outside source as humans or animals do.

It is likely that the poor appearance of the plants and lack of growth by the end of the experiment was from the growth of mold in the soil caused from the milk. The fact that the plants fed a lower concentration of milk did not do quite as poorly as quickly as the ones fed higher concentrations of milk suggest that another experiment might prove to benefit plants. An experiment that uses even lower concentrations and plants possibly fed every now and then suggest that there might be some level of milk concentration and regimen of feeding that is good for plants.

If another experiment were done, it probably should include more numbers of plants in each group and maybe use a different type of plant that grows tall very quickly to see more drastic changes in a shorter time. In addition, use an even lower concentration of milk/water than was used previously. Also using 2 groups of plants where one is fed a low concentration everyday other day and another that is fed that exact same low concentration maybe twice a week. Overall, it seems that feeding plants water makes for good plants and also it doesn’t smell bad after a few days!
Bibliography Koning, Ross. "Re: How Different Liquids Affect Plant Growth." Web log comment. Bio.net. Ross Koning,
02 Dec. 1997. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <http://www.bio.net/mm/plant-ed/1997-December/002800.html>.
Ross Koning, Biology Dept. Eastern TCT State University (koning@ecsu.ctstateu.edu)

Koning, Ross. "Plants and Milk." Bio.net. Ross Koning, 27 Feb. 1996. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.
<http://www.bio.net/mm/plant-ed/1996-February/000470.html>.
Ross Koning, Biology Dept. Eastern TCT State University (koning@ecsu.ctstateu.edu)

"Osmosis." Science of Everyday Things. 2002. Encyclopedia.com. 6 Dec. 2012
<http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Plant Cells, Chloroplasts, and Cell Walls." Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012.
<http://www.nature.com/scitable/topics>.

United States. Department of Agriculture. National Agricultural Library. USDA National Nutrient
Database for Standard Reference. N.p., 2009. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.
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