Wise Weed Whackers

Project by group dmsstiemspring2021

Info

Explore Germination is the process in which a plant grows, roots, and sprouts. Germination starts with imbibition, it occurs when a dry seed absorbs water and begins to swell. Water softens the outer layer of seed. Then it uses its stored food supply to fuel the beginning of growth. The root sprouts...
Research Question How does the amount of sugar in the water affect the rate of germination?
Predictions If the amount of granulated sugar in the water increases, then the rate of germination will take longer. We think this because it will take longer and more effort for the plant to break the extra sugar down.
Experimental Design Using the buckwheat seed, we will put 10 seeds in separate trays. Fill one tray with water and, then the next with water and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Lastly, we will put 1 teaspoon of sugar in another tray. We will label the seeds in the tray. After 1 week we will measure the growth of each seed...
Conclusion Claim: The seeds with no sugar in their water germinated faster than the seeds with sugar in their water. Evidence: In our experiment the seeds growth average with 0 tsp of sugar in their water was 6.324 cm. The seeds growth average with ½ tsp of sugar in their water was 0 cm. The seeds growth...

Updates

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Erich Huebner
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Erich Huebner
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Erich Huebner
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PlantingScience Staff
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PlantingScience Staff
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Adolie
said

This is the evaluation

Some sources of error that occurred in my experiment:

  •  The movement of seeds. We had to change paper towels since our paper towels were turning green and slimy which meant we needed to transfer the seeds. This affected the experiment because if the seeds were growing we could have damaged the root hair or stems.

  • Over watering. This affected the experiment because we probably killed the seeds by drowning them or the water made the paper towel moldy along with the seeds.

  • Moldy seeds. The overwatering most likely caused the seeds to become moldy which killed them. This affected the experiment because it killed off seeds which caused us to have less seeds to take data about.

  • To much sugar. This affected the experiment because it probably took away some of the seeds nutrients to germinate.

 

    What would you do differently next time?

Somethings that I would change next time would be less water, less sugar, and not moving the seeds around. I would change the water to 5 ml instead of 10 ml because hopefully it would not make the seeds and paper towel moldy which would end up making the seeds healthier. I would change the amount of sugar from ½ - 1 tsp of sugar to ⅛ - ¼ tsp of sugar because in the article I read it said a very small amount of sugar could help the plant grow better but ½ - 1 tsp of sugar was probably to much. Finally, I would change not moving the seeds around because if the seeds were growing when we moved them then we could have damaged them which caused them not to grow.

 

How confident are you in your trials?

I am somewhat confident in my results. I am strongly confident in my trials because I did do 10 trials like your supposed to. I am only somewhat confident in my attempt to minimize errors and my use of scientific concepts because I tried hard on them but I just think they are good not great. The only thing is I am only a little confident on my results being confirmed since what happened in the experiment was the opposite of what was expected. In the articles that we read it said that sugar is good for a plant and it would help it grow so we expected that but instead our seeds died and got moldy as well as the paper towel so our group was surprised by that.

    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    Thanks for sharing your final evaluation, team.  You did a nice job of outlining different potential factors that may have influenced your experiment.  Indeed, it would be interesting to try the experiment with different concentrations of sugar, to see if there was a point at which the sugar no longer affected the germination of the seeds.  The mold growth is a tricky one to avoid! 

Sydney
said

Thank you for helping us with our experiment. We had a great time and we learned a lot and had a lot of fun. Stay healthy and have a great year!

Catherine Vrentas
said

Hi team!

I really enjoyed working with you this semester on Planting Science.

I think you have done a nice job in terms of your conclusions.  Indeed, as water moves out of the seed when it is placed in sugar or salt water, that can prevent it from taking in the water needed to germinate.  As you note, the moldiness of the seeds is also likely to have contributed to their lack of germination.  Sometimes the same thing will happen to seeds in the soil outside, especially if it has been a very wet spring. This can prevent a crop from sprouting.

I am glad you were able to participate and that you enjoyed the process!  Science can be hard work but I find that the excitement of testing and learning new things is what drew me to this career. I hope you have a healthy and happy rest of the spring semester.

Sincerely,

Cathy

    Nevaeh
    said

    Once Again Thank You, I want to retry this experiment at home with different measurements and I will use your tips and tricks to help. -Nevaeh

    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    That sounds like a great idea, Nevaeh!

PlantingScience Staff
said

Farewell and Best Wishes

As this research project is now in the final stages of wrapping-up, we wish to thank everyone who participated in this inquiry; the students, mentors, teachers and others behind the scenes. We appreciate all of your efforts and contributions to this online learning community.

Scientific exploration is a process of discovery that can be fun! There are many unanswered questions about plants just waiting for new scientists to consider, investigate, and share.

After the end of the session, we will be updating the platform and archiving groups and projects, after which time new updates/posts will not be able to be added to projects or groups. You have until Tuesday, April 25, 2021, to post ALL of your updates, comments, and goodbyes. Please come back and visit the PlantingScience Project Gallery anytime to view this project in the future. You can search the Gallery by keyword, team name, topic, or school name.

Good bye for now.

Warm regards,

The PlantingScience Team

Nevaeh
said

Hi, this is Nevaeh I just wanted to thank you for helping our group and answering our questions it been really nice to work with you so thanks. :)

Sydney
said

The y-axis on our graph is showing how long the seeds got in centimeters. We noticed that the seeds with sugar water were very moldy. Since water in the seeds would be going out, the seeds would dry up. Also, we put our conclusion in with our claim, evidence, and reasoning. 

Adolie
said

I posted my conclusion under the info section. What do you think of the conclusion? Were these the results you expected? Thank you for working with us through this whole experiment! I had a lot of fun working with you and my team!!

Adolie
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Sydney
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    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    Hi team,

    Thank you for sharing your data!  Can you tell me a little bit more about the y-axis of your graph--what part of the germinating seed are you measuring, and what units are you using to display your measurement? 

    Did you notice anything about the seeds with the sugar water beyond the fact that the seeds did not sprout?  One thing that happens as seeds are placed in sugar or salt water is that water will move out from the seed as opposed to moving into the seed.  What effect might that have on germination, if water is moving out of the seed?

    Nice work, team!

    Sincerely,

    Cathy

Sydney
said

This is our graph displaying our data. 

Adolie
said

This is our final picture. One of our teamates took their seeds home so we only had 2 bags which is totally fine. We found out that the sugar water kills the seeds since there is no growth in the seeds with sugar water. We think the reason they have different growth in different bags is from the water. I had a lot of fun with this expeirement!

    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    It was great working with all of you on Planting Science this semester!

Adolie
uploaded Planting Science _ Wise Weedwackers Data Collection 2.pdf in project files
Adolie
uploaded IMG-4504.jpeg in project files
Adolie
uploaded Planting Science _ Wise Weedwackers Data Collection.pdf in project files
    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    Hi team,

    I liked how you included a lot of detail in your description of the changes in the seeds over time. Careful and detailed collection of data is very important for scientists, so that they can go back and analyze their data later! Do you have any thoughts about why you observed the difference in growth between tbe different bags?

Sydney
said

Here are my final seeds. The leaves are almost out of the seed coat and the leaves and roots have grown a lot. Adolie's and Neveah's did not grow at all and have no sprouts. This project was really fun. Thank you!

    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    Hi team,

    I am glad you had fun! You did a great job chronicling the progress of your seeds throughout the last couple of weeks. I will go back and look at the file you have posted, but the photo does a nice job of capturing the growth of the seeds--especially the roots!

Sydney
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Adolie
said

This is an updated picture of the seeds from today.

    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    Thanks for reposting the photo, team!  I can see the sprouting beginning!

Adolie
uploaded IMG-1981.jpg in project files
Kristen Stiem
said

Hi Team! I deleted a picture because your team noticed one of the bags had a last name. 

Adolie
said

This is what our seeds look like now. The one with 1/2 tsp and 1 tsp of sugar water have not grown at all but the one with no sugar has grown really well. The paper towel is not really sucking up the water for the ones with sugar water and one of the seeds in the 1 tsp of sugar water is growing a little moldy.

    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    Hi team,

    Mold likes wet areas, so it's pretty common to see this observation, especially with the presence of some sugar (food).  I would recommend to check with your teacher about how to handle the moldy bag, since the mold will probably continue to spread.  In fact, this is a problem that happens in the soil too!  Some fungi will grow on seeds or seedlings and cause them to die quickly after sprouting or cause the seeds to rot.  Just like the mildew in the shower (a bit gross, I know!) fungi like moisture.

    Sincerely,

    Cathy

Sydney
said

Today my seeds looked good and they had grown a lot. The seeds have lots of root hair and the stems are yellowish near the seeds. I was wondering when we should put our seeds in the grow light. Do you have any ideas?

    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    Hi team,

    When I start seeds, I generally transfer them to under a grow light once they have started sprouting.

    Sincerely,

    Cathy

Adolie
uploaded IMG-4472.jpeg in project files
Sydney
said

Today we watered and observed our seeds and they are doing good. 

    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    Great news!  Hope your week is off to a good start!  Do you notice any changes in the seeds?

Sydney
said

We watered our seeds today and this is what it looked like. For the watering, one bag had half a teaspoon of sugar dissolved in it, another had a teaspoon of sugar in it, and another had just water. All of the bags got 10 ml of water. 

Sydney
uploaded IMG-1938.jpg in project files
Nevaeh
said

We should start seeing germination during the 3rd-5th day. The seed requires water and sunlight to start germinating. And I don't think we have any more questions.

    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    Hi team,

    Sounds great!  It sounds like you should have some seedlings soon.

    I also thought you might enjoy this link below--it talks about the different needs of seedlings.  Each different type of seed has its own conditions that are best for germination.  That includes different levels of moisture and different optimum temperatures.  Not all seeds need or like light for germination, but once you have sprouted seedlings, they will definitely need light to grow.

    https://extension.psu.edu/seed-and-seedling-biology

    Looking forward to hearing about your results next week!

    Cathy

Lucy
said

Thank you for the suggestions! I went back and fixed a few things. We are going to measure by cm at the end of the week. To control water, we would use the same water type and add the same amount of water through the experiment. The water amount will be varied because at different points the seed may or not need more versus less water. I checked with our teacher, she said that we can just use the light in the classroom. We would put all of the samples in the same exact spot. 

-Lucy

    Catherine Vrentas
    said

    Hi team,

    Thank you for the updates!  I can see that you have been working hard throughout the week. I like how you have specified the way in which you will be measuring the growth of the plants.  One question to think about--how fast might you start to see germination of the buckwheat seeds, and is there anything else you might also consider recording about the growth of your plants?

    I agree with you that you will likely have to monitor your seed trays to make sure they have enough water throughout the experiment, and it may be difficult to predict this in advance.  As you note, the key will be making sure all your seeds get approximately the same amount of water (either water with sugar or water without sugar).

    If you are placing all the seeds in a similar location, then I would expect that you would get similar light across all of your seeds inside.  Scientists can actually use devices to measure the amount of light at a specific spot!  But for the purposes of this experiment, I think it is a fair assumption that the amount of light if all the seeds are close together will be similar.

    Finally, I saw that you had a hypothesis about what might happen and why, which is great!  What do you think is happening inside the seed when a seed is germinating?  What does a typical seed require in order for it to germinate?

    Do you have any other questions so far?  Feel free to ask any plant or science questions, and/or any questions about your experiment.

    Keep up the good work!!

    Sincerely,

    Cathy

Lucy
said

I have a few questions for you. For the experiment, how much water do you recommend using to water the seed? How would you control the amount of sunlight, so it's equal for each seed? Thank you! Also, I will not be here for the rest of the project after this week. I am moving to Detroit and switching schools. 

    Marina Borges Osorio
    said

    Dear Lucy, sad that you're leaving this project! But wishing you the best of luck in Detroit and hopefully, you can be part of Planting Science over there too!

    Marina (team liaison)

Lucy
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Catherine Vrentas
said

Hi team!  For some reason it wasn't letting me comment below the individual posts, so I am putting all my comments here.  Welcome Sydney, it is nice to meet you! Lucy, I am glad you will be able to join us this week and I hope your move goes well.  I think I replied to all of the other posts below.

 

I see you have been busy with lots of experimental design for your project!  You did a great job updating your info on the page.  Here are a few thoughts I had about your design and questions:

--You mention that you will measure the growth of each seed.  How might you do so?  In other words, what would you specifically be doing or counting?

--In terms of watering your seeds, as you note in your info, the seeds will need water to germinate.  You should make sure you dampen the soil, but not have super waterlogged soil, since then you can have issues with fungus growing and preventing the seed from sprouting.  This is called "damping off".'

--Do you have any ideas about how you might make sure you add the same amount of water for all the seeds involved?  In other words, how can we control the amount of water in the experiment?

--In terms of controlling the amount of light, can you tell me a little more about the source of light in your experiment?  In other words, are you using a window or do you have a separate light for the plants?  That sounds like another great variable to control!

Looking forward to hearing about your next steps.

Sincerely,

Cathy

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