Work on this next!
What do we know about plants from our experiences outside of school? What have we discovered in class and background research? What questions about plants interest us?
|Research Question||What do we want to test or study? How did we come up with the question(s). How does the question fit what we know about the topic?|
|Predictions||What are the possible outcomes of our study given the variables we are working with? What is our explanation for why and how we think this will happen?|
|Experimental Design||What is our plan? Be sure to include enough detail that another group can replicate our experiment. What variables will we test? What variables will we measure and observe? What variables will we keep constant? How will we record our data?|
|Conclusion||What claim can we make from our experiment? What are possible explanations for our results? How do the data we collected and our reasoning with scientific ideas support our claim? What future experiments could be done to expand on the results of this experiment?|
|About this Project||
I thought they were innovative in their approach to the question, drawing on prior knowledge.
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. Please come back and visit the https://plantingscience.org/projects/browse”>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
Thank you so much for continuing your PlantingScience work during the pandemic. You've all done some amazing work! We have made it to the final week of our session so it is time to start wrapping up your projects. Please share your final reports or conclusions with your mentor this week. They are excited to see how your experiments turned out! Don't forget to thank your mentors as well for their help!
Stay healthy and thank you again,
The PlantingScience Team
Thanks for the update. It sounds like science in happening and interesting things are occurring! Yay! I'm glad you decided to measure the movement of the blue dye in addition to the weight measurements. It will give you an added piece of data to think about and discuss.
Interesting to hear about the difference in the floating potatoes (infected) versus the non-floating, uninfected potatoes. Any thoughts on what is causing this to happen??? (Hint: it's some cool science!)
Looking forward to more updates!
The lab is going well. We plan to compare the masses of the potatoes before and after the procedure tomorrow. At the moment, the infected potatoes have floated to the top of the beakers and are falling apart in the water. On the other hand, the normal potatoes are not dissolved and at resting at the bottom of the beakers.
The main question we are planning to answer is how does rot / bacterial infection affect a potato cell's water potential and ability to diffuse water. We are planning to follow your recommendation of quantitatively measuring the movement of blue dye into each potato piece. Thank you for the help. We will update you again soon!
Good deal! I think the change in mass due to osmosis will be a pretty easy and straight forward thing to change. Again, I encourage you all to think about your question driving this. Why is this important to study? What is your prediction based on what you have learned thus far about disease and disease responses in plants?
One other quick recommendation: since you will be putting blue dye in your solution, I would recommend that you actually measure the movement of blue dye into each potato piece. That would give you another quantitative data set to look about and compare across your two treatments.
Hope the week has been going well!
So what we decided to do was just test the osmolarity of the potatoes rather than look at pH. Like you said, the titration idea I thought of would be fairly annoying to set up properly. With the osmolarity we are planning to use only two potatoes, one that has been bleached and another which is the innoculated one. We are only using two potatoes but each potato will be cut into 4 pieces so a total of 8 trials. We plan to put the potatoes into water in order to test the diffusion and osmolarity. The water will also be dyed blue so after we make mass measurments we will also check to see how far the water soaked into the potato.
Any other things we should look out for?
Thanks for the update! What is the temperature like where you are storing the potatoes? This could play a role in the rate of infection....
I think that the titration method to measure pH of the potatoes would potentially work, however it may be a bit challenging to troubleshoot to make sure that the other organic matter isn't interfering. Nice job thinking about that being a potential problem.
The measurement of osmolarity would be pretty simple and a repeatable way for anyone to do the experiment (an important thing about science is that our work is repeatable by anyone that would like to repeat our experiment!).
Have you guys decided on an exact question to test? I think it may help you make a decision on what to look at if you come with with a "why is this factor important to look at" type question. Think about what is interesting to your group about potato rot (or other infections that afflict plants) and that should help you finalize your decision. The other thing to think about is relevance. Is it even sensible to measure something? In other words, would a potato likely be in the conditions of our experiment that make it worthwhile to test our question?
Since we last talked, we checked the potatoes again and found more evidence of rot on them. It has been six days now so to be quite honest, we thought they would rot faster.
As far as our testing goes, for pH we were either planning to simply insert a pH meter into the potatoes or create a mock titration. The idea for the titration would be to neutralize an acid solution or base solution adding more pieces of potatoes. Would this work given we have the mass and the organic make up of the potatoes?
For the osmolarity we would simply use mass readings of the potatoes before and after we submerged them in various solutions/concentrations.
Our control for this project are the base bleached potatoes without infestation. We will test these as the control irrespective of what treatment we use.
Any concerns with our ideas, or any other traits that would be better to test?
Thanks for the update, Shaunak! It's great to hear that you have started the experiment and are already making observations. Were you surprised to see the rot started already?
The choice of looking at pH changes in the potatoes after infection is interesting! What made you think about looking at pH? How would you expect pH to change in the potato? I think that pH could be measured, but it might be a little tricky. Do you have access to a pH meter?
The osmosis question is also very interesting. Would you expect there to be changes in osmosis in the cells after infection? What would cause the change, if you expect one? I think there may be a relatively easy way to measure this, but I'm curious as to what your plan to measure osmosis changes would be.
One more question: it sounds like you have your experimental system set up and running well. Do you also have a control set up? It's important to make sure you have a solid control so you can have something to compare your data to.
Looking forward to hearing more updates!
Its been four days since we innoculated our potatoes. Today, we unpacked the potatoes and made qualitative observations. We found that around the incision point the potatoes started to rot and the flesh softened. Moving forward, we were looking to test how the bacteria infection affects the pH for the potatoes. We had some confusion as to how we would do this however. Another idea of ours was to see how well the potatoes conduct osmosis after being infected. Any feedback you have would be welcomed. Thank you.
Hi Amani, Dhruv, and and Shaunak! Thanks for the nice introductions. It sounds like you all are a motivated group of students which will make this Planting Science adventure even more fun!
My name is Molly and I am a post-doctoral researcher at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab located on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. Here, I am currently working in a harmful algal bloom (HAB) lab where we study toxins that HABs produce. While I am not currently working on higher plants, these little harmful algae share many similarities with higher plants. Plus, all of my previous research has been on higher plants. (Plants are the coolest!!!)
I'm really fascinated by mechanisms that drive organisms day-to-day life and help them deal with the environment they live in. I'm looking forward to working with you on this project and can't wait to help you come up with a cool experiment to ask some cool science questions!
Outside of the lab I like to stay very active. I run marathons in my spare time and really enjoy spending time outdoors!
Looking forward to jumping into some science with you!
Hi! My name is Amani and I'm a senior hoping to make it to medical school one day! I plan to major in global health in college. I am interested in the sustainable fashion industry and love hanging out with my dogs :)
Hi my name is Dhruv, I'm a senior looking to major in political science and statistics in college. In my high school, I am the President of Model UN, captain of the tennis team, and class treasurer. I am a Bernie Sanders supporter and am active in my community in addressing issues of inequality.