Project by group mhsschellingspring2021

Explore We know that many different environments affect a plant's growth and the quality of the overall plant. What we have discovered in class was that many different aspect go into the health of a plant. Our background research showed us that by having insects in the soil of our plant helps to aerate the soil which helps our growth. We also found that insects help to distribute resources. We know that isopods help to reduce fungi. The questions about plants that interest us is how different insects affect the plants.
Research Question We want to know how different insects can affect the health and growth of a plant. We came up with this question by thinking of what can be found in a garden. Insects and animals affect plant growth and health. We know that insects can help to aerate and fertilize soil, thus helping with plant growth.
Predictions The possible outcomes of our studies is that the insects may affect the plants in a negative way by affecting the plants life to decline due to the insects impact. Another outcome is that the plant may be affected positively by the insects impact and gain nutrition. The last outcome is that the plant will be affected neutrally, either because there is no insects in the pot or the insects do not affect the plant at all. Our plants health will be affected by the impact on insects in the plant's environment. We think the insect could feed off or give nutrients to the plant.
Experimental Design We are using 9 different experiments. 3 pots for each of the different scenarios. All of the pots have the same amount of potting soil and 20 germinated seeds in each. In 3 of the pots there will be 14 mealworms. In another 3 of the pots there will be 3 earth worms included too. In the last 3 pots, there will be no added insects. We are going to test the insects affect on plant health and height and compare the 2 scenarios to the pot with no insects added. We will keep the amount of light and water each plant is receiving constant. We will record our data on a google sheet and in our composition notebooks.
Conclusion Concluding our experiment, the average height of our none plants was 3.166 cm, earthworm average was 3.833 cm, and mealworm was 0.333 cm. There were 10 deaths of the earthworms (when we were cleaning our pots out we only found the alive worms, we think that they either escaped or decomposed). There were 19 mealworm deaths and 1 mealworm pupae. We claim that mealworms negatively affect the plants by squishing the sprouts. There was only a slight difference between the earthworm and no insects height difference, there is not a significant enough difference to make a claim. In the future to improve upon the experiment, there should be more test samples, less insects, and more accurate/even amounts of water given to the plants.
Investigation Theme WOS
Grade Level High School Students (Grades 9,10,11,12)
Teacher Name Nichole Schelling
School Name Medford High School
Session Spring 2021
About this Project

This student group came up with a very interesting idea to study the interaction between invertebrates and their plant growth. They used earthworms and mealworms to test the interaction they might have on plants. This group was detailed in their set up and extremely organized in how they collected data. They did not need reminders to stay on task and check their plants daily. In addition, they showed excellent collaboration with each other and their communication with their mentor online. They kept their project page updated and posted weekly updates to their mentor.
-- Nichole Schelling, Teacher