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Nottingham Nasturtiums

Project by group nebuzzellspring2019

Explore Outside of school, 3 out of 4 have gardens. Each of us tends to our gardens in almost every season. During this time, we have learned that there are many different types of insects that can eat, or destroy the plants while they grow. In school, we have learned about what the process of germination is, and what how germination works in plants. Some questions that interest us are what are the right conditions for seeds to germinate, what makes the plant growth during the process of germination, how does germination work without soil, and what can occur to affect the process of germination?
Research Question Does burning or cutting the seeds before planting them affect the speed of the process?
Predictions We predict that if we cut the seeds, they will germinate faster than burning them because burning them could slow the process, but cutting them could give the seed something to start growing off of. We think this because burning the seed may damage the seed during the process which could make plants smaller, or maybe even a different color. Also, we think that the different cycles that we will perform in this experiment by taking turns using fire and cutting would result in the seed having a slower germination process. In our research question, we decided to do the opposite of burning and cutting the seeds. Our prediction for cutting the seeds is that the seeds will have a faster germination process, and may even help the plant grow taller or healthier by using water. In conclusion, our hypothesis is that cutting the seeds will have a better result on the speed of the plant growth than burning the seed will.
Experimental Design For this experiment, our predictions are that the seeds that are scarified will grow faster, or taller than the seeds that are burned. To test this hypothesis, we will be testing Nasturtium seeds to see how they are affected by the activity of either burning, scarifying, or just planting the seeds regularly. The materials that will be used during this process are 6 pots, 1 cup of potting soil per pot, labels to tell which pot is growing burned seeds, scarified seeds, or regular seeds. There will be 4 burned seeds (2 per pot), 4 scarified seeds (2 halves per pot), and 4 regular seeds (2 per pot), 6 finely crushed eggshells for fertilizer, 2 cups for measuring, 1 lighter, 1 pair of tongs, 1 small knife, 1 pair of safety goggles per person (to use during open flame or during cutting process), 1 roll of string, and 1 ruler. To start this experiment, start by setting out the 6 pots and label 2 burned seeds, 2 soaked seeds, and 2 regular seeds. Then, fill each pot with 1 cup of potting soil. After that, add your crushed eggs to the soil and mix the soil and fertilizer together. This will give the plant more nutrients and calcium while it is growing to keep the plants strong. You will be using safety goggles for cutting the seeds for your own safety so debris doesn't get in your eye. Then, with adult supervision, you will carefully cut the seeds in half using the proper tool that is provided. For example, a small knife will work very well to cut the seeds for this experiment. For this next step, you will also want to make sure to wear your safety goggles to protect your eyes as well and make sure that there is adult supervision present to perform this experiment. You will also need to set up 1 cup of water filled about 3/4 full of cold water to put the seeds in each cycle of burning and soaking each time. The next step is to use the pair of tongs to hold the seeds away from you so that the seed will burn properly. To burn the seed, you will want to burn the seeds for about 25 seconds at a time, and then put the seed into a cup of water immediately after burning the seed for 25 seconds. You will want to do this cycle twice, 25 seconds of burning, and then 25 seconds of the seed being submerged into the water. Next, all at the same time, plant 3 seeds in each pot about 1 inch deep in the potting soil. Then, put 3 tablespoons of water in the soil, but if the seeds need more water, feel free to adjust the amount of water added each day. Also, be sure to put each pot in the sun for at least 6 hours a day. Over time, be sure to measure the plant as it grows, using the string and the ruler to keep the plant from being damaged from sticking the ruler into the soil.
Conclusion Does burning or cutting the seeds before planting them affect the speed of the process? Our group thought that cutting the seeds would not damage the seed and germination as much as burning the seeds because cutting the seeds would give them something to grow off of. We also planted a control group with regular seeds so that we had a better comparison. We burned each of our burnt seeds for 30 seconds on each side of the seed. So we burned each of the burnt seeds for a total of 1 minute. The scarified seeds were cut on each side but, the seeds were not fully cut in half because that would’ve caused too much damage to the seeds. We found out that cutting the seeds did less damage to the seeds than burning the seeds, therefore our prediction was correct. Our data showed that our control plants grew the most, the scarified plants grew shorter than the control groups, and the burning plants didn’t grow at all. The scarified seeds grew from 0.85 of a centimeter to 6.5 centimeters shorter than the control group. The burnt seeds were too damaged to grow so, we saw no growth from the burnt seeds. Our group got these results because the scarified seed plants had less damage done to them than the burnt seed plants, the control group had no damage done to the seeds, and the burnt seeds were too damaged to germinate. Not measuring out the water to water the plants might have affected the plants. We just gave the plants water until the soil was wet enough so that the soil wasn’t dry. Next time, our group would have to give each plant the same amount of water and that may come out with another result. We would like to learn more about plants in the future because the science behind all of the processes is very fascinating. This project was really fun working with groups, coming to class every day with something to do, and seeing the plants grow.
Investigation Theme WOS
Session Spring 2019
School Nottingham School
Student Level(s) Middle School Students (grades 6,7,8)