we need some more thyme

Project by group ossstephensspring2018

Info

Explore Plants are a very important part of the environment and ecosystems, plants photosynthesize to make their energy, some plants are meant for certain things (bears eat berries we can't, bees pollinate plants and flowers that we can't and we eat those plants.) Bees are a vital part of the environment
Research Question How do different types of soil affect the growth of seedlings? (Example: soil with fertilizer, soil without fertilizer, and soil with compost) We thought about how the soil affects the plants and we assume since people add fertilizer to the soil plants grow better whereas it's harder for plants...
Predictions the possible outcomes of our plant is for it to be healthy, very healthy or not healthy, but we are predicting that our plants will be healthy given the variables we are working with. The seeds will take up the nutrients in the compost, fertilizer and in the soil and take up the water as well as...
Experimental Design We will have three pots and put ten seeds into each pot. One pot will have soil with fertilizer, one pot with soil but with out fertilizer and a final pot with dirt. we will have the seeds all in a plastic pot. we will give the seeds one cup of tap water each day and keep the plant in the...
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?
Investigation Themes
Class Level

Updates

Get to know your team’s scientist mentor, who will encourage and guide you through the scientific process of discovery. The more you share your ideas and research info, the more your mentor can help. You may also hear from a scientist mentor liaison who will be helping all the teams in your class.
PlantingScience Staff
has been updated by administrator
emilyj
said

Thank you for all the help you have given us throughout this project and we really enjoyed working with you. We appreciate all the help and support you have given us for this project.

    Elizabeth Stunz
    said

    You're welcome, Emily! I enjoyed working with all of you. Did you make a presentation or poster for your project? If so, I would love to see it, if not, no problem. I hope the rest of your semester goes well and you keep investigating and learning about plants from here on out! Take care, Team!

hannahg
said

our pot that has soil with fertilizer had a plant growing but than it died. we gave the same amount of water to each pot. Do you know why the plant would die? isn't fertilizer supposed to help the plant grow?

    Elizabeth Stunz
    said

    Hello Hannah,

    That's too bad about your little plant, but there are many reasons why a plant might die early on. First of all, how long did the plantlet grow after it emerged from the soil? Did the soil ever completely dry out during its growth? When a seed is germinating or a plantlet is very young and fragile it's ok if the top inch of potting soil dries, but the soil below that should remain damp, otherwise the plantlet could easily die from lack of water. Also, while fertilizer does help a plant grow, nutrients often take a month or two to become available (as in the plant's roots can uptake and use the nutrients) to the plant. If the fertilizer is in solution it usually gives a nutrient boost faster than in pellet form. What kind of fertilizer did you use?

Elizabeth Stunz
said

Sounds good! Let me know if you have any questions about trends in your data or good ways to go about analyzing it.

jordanb
said

We ended up planting the zinnia seeds and have been taking photos and measurements every day. 

Elizabeth Stunz
said

Also, did you end up planting zinnia seeds?

hannahg
said

Hi,

Our pots we are using are 10 cm tall each and have a diameter of 10 cm. to day we looked at our pots and the plants have germinated and the plants are visible. they have started to sprout out of the soil. we added 40 ml of water to our plants today. Hopefully we can photos can upload photos soon. what else do you think we could measure in terms of measuring the health of the plant? we will look at the colour of the plant and the height to determine the health of the plant.

    Elizabeth Stunz
    said

    Hello Hannah,

    You could also measure the diameter of the stem, the number of leaves and the surface area of leaves as measurements of health. Here are 3 easy ways to measure leaf surface area that I found at https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/references/measuring-plant-growth ;:

     

    • Method 1: Trace the leaves on graph paper and count the squares covered to give you an estimate of the surface area for each leaf. Repeat this for each leaf on a plant and for each plant in your experiment.
    • Method 2: Trace out each leaf on paper. Make sure to use the same type of paper every time AND make sure that the paper is not wet. Cut out the leaf tracings and weigh them. Weigh the cutouts and divide the total weight by the number of leaves to give you the average leaf area for each plant. Repeat this for each of the plants in your experiment.
    • Method 3: Digital image analysis: Using a digital camera capture an image of a plant. Using special software, analyze the surface area of the leaves'

    Also, how often do you plan to take measurements of your plants?

     

    Cheers,

    Liz

PlantingScience Staff
joined the project
Elizabeth Stunz
said

Hi team,

Sounds good to evaluate how 50mL keeps the soil moist. How big are the pots you are using? Is there any way to send some photos of your experimental set-up?

Also, I looked at your project info and think it is a good idea to categorize plant growth as healthy, less healthy and unhealthy, but you should define exactly how you plan to evaluate this. As stems can become long, but be thin and yellow (or etoliated/unhealthy), it may not be best to evaluate plant health solely on plant height. What other measurements or indicators could you include to make your evaluations more robust?

hannahg
updated the project info
emilyj
said

We just planted our seeds, we put 50ml of water into each pot. Tomorrow we will look at how moist the soil is and see if we need to add more water. 

hannahg
said

 Hi again, we changed what we are planting our seeds in. we will be using soil with compost, soil without fertilizer and soil with fertilizer.  the soil will be black earth coming from home depot, fertilizer will be a 20 20 20 ratio and the food compost will be coming from my teachers house and she will add it to the black earth. To answer your questions we were thinking of giving each of our plants 1 cup of water a day and using zinnia seeds or any other flower seeds

    Elizabeth Stunz
    said

    Hello Hannah,

    Sorry for the delay, I was out sick for a few days. I think the changes to your potting treatment methods are great. This project sounds like it is really coming together. I suggest testing the watering method on a pot of soil (before planting seeds) to make sure that a cup of water thoroughly saturates the soil. The usual rule-of-thumb for watering is that when little water runs out the bottom of a pot then enough water has been added. Then, more water should be added once the soil has dried enough to be slightly damp, but not bone dry. Please keep me updated as things progress and let me know how you plan to evaluate healthy plant growth once your seedlings emerge. Happy growing!

jordanb
updated the project info
Elizabeth Stunz
said

Hi team. So I looked at your Project Info and it looks like you're on a great track so far. It is a fair hypothesis to state that fertilizer likely adds nutrients to the soil which plants benefit from. Most fertilizers primarily contain Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K), which are all macronutrients essential to healthy plant growth. If plants can't uptake available forms of these elements with their stems then they will often become etiolated (stems become yellow, thin and long), stunted or die. I was a bit curious about the methods section of your project:

'We will have three pots and put ten seeds into each pot. One pot will have soil with fertilizer, one pot with soil but with out fertilizer and a final pot with dirt. we will have the seeds all in the same pots and give them the same quality and quantity of water.'

What plant do your seeds come from? What kind of soil will you use to amend the fertilizer? What kind of fertilizer/ N-P-K ratio of fertilizer do you plant to use? Also, why aren't you setting up another treatment with dirt and added fertilizer? Where will you collect this dirt and how do you differentiate between dirt and soil? Do you plan to measure the water to make sure you are giving each pot/treatment the same amount? If so, how much water do you plan to add?

Looking forward to hearing more about your project, Liz

Elizabeth Stunz
said

Hello team! I would love to give you some feedback on your blog, but am not sure where to access it...please let me know and I'll look at it ASAP.

    emilyj
    said

    To get to the blog, go to the info category at the side and at the top right corner there should be a 'edit project' thing you can click on and our responses to the questions we answered should be there.

jordanb
said

Hi, we worked on some science and updated our blog. Do you mind taking a look at it and telling us what you think?   

emilyj
updated the project info
Elizabeth Stunz
said

Hello Emily, Hannah and Jordan! Nice to meet all of you too. Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourselves and relate some of your interests. I hope you will all become bigger fans of plants by the end of this project. Let me know if you have any more questions about what I do or about plants in general, especially after you learn more about seeds and germination, etc. Will you be examining rates of seed germination across multiple plant species for this project?

Elizabeth Stunz
joined the project
hannahg
said

Today as a group we looked at the germination of seeds and what a seed is. We are gaining some background information of a seed and using it to incorporate into our project.    

Phillippa Stephens
joined the project
Irene Liao
joined the project
hannahg
said

Hello, my name is Hannah. I'm in grade 9 at Orillia Secondary School, Ontario Canada. In science class we just finished a unit about the periodic table of elements and atoms. I am not a huge fan of plants but I hope I can find parts of this project that will be interesting. 

jordanb
said

Hello, my name is Jordan and i'm in grade 9. I attend OSS which is a Secondary School located in Canada. I enjoy playing football and don't like winter. I'm looking forward to working on this project.

jordanb
said

Hello, my name is Jordan and i'm in grade 9. I attend OSS which is a Secondary School located in Canada. I enjoy playing football and don't like winter. I'm looking forward to working on this project.