Watermelloons

Project by group sffsmelmanspring2019

Info

Explore 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 would contaminated water do to the germination of a seed?
Predictions We think that the contaminated water will change the way it grows because the contaminated water does not have the nutrients that a seed needs to grow.
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?
Investigation Theme WOS
Session Spring 2019
School San Francisco Friends School
Student Level(s) Middle School Students (grades 6,7,8)

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
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. 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
PlantingScience Staff
said
Looks like you are in the final stages of your projects.
It’s great to see that teams from your school are wrapping up and posting conclusions. Enjoy the final stages of your project, and feel free to post any final comments or questions you have for your mentors.
Angela Jean McDonnell
said

Hi Watermelloons, 

It looks like you had a great presentation! Congrats on completing a great experiment. I hope you learned a lot and enjoyed working with plants.

It's been a pleasure to work with you!

Angela

Sky
said

Dear Angela, 

Thank you very much for helping me and my group better understand seed growth/germination. A expiramental error we had was in trail one we gave our seeds not enough bleach, cleaning detergent, and dirt. 

Sincerly,      Sky

Matt
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Matt
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Stella
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Stella
said

Dear Angela,

We finished the experiment. one conclusion that we have is that plants do good with dirt in the water and they do good with normal water, but they do not grow well with bleach and detergent. They sort of get shriviled and purple but if they have a little bleach than it could get off the fuzz or mold, but it might get toxic. Some experimental errors were that the first seeds got too much water and too little bleach, dirt and detergent. One recommendation is do not water your seeds with bleach or detergent because it might kill the seeds, but you should water with dirt and water or only water. 

Thanks so much

Stella

P.S sorry for typos

Lola
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    Lola
    said

    Hi Angela,

    This is my last time that we get to talk and I had such a great time talking about germination! Thank you so so much for helping me with slides and ideas for our group. Our group learned that using things with chemicals in it can not always help your seed grow. the slide that i posted is our groups experimental errors slide, this slide shows all the things that we could have changed and things we did wrong in our experiment.

    Sincerely Lola:)

Matt
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Sky
said

Dear Angela,

We are now finishing our trail two experiment and we have noticed that in our trail two experiment that there is a lot less rapid growth than we saw in trail one. Trail three is also moving along pretty slow as well. Do you think you know why? Because we have been doing the same thing for all trails.

Sincerely,     Sky

    Angela Jean McDonnell
    said

    Sky,

    Glad to hear you have made good progress on trial two and that the results are still different from trial one. Have other factors differed between trials one and two? Did one set of seeds/seedlings get more or less water or light or humidity... what are some ways that the trials are different, even if it happened unintentionally?

Stella
said

Dear Angela

We are going to make a line graph because it can track over time and they cna be not as confusing and they are organized. Also we are making more that one because  we have 3 trails going/that went on. What type of graph do you think might be the best for showing the data? Also a question I have about the experiment is last time water and bleach were really good for the plant growth, but now they are doing good with sediment and dirt, why do you think this happened

    Angela Jean McDonnell
    said

    Stella,

    A line graph sounds great. You can make a line for each species or seed type... was that part of your plan? 

    Water and bleach last time vs. sediment/dirt this time... that is very interesting! I think it has to do with your replicates (see my post to Sky) telling you that your seeds can tolerate different conditions equally well and that there are some stochastic properties you are measuring and observing. This means that your results might be a bit random and that your replicates are important to help you figure out the trends. 

Sky
said

Dear Angela,

We are on trial two and three right now and unlike last time where the seeds watered with water were growing faster, this time the seeds watered with dirt water have grown/germinated the most! In our second trail we saw that the seeds took longer to germinate than the first trail. So far all of the seeds in our third trail haven't grown that much. I predict that the third trail will take the longest to grow out of all three trails. The process of germinating seems to be going down as we go on even though we're doing the same thing. Is it possible for us to do the same thing but get different results?

      Sincerly,  Sky 

    Angela Jean McDonnell
    said

    Hi Sky!

    That is so interesting about the dirt water... how are you making and using the dirt water? 

    It is possible that your seeds are a bit variable in their viability or their germinability. 

    I am glad to read that you are doing multiple trials or replicates. Replicates, as you  probably know, are these independent trials you're doing. They require a precise process where the exact same findings are reexamined in the same way with identical design as the original research study, to test the robustness of your original findings. 

    That said, it is VERY possible to do the same thing and get different results. You are showing just how important replication is; you're doing science! Who knows what you might find. Now we need to come up with an explanation for why. Which is part of your most recent post. 

Sky
said

Dear Angela,

After reviewing our data I noticed that when we watered the different seeds with cleaning detergent, water, bleach, and dirt water they all basically grew/germinated the same and didn’t look or seem unhealthy. At the beginning they were kind of moldy and gross but in the end they weren’t and went back to normal. Maybe the seeds watered with bleach and cleaning detergent grew so well because maybe bleach and cleaning detergent have nitrogen in them. I read that nitrogen encourages plant growth. Why does nitrogen encourage plant growth?

Sincerely, Sky

    Angela Jean McDonnell
    said

    Hi Sky,

    Nitrogen is an important component of our atmosphere and generally a small but very important component of our soil and water. 

    In plants, nitrogen is super important! Check it out: "Most plants take nitrogen from the soil continuously throughout their lives, and nitrogen demand usually increases as plant size increases. A plant supplied with adequate nitrogen grows rapidly and produces large amounts of succulent, green foliage. Providing adequate nitrogen allows an annual crop, such as corn, to grow to full maturity, rather than delaying it. A nitrogen-deficient plant is generally small and develops slowly because it lacks the nitrogen necessary to manufacture adequate structural and genetic materials. It is usually pale green or yellowish because it lacks adequate chlorophyll. Older leaves often become necrotic and die as the plant moves nitrogen from less important older tissues to more important younger ones." You can read more about the nitrogen cycle and plants use of nitrogen here: https://www.cropnutrition.com/efu-nitrogen

Lola
said

 

Hi Angela,

I am enjoying growing plants!  I have noticed that in our data is not super full because not to much has happened to our seeds. I also noticed that the day like today and yesterday our seeds where doing best because it seemed like they grew so so much over the weekend. I also noticed that our seeds where moldy but now they are not moldy and they are smooth with no fuzz on them, do you know why the fuzz went away?

Sincerely Lola

Matt
said

Dear Angela,

Today was the second day of our experiment. Since yesterday, nothing much had changed. We put the seeds in the petri dishes, and watered them with their respective waters. I am really exited to see what they look like tomorrow. You said that the bleach killed the fuzz. Will the bleach do more to the plant than killing fuzz/mold? 

When we looked at the water+cleaning detergent, we saw the water turn green from the cleaning detergent. Last trail, there was only little bubbles. Will this kill off more the bacteria because there is more water+cleaning detergent?

Matt

Stella
said

Dear Angela

This experiment taught us that bleach can be good for plants like it was one of the most germinated, tall one of the most/ second to get all the seeds sprouted at the start. The experiment taught us also that the ones with detergent and the ones with bleach are less moldy., It is more tall to have normal or bleach water were really germinated, and they would be taller. The ones with dtergent was sort of not as germinated and dirt was ok.

Stella 

Matt
said

Dear Angela,

     Today, we looked at our seeds, and they grew so much! but, we were all very surprised about there was not a lot of differences between the seeds. After a quick chat with our teacher, Sara, we decided to start a new trial. Since we didn't see much difference between each of the seeds, so we decided to use more cleaning detergent, to use more bleach, and to use more dirt. In our first trial, we saw the seeds watered with bleach grew the fastest. I think this because bleach is used  in pre-ripening  techniques. This morning when we saw the seeds, the seeds watered with water had grown the most over the weekend. I think this because they got the most nutrients out of the water. For our second trial/test, we decided to 200ml of water, + 20ml of cleaning detergent and bleach. For dirt/sediment, we decided to use 200 ml of water, and 20 g of dirt/sediment. In our first trial, our special substance was only 2.75% of liquid we used to water the seeds. but this time, it will be 11%. THIS 4 TIMES THE AMOUT OF OUR LAST TRIAL! I think this will make a greater impact on the seeds.

    A question I have for you is, since we are using 4 times the amount of each substance, will it make a impact 4 times bigger?

     Another thing we are doing is we are watering are seeds less. During our last experiment, we saw that the seeds were being flooded with water. We gave each petri dish 5 ml of water (we have 5 seeds in each petri dish) and it looked like it was too much water+substance. We decided to give each petri dishes 3 ml of water+substance. Is that the right call, or should we just water the seeds less?

Sincerely, 

Matthew

    Angela Jean McDonnell
    said

    Hi Matt,

    It sounds to me like the bleach knocked out some of the mold spores that were naturally present on the outside of your seeds, and that ultimately may have given that treatment an advantage! If you can, give all of your seeds a strong rinse in water in a colander or something before you start your next trial. This might help wash off some of the mold spores for your next trial. Don't worry too much about them. Remember, mold, like all fungi, grow best in dark, humid environments... so there might not be a ton you can do. It sounds like everything grew anyway!

    It sounds like you have a great plan; thanks for sharing all the details! I really enjoy seeing what you're doing. :) 

    I am not sure it will make the impact 4x bigger... that is an interesting question! You might be able to test that if you took height measurements of your first trial; you could compare heights between the trials and see. You might also need to grow the corn longer; maybe the second trial would result in 4x less seed set, for some treatments, for example. 

    Watering seeds a bit less is probably a good idea, too. 5 mL of water in a little dish sounds like a lot; I would just make sure they are evenly moist but not sitting in standing water. 

    Good job! 

Lola
said

Hi Angela,

Today we started a new trial for our plant germination. We looked at our seeds and they seemed like they had grown a lot during the weekend even though we had not given them water. Maybe not giving them water all weekend was a good idea because they seemed like they grew more when we did not give them to much water. The seeds grew so much over the weekend! I think that something we learned was that we should give the seeds less water because it seemed like the seeds where drowning a bit and now that it is the second trial we can fix our mistakes and give them less water:))


Sincerely Lola:)))

    Angela Jean McDonnell
    said

    Hi Lola,

    Sounds good! It sounds like your corn hit a growth spurt while you were away! That's ok. It is probably totally normal. Are you enjoying growing plants? Isn't it amazing what can come out of a seed!?

    Sounds like you are making good progress.

Stella
said

Dear Angela,

Today we were starting our next trail. Today something thtat was interesting was that they all grew, and some of them got into the wet paper like it was soil and they sort of stuck. THey also did not mold as much they were a little moldy were a litlle moldy where they were moldy before and a little bit ore fuzz but they are/ were doing well. One question is why did some of them mold more when they just sprouted? How long is an average time to grow/ sprout a seedling/sprout of corn?(to see if they are slowing down or are speeding up). Thanks

    Angela Jean McDonnell
    said

    Hi Stella!

     

    I think I answered the mold question below... check it out and let me know if that makes sense! 

    You can check out corn growth times here a bit, but remember that there are all kinds of cultivars. You could do a google search for your specific variety, if you know it. 

    https://harvesttotable.com/how_to_grow_sweet_corn/

Sky
said

Dear Angela, 

Our expiriment is going well now, and it seems like all of the seeds with different waters (water, water and dirt, water and bleach, and water and cleaning detergent.) are growing fine accept the water and cleaning detergent which has grown shorter than the others. All the other seeds are growing fine and are pretty tall at this point. A question I have is are there some seeds that don't plant their fruit/tree they came from? like would a corn seed grow something other than corn?  Another question I have is are there trees that come in other colors besides a white/brown trunk and green leaves like flowers?

Sincerly,      Sky

Stella
said

Dear Angela

The dirt might be okay for the plants because it is more natural. But the bleach might be okay because we watched a video and they said that spraying bleach on it is good to help get them out of the shell. But it might die because all the drink is bleach water and that is not really natural. The bleach and detergent seems to be doing good but the other ones are might be moldy and they are fuzzy. A lot of them are sprouting or about to sprout like starting to break of the shell and they look like white stems. Do you know why they might be fuzzy? Thanks

    Angela Jean McDonnell
    said

    Hi Stella (& Lola, too!),

    Bleach and detergent are probably killing off some naturally occurring mold around the outside of your seeds. In low concentrations, bleach and detergent are probably not too inhibitory to plant growth and in this case, they seem like they might be beneficial for your plants! 

    The fuzz on the outside of seeds is probably mold. Mold is a type of fungus, and the spores were probably present without you noticing them. Fungal growth occurs through structures known as hyphae, or those hairy/stringy looking structures. These help the organism obtain nutrients and water. See here: https://www.britannica.com/science/fungus/Growth

    So, the mold is competing with your seeds for resources! Very interesting. 

Sky
said

Dear Angela,

An expiramental error we're facing right now is that our seeds are molding they're smelling weird and we are wondering if it's normal becuase maybe it's decomposing?

Sincerly,      Sky

    Angela Jean McDonnell
    said

    Hi Sky,

    If your seeds are moldy, it could be because they are too wet and warm, or because they just weren't that clean when you started the experiment. Do you have additional seeds you could try? I recommend giving them a rinse first and trying again, if you can.

    If you can't, can you change the papers or container the seed is in?

Lola
said

Hi Angela,

My group and i started or experiment 4 day ago and our seed just started to get out of of he seed coat. we noticed that the seed was molding, do you now why the seed is molding? or why it started molding out of nowhere?

Sincerely Lola