Planting Science - Projects: Blue Hawk Science Investigators
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Blue Hawk Science Investigators

Project by group tfhsthilmonyposfall2023

Explore * The basis Photosynthesis * How plants make food * How to take care of plants * certain plant require certain environment * How they exactly get their energy from the sun. * What plants are best for what area. * What is the purpose of the veins on plants. * Why do different plants have different ways to reproduce. * Why do some plants need more light than others.
Research Question How does dust affect the rate of gas exchange in photosynthesis? This is relevant because plants near dirt roads are exposed to high concentrations of dust then those away from them. High concentrations of dust can inhibit necessary energy needed for photosynthesis.
Predictions If plants are exposed to high concentrations of dust then the rate of photosynthesis will decrease due to the limited amount of sunlight able to reach the plant. Dust particles on the surface of the plant will reflect the light lowering the amount of sunlight able to reach chloroplasts in the mesophyll of the plant.
Experimental Design Create 3 closed systems with no dust in one (control) light dust in one and heavy in the last one. Add soil if needed to keep plants in place. O2 and CO2 percentages will be the variables monitored within each closed system. Keep all systems near each other to avoid temperature and light differences. Lab quests will be needed to record data collected from the probes. Collect data for five days every 6 hours. Create a line graph to compare data from all three systems.
Conclusion If plants are exposed to high levels of dust then it will negatively affect gas exchange and the health of the plant. A possible explanation for this is the dust decreased stomatal conductance and lowered the amount of light the plant was able to absorb which reduced the rate of photosynthesis. In our experiment we found that higher densities of dust reduced the gas exchange rate and overall negatively affected plant health. This is due to the dust plugging stomata in the plant leaves and insufficient light reaching the chlorophyll pigment in the plant may result in leggy and if unable to get more light it will negatively affect plant health. To expand further investigation on the effects that dust has on plants we can test different species of plants, size of systems, as well as types of dust.
Investigation Theme POS
Grade Level High School Students (Grades 9,10,11,12)
Teacher Name Doree Kathleen Thilmony
School Name Thompson Falls High School
Session Fall 2023
About this Project Carter and Bryson worked diligently on their project involving dust and it's effects on photosynthesis gas exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The project was relative to our area with their research question asking if dust affects the rate of photosynthesis when ATV's and other off road equipment frequent forest service roads in our area. They were careful to pick the correct plant and asked their mentor many questions during the experimental design along with how to represent their data. Evelyn was very helpful and they learned how statistical analysis works with the type of data they collected! -- Doree Thilmony, Teacher



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NSF_Logo.jpg This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #2010556 and #1502892. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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