|Explore||Plants use carbon dioxide to make oxygen for us humans to breathe, they use water and sunlight to do the process called photosynthesis, and they gather the nutrients they need through their roots planted in the soil. Plants need certain levels of pH to survive, and they require certain macro and micro nutrients to grow. Why does the plant, when it grows to tall, tend to fall over? What can we do to help support the plant? Why doesn't the plant grow upwards towards the light? Are their any other ways to grow a healthy plant without certain nutrients?|
|Research Question||How much water can our soil/sand mixture retain? If we add the same amount of water to both mixtures, how will the soil moisture differentiate? We know that sand retains more water, than the normal soil, so if we add the same amount of water, our 20/20/20 mixture being our control group, we will hopefully notice a difference in the soil moisture overall affecting the plants.|
|Predictions||The possible outcomes of the study would include possible growth declination, dry soil, more time for petals or leaves to grow, and we would see weak plants in the sand/soil mixture and healthy plants in the 20/20/20 mixture. The sand holds more moisture, however, it takes more water to keep the soil from drying which could cause major growth problems with plants in the sand/soil mixture.|
|Experimental Design||The plan for our experiment would be to add the amount of water needed to the 20/20/20 mixture to keep the soil moist and add the same amount we added to the 20/20/20 to the sand/soil mixture. We will keep track on how dry or moist each soil mixtures get as the plants continue to grow. We will keep the temperature of the water consistent, and change the amount of water depending on how much the control plant needs. Our hypothesis is: If we add the same amount of water to both 20/20/20 mixture and sand/soil mixture, then the plants in the 20/20/20 mixture will grow healthy and strong.|
|Grade Level||High School Students (Grades 9,10,11,12)|
|School Name||Van-Far Jr./Sr. High|
|About this Project||
This project has EXCELLENT communication between the students and mentor. They are very detailed in their posts and ask great questions. I also liked the fun back and forth that the students and mentor had when signing their names on the posts. I think this project gives the best example of how to communicate online with your mentor and have fun while doing so! Through these posts you can really tell that the students are enjoying their experiment. These students were open to learning about plants and enthusiastically talked about all aspects of plant life with me, including answering and asking insightful questions. They also came up with a very clever way to test their topic of interest after they had planted their seeds in different soil types and I brought up how they needed to isolate one test variable. They were also very cute, working as a team to write long posts, making up nicknames, etc. They were also very nervous that they'd ruined the test when one plant was uprooted, but they forged onward! Follow your curiosity and ask lots of questions! Feel free to point out what's weird about your experiment, what seems different between plants and animals, as this can spark really fun answers from your mentor. Use the interests that you have: art, acting, video games, sports, to connect with your material and develop affection for your plants, your project, and your mentor.