I’m helping a friend’s daughter with her science project and am relearning the long-forgotten differences between dependent variable, independent variable and control group.
If your child announces “My science project is due in two weeks! What can I do that’s quick?”, here’s a fast one:
What is the Effect of Enhanced Water on Seed Germination?
Horticulturists are interested in any method of making seed germination more uniform. I will use four different solutions to determine if they affect seed germination.
Two brands of one-a-day type vitamins
short branch from a weeping willow tree
Crush the vitamin pills and aspirin and dissolve in individual 16 oz. containers
Cut a 1/4″ diameter, 6″ long piece of willow branch. Crush with a hammer and place in a 16 oz. container. Allow to soak overnight.
Choose a seed to work with. (Okra is reputed to be variable in germination so it would be a good choice. You could also use mung beans from a heath food store.)
Count out 5 lots of 50 seed. Wrap each lot in a paper towel.
Dampen each paper towel lot of seeds with the same amount of solution (1 – 2 TBS) from each of the 4 solutions prepared above. Use the same amount of plain water to dampen a fifth lot. (this is your control)
Place each lot individually in resealable plastic bags.
Place bags on top of a refrigerator (or other warm place) for 7 – 10 days.
Check seeds for germination. When germinating, they will split and show just a bit of white tissue under the seed coat.
Calculate the percent germinated in each lot and graph the results.
Further content: do online research for other projects that use vitamins, aspirin and willow water for plant health and propagation. All of these have been investigated at one time or another.