Plants – they are everywhere. Which are your favorites? Is it a field of spring-blooming tulips, or maybe the canopy of your favorite backyard tree? What about that ear of summer corn, or even a bowl full of strawberries? Or maybe the crazy antics of insect-eating Venus fly traps! There are so many plants to choose from. So why dedicate an entire box to the world of plants? Because they are as important to our well-being as they are beautiful.
The focus of this box will be on plant behavior – did you even realize plants have behavior? Do they have good days and days they just have bad attitudes? Not exactly, but they do behave differently in a variety of situations.
This BioBox has 5 engaging experiment beginning with a sneak peek inside a seed! The other questions that will be explored are:
· How do plants respond to gravity?
· How do plants behave around light or without light?
· Can we control the movement of plants by building a maze for them to grow through?
· Can we see the light-capturing parts of plants?
The experiments in this box can be completed in any order. Start with what catches your attention - you are the scientist! Plants will need time to grow so you will need some patience. The best part is that you will have some radishesand bush beansto plant in your garden when the experiments are finished. Experiments and fresh food all in one!
Be sure to watch the accompanying video before you begin for extra tips and tricks! YouTube: BioBox Labs – Plant Antics.
Included in this box:
· Lab notebook
· Radish seeds
· Bush bean seeds
· 2 - 100 ml beakers
· Petri dish
· 2 round filter papers and 6 filter strips
· 6 Jiffy peat discs
· Wooden sticks
· Grow-A-Maze kit (by 4M)
· Cotton pads
· Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
Details of this box:
Experiment 1: Seeds
In this experiment you will take a close look at seeds and how a tiny plant is hidden inside.
The radish seeds need only a short time to soak while the bean seeds will need at least an hour to soften up enough to open.
Experiment 2: Gravity Antics
While gravity affects you and I by keeping our feet on the ground, it has a very different effect on plants! This experiment lets you explore this crazy behavior known as Geotropism!
· Be sure to allow the radish seedlings to sprout before turning the petri dish on end. The roost will grab hold of the filter paper.
· Keep the filter paper moist!
· Keep a close eye on the direction of root growth and stem growth
Experiment 3: Light Antics
This experiment examines the behavior of plants in light and without light. The crazy behavior in the dark is called etiolation!
Some questions to ponder:
· Is light really needed for plant growth?
· How does weather change plant behavior if there are a number of sunny days or cloudy days?
· Once the seeds are planted, keep the peat moist but not soggy
· Let seeds fully sprout before placing in the dark box
· Seeds will not sprout at exactly the same rate – so you will look for overall growth patterns rather than comparing exact height of plants each day.
Experiment 4: Growing a plant maze:
This experiment uses this great kit to build a plant maze. This will allow you to see how light can be moved and effect the plant behavior. The light peers down from different sides of the maze and the plant will grow toward it! This plant behavior is known as phototropism!
This kit also includes some other fun experiments to try! Enjoy!
· You may use bean seeds or radish seeds – why not try both at once or do the experiment twice!
· It helps to keep the top off the maze while the seedlings are first growing. The top can be added with a single opening once the stem grows up past the first barrier.
Experiment 5: Light Absorbers: Pigment Antics
This experiment finds the hidden pigments that capture the sun’s light! Did you know that plants have more pigments than their green color suggests?
· The finer the leaves are crushed, the more pigments are exposed
· Let the leaves soak in the alcohol for at least 30 minutes – more is even better! Perhaps try the filter paper an hour later or even one day later! If you run out of filter strips, a white coffee filter can be used.
· Be sure to dispose of the solution while flushing with plenty of water.
Let the Epic Experiments begin!
What an adventure – we are so glad you have joined us! Please let us know about your experiments: send pictures, give tips for other BioBoxers, share favorite results. Find us on Facebook and Instagram. #bioboxlabs