Science projects are not just fun for young elementary students, but they foster learning in high schoolers as well. Botany classes can venture beyond trips to the local greenhouse to learn more about plants through some hands-on experiments. Here are five great experiments for high school students to do separately or as a class.
1. Do gases released by smoke enhance the germination rate of black pine seeds?
To conduct this experiment, get a small pack of black pine seeds. Give some seeds plain water and allow them to germinate. Smoke other seeds using lit filter paper and then give them water and allow them to germinate. Lastly, give the rest of the seeds NO2 and water and allow them to germinate. Students can form hypothesis predictions about which seeds will germinate best and they may be very surprised by the results.
2. Do plants grow faster hydroponically or in soil?
TO conduct this experiment, you will need to plant seeds in three mediums: a chemical solution, tap water, and soil. Students can make hypothesis predictions and watch over several days and weeks while they measure growth from each plant.
3. Does a pineapple grow best in sand, soil, or water?
For this experiment, you will try to regenerate a pineapple from its crown in three surfaces: sand, soil, and water. Students will be amazed by this simple little experiment and they can go through the whole scientific method as they watch the results unfold before their eyes.
4. Does classical music help plants to grow?
This experiment can be fun for everyone. Pass out tiny plants and cd's with different styles of music. Instruct the students to play an hour of music for their plant each night for one week. Then bring them back in the class and see if the classical music had any impact on the plant's growth. Maybe you'll even see a growth difference from opera or rock and roll!
5. Does gravity affect the direction plants grow in?
For this experiment, you can use any houseplant that is not a vine, and a stack of books. Let the plant lay on its side and students can observe if it grows any differently than it would upright. You can also experiment with pinto beans, soaked in water for 24 hours, then wrapped in wet paper towels and aluminum foil. Place them on a turntable record player and spin it at 78 rpm continuously for five days. Then unwrap the beans and see what happened.