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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bean Growth Experiment and Documentation

We decided to do this experiment to find the answer to our question: Can a seed grow without soil? This question came up during our study of where plants grow. We talked about plants that grow in water, sand, on rocks, and even in snow. 
The first step was to make predictions. Each child voted whether they thought it would grow with no soil. Then we put a pinto bean in a ziplock bag wrapped in a wet paper towel and taped it to the window (April 17). We checked it every few days to see if it was growing. 
Our bean on April 20.
Here is what we wrote in our science journal.

Our bean on April 24.

Here is what we wrote in our science journal.

Our bean on April 26.

Our bean on April 27.

 Our bean on April 30.

We kind of got busy with another project and didn't have a chance to write in the science journal as much after the first 2 times, but here is the documentation board I made using the photos, children's drawings and our predictions from the first day.

Our conclusion: Yes, seeds can grow with no soil!
5/15 UPDATE: Thanks to the suggestion of one reader, I decided to talk to the kids today about why the plant can grow with no soil for a while and why it will need to be planted in soil to continue to grow after it uses all the nutrients from the seed. It went very well and the children seemed to understand. If it wasn't the last week of the school year, I would continue this experiment by planting one of the bean plants in soil and keep the other in the wet paper towel and have the students continue to observe. Oh well, there is always next year.

What kinds of experiments have you been doing?