Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What affects Seed Germination?

Many families are busy getting vegetable gardens started or planting flowers.  Kid Scientists can explore germination with a few left over seeds.

Ages: This exploration will be interesting to all ages of Kid Scientists.  Read on for extensions for the Big Kids.  

Materials: Seeds, paper towel, water, plastic bags, plastic cups, garden soil

Procedure for Little Kids: 
  • Choose a question to test
    • Can seeds germinate (sprout) if they aren't in dirt? (set seeds in damp paper towel or in a plastic cup with a bit of water...try both!)
    • Will one type of seed germinate faster than another? (use two or more different types of seeds, they can be planted in cups of soil, or tucked into a baggie with a damp papertowel)
    • Will seeds germinate faster if they are in dirt? (try seeds planted in a cup of soil and seeds in a damp paper towel...make sure you use the same type of seed)
    • Can seeds germinate in the refrigerator? (put seeds in damp papertowel in both the fridge and on the counter, compare germination)
    • Can seeds germinate in a dark place? (use a similar set-up to the refrigerator)
    • Will seeds germinate faster outside or inside? (use a similar set-up to the refrigerator)
  • With help, Little Kids can set up their seed experiment.
  • Make observations every day
  • Ask Little Kids to describe what they saw and what they learned.
Procedure for Big Kids:
  • Encourage Big Kids to come up with their own questions to test...if they're stumped they could choose from the list
  • With a question, Big Kids should decide how to set up their investigation.  Help them with their variables, making sure they have a control and only one manipulated variable.
  • Big Kids could also figure out a way to collect data.  What observations will they make?  How will they record their observations?
  • Ask Big Kids to describe what they saw and what they learned
The Science Mommy would love to see pictures of your investigations!

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