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School Science Project: Can Plants Grow Under Colored Lights?

written by: Alicia • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 1/10/2013

This project highlights how important light is in the growth of a plant. You will monitor a plant's growth under normal light and then use additional plants to determine if growth is or isn't impacted when exposed to colored light versus normal light exposure.

  • slide 1 of 4

    Project Goals

    Think about plant growth and the elements that a plant needs to grow heartily. You should be able to discuss or present information about soil, water, and sunlight. The project will explore what would happen if you gave a plant light, but in a different color. Will the plant still thrive? Will it grow more slowly? Will it die off quickly? This makes a great classroom or science fair project.

  • slide 2 of 4

    Materials Needed

    1. Three plants of the same variety
    2. Watering can
    3. Water
    4. Soil
    5. Three flower pots
    6. One lamp with a normal light bulb
    7. One lamp with a green light bulb
    8. One lamp with a red light bulb
    9. Notebooks
    10. Pencils
    11. Optional: Camera to record progress
  • slide 3 of 4

    Procedure:

    1. Take the three flower pots and add the soil.
    2. Insert one plant into each flower pot and cover it well with the soil.
    3. Water the plants, as plants need water to survive.
    4. Set the plants far enough apart that they cannot share the same light source.
    5. Give each plant a letter. Plant A will be the plant that gets a regular light bulb. Plant B will get a green light bulb. Plant C will get a red light bulb.
    6. Establish a journal or notebook to record the progress of your science project. Create a hypothesis about what you think will happen to each plant and why, and record it in your notebook. Also record the process you are going to use to find a conclusion.
    7. Set the lamps over each plant and keep them lit all day, but turn them off at the end of the school day, if this is a classroom project, or at the end of the evening, if this is a science fair project. Make sure the plants all receive equal exposure to light and dark.
    8. Record in your notebook what is occurring to Plant A, Plant B, and Plant C. The records should include pictures as well as descriptions. (Note: pictures can be hand-drawn illustrations or photos, depending on artistic ability and camera availability.) You should update your journal every couple of days in order to document a clear progression.
    9. Continue the process for a week or two.
  • slide 4 of 4

    Documenting and Presenting the Results

    What happened to each of the three plants? Write the conclusion to this project in your notebook. Share why your hypothesis was correct or incorrect.

    You can now use the contents of your journal to set up a display board or other form of presentation for your science fair, or as the oral presentation component of a classroom project.