Plants Talk Back
This is a very fun and simple science experiment with plants. Students will want to get creative on this kids science experiment! Lending creativity to science experiments may encourage students to come up with science ideas of their own.
To complete this experiment you will need the materials listed below. Feel free to modify this experiment to fit the needs of your students.
- Available space on a window ledge that gets at least a minimal amount of sunlight.
- Three egg cartons.
- A bag of potting soil
- Easy to grow seeds, such as grass seeds.
- Used coffee grounds.
- Epsom salt.
Discuss how the environment may affect how living things develop. Include plants and humans in this discussion. Explain that outside influences may have a dramatic impact on how people and plants develop. Children and plants who are undernourished may not develop properly. Ask students for ideas on what else can impact the development of a living thing. Could their idea impact plants and animals alike? Explain that the class is going to do an experiment to see what outside influences can impact the lives of plants. Complete the steps below to perform this kids science experiment.
- Ask students to put on their craft aprons or an old shirt they may have brought in.
- Cut the egg cartons so that they form individual “pots” for the seeds.
- Have each student place a minimal amount of potting soil in each of their “pots”.
- Ask students to spread the grass seed in the pot or other seeds of your choice. It’s important to make sure that each student has the same amount of seeds and soil.
- Do as you asked your students to do using 3 separate pots.
- Mark the pots “1, 2 and 3”.
- Explain to students that pot 1 is the “control” pot. This pot will get seeds, soil, water and sunlight.
- Explain to students that pot 2 is the “coffee pot”. Sprinkle the soil of pot 2 with used coffee grounds.
- Explain to students that pot 3 is the “salt pot”. Mix water and Epsom salt and water the plant with it.
- Ask students to come up with ways to modify what the plant is exposed to. Each student should have a different impact on their plant. Some ideas are; Talk to the plant every day, put kool aid in the plant, add crayon shavings etc. Get creative!
- Place the plants in the windowsill. Set a time for working with the plants every day. Explain the importance of each plant getting the same amount of sunlight and water each day. Everything for each plant should be the same, with the exception of the methods used as outside influences per this experiment.
- Tend to the plants as planned. Keep daily records of each plant. Measure leaves and/or stems for growth information. At the end of each week, compare the experimental plants with the control plant to see the impact of environmental influences on the plants. Discuss which plants are doing the best. Which are doing the worst? Why?