The Q&A Archives: Science Fair Project

Question: My grand-daughter is doing a science project. It has to do with using vitamin e, tea, gelatin, calcium, kool aid,and rain water to water plants. Where would I research these items and what they would do to plants? I saw the other question regarding coffee and wondered if you ever found an answer.

Answer: It's an interesting experiment to try. I'm afraid, however, that the differences between the different types of liquid will be so subtle that you may not be able to notice any difference, especially if you are only growing a few plants for each treatment.

I have another idea for a test! You might try to mimic various environmental factors and how they affect seed germination. For example, water one set of seeds with a vinegar (or lemon juice) solution to mimic acid rain; another with vegetable or motor oil solution to mimic an oil spill; another with salt water solution to mimic road salt spray. Can you think of any other environmental conditions you could explore?

You can test these substances in various concentrations, and even apply them in various ways (soak seeds, spray on seedlings, apply to soil, etc.)

Whatever experiment you do, choose plants that are easy to grow. Beans are a classic "classroom" plant. Lawn grass planted in flats can be a very effective choice for illustrating environmental conditions. I hope this is helpful!

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