The Best Choice for Growing Large, Flowering Plants (page 2)

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Author: Muriel Gerhard

Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research

  • What is a control?  A control is the variable that is not changed in the experiment.
  • What purpose does a control serve? It is used to make comparisons as to what changed or possibly caused the change.
  • What are variables?  Variables are factors that can be changed in an experiment.
  • What is an independent variable? The independent variable is the one that is changed in the experiment.
  • What is a dependent variable? The dependent variable is the one that changes as a result of the change in the independent variable.
  • What is the hypothesis? It is  the prediction you make as to the results of the experiment, what you think might be the result or results.

Charting and Graphing Data

In the experiment, use charts to display the obtained data such as the following sample:

Type of Soil



Size & or Number of Flowers





Soil Plus Miracle-Gro




Mix of Compost & Soil Plus Miracle-Gro




Yard Soil Control




Experimental Procedure:

  1. State the problem you are going to investigate in this science fair project.
  2. Create the data sheets you will use to record your observations.
  3. Gather all your materials.
  4. Put on your safety glasses and apron.
  5. Purchase 10 lbs of compost or prepare compost, following quick and easy recipe on Compost 101 in internet.
  6. Fill each of 4 pots and label, #1 with compost, #2 with soil plus Miracle-Gro, and #3 with 50/50 compost and soil with Miracle-Gro, #4ordinary soil from your backyard, serving as the control.
  7. Plant the same number of seeds in each pot following the directions on the seed packet.
  8. Make certain that all plants are exposed to the same conditions of light and room temperature during the entire month.
  9. Measure the growth of each plant noting height in centimeters and the size and or number of flowers for the month.  
  10. Optional: You may want to take photos to document your observations.
  11. Optional but worthwhile: You may want to graph the data.
  12. Prepare your final report. Make sure that you include all of the following: a clear statement of the problem, your hypothesis, a list the materials used. Include the safety precautions taken. Describe the procedures used. Include all the data that were gathered. Include all charts and graphs. Formulate your conclusions.   For dramatic value, you may include photos of the materials used or of you in the process of conducting this investigation. Include a bibliography of sources you used. As a final statement, you may wish to assess what you did and describe what you would do differently if you were to do this project again.


  • List all the sources of your information, books, magazines, articles, internet resources and individuals. Include
  • A final note: Good Luck!


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