Seed Storage Study
Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Agricultural Science
This project examines the effects of seed storage on plant growth. The goals of this project are:
- To determine how seed storage conditions affect plant growth.
- To encourage improvements of current agricultural methods.
- Under what conditions are commercially available seeds stored?
- What are the effects of light, temperature and humidity on future plant growth?
- What are the optimal seed storage conditions?
Here is a simple experiment designed to determine the extent to which seed storage affects plant growth. Nasturtiums are especially well suited for this project, as they're fast-growing, easily maintained and beautiful to behold. Best of all, the entire plant is edible. The leaves, stems and flowers create a jazzy accompaniment to any salad. All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay.
- Computer with Internet access
- Color printer
- Digital camera
- Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.)
- Three packets of nasturtium seeds.
All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay.
- Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
- Address all of the above terms and research questions.
- Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
- Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
- Open the seed packets. Store the seeds on top of folded sheets of newspaper, under three different environmental conditions. For instance, one packet in the freezer, one packet near a highly heated area such as a stove or fireplace, and one packet at room temperature. Leave the seeds alone for at least one month.
- Plant the seeds in carefully marked groups and watch them grow.
- Carefully record all observations.
- Analyze your data.
- Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
- Include interesting photos, diagrams and models in your science fair display.
Terms/Concepts: FDA; Germination
- http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=17932 (Seed storage protocols)
- http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07221.html (Factors affecting seed storage)
- Internet searches of your choosing. Search words or terms listed here, or make up your own phrases. Click on any results you find interesting. Have fun surfing the net!
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.