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!