Grade Level: Elementary School; Type: Biology
This science project will help students learn about non-vascular plants, such as mosses.
- What is a vascular plant? What is a non-vascular plant?
- Why are non-vascular plants small? What does the size of a plant have to do with how water is transported?
- How are mosses different from other plants?
- One cup of sphagnum moss
- Food scale (the type dieters use works well)
- Two-cup measuring cup
- Weigh the measuring cup and record the weight.
- Fill the cup with one cup water and weigh. Calculate the weight of the water by subtracting the weight of the cup.
- Fill the cup with 1 cup sphagnum moss and one cup water. Let the cup stand in direct sun for two hours.
- Remove the excess water by turning the cup upside down and gentle squeezing out the excess.
- Measure the weight of the wet moss. Don’t forget to subtract the weight of the cup.
- Dry the moss in direct sunlight for several days until it is completely dry. Weigh the dry moss, remembering to subtract the weight of the cup.
- Calculate the difference in weight between the dry moss and the wet moss.
- Using the dry moss weight and the water-and-moss weight, calculate the ratio between the weight of the dry moss to the weight of the water it held.
Terms/Concepts: Moss, vascular plant, non-vascular plant, sphagnum moss
References: Estrella Mountain Community College - Bryophytes