Science project

Can Cooked Beans Grow?

Difficulty of Project


Approximate Cost


Safety Issues
  • Adult supervision when using a stove to avoid the risk of burns.  
  • Students should wear an oven mitt when spooning out the beans after boiling.
Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project

5-6 Days


The objective is to find out if cooked beans grow faster, if at all, than uncooked beans.

Project Goals
  • To see if boiling beans speeds up the growth process by getting rid of bacteria in/on the bean
  • To determine how long a bean should be boiled for fastest growth

Materials and Equipment

  • 7 small bowls or petri dishes (available where school/science supplies are sold or on-line at
  • Paper towels
  • 1 bag of uncooked lentil beans (available in any grocery store)
  • Water
  • Oven mitt to protect hands
  • Pot for boiling beans
  • Spoon to scoop cooked beans into bowls
  • Stove to boil the beans on
  • Paper and pencil to document growth
  • Camera to document progress of the beans


When food is boiled it will eliminate bacteria and other unwanted material making it safer to eat.  Therefore, it may mean that a bean will grow faster after it has been boiled because without bacteria the bean will be more fertile.  If the bacteria are gone, it may mean that the sprouts from a cooked bean are possibly healthier.  Therefore is it a good idea to cook beans before planting so that they are not only healthier, but may grow faster thus, speeding up the farmer’s crops.

Uncooked Lentil Beans


Lentil Bean Sprouts

Research Questions
  • Will cooked beans grow faster than uncooked beans?
  • Does cooking beans not only kill bacteria, but also make the bean more fertile?
  • Does cooking beans eliminate the cells necessary for growth?
Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research
  • Cooking food kills bacteria and unwanted material
  • Boiling beans will absorb water which may make them more fertile and thus grow faster

Experimental Procedure

  1. Gather the materials.
  2. Label bowls A through G.
  3. Cut paper towels to fit in the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Take 1 spoonful of raw bean and place in bowl A.
  5. Take 1/2pound of lintel beans and put them in a pot filled with 1/3 water.
  6. Turn on stove so that the water comes to a boil (be very careful when dealing with boiling water and use an oven mitt when taking beans out of the pot).
  7. After 5 minutes of boiling take a spoonful of beans and place in bowl B.
  8. After 10 minutes of boiling take a spoonful of beans and place in bowl C.
  9. After 15 minutes of boiling take a spoonful of beans and place in bowl D.
  10. After 20 minutes of boiling take a spoonful of beans and place in bowl E.
  11. After 25 minutes of boiling take a spoonful of beans and place in bowl F.
  12. After 30 minutes of boiling take a spoonful of beans and place in bowl G.
  13. Take 7 moist paper towels and lay on top of each bowl of beans.
  14. Place bowls in a windowsill or somewhere they will get direct sunlight.
  15. Water them daily for 4-5 days.
  16. Each day when watering take a picture of progress and note results in a journal.
  17. At the end of 5 days record which beans sprouted and Which beans did not.


  1. Lentils Image
  2. Green Sprouted Lentils Image
  3. Free Science Fair Project "Do Cooked Beans Grow?"
  4. Cooked Beans Experiment
  5. WikiAnswers "Do Cooked Beans Grow?"
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