Science Project:

Growing in the Dark: Plants and Light

3.8 based on 51 ratings

Materials:

  • Six bean seeds
  • Six pots
  • Plant sprayer
  • Potting soil
  • Shelf
  • Cupboard
  • Ruler
  • Notebook
  • Pencil
  • Grow light (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Fill each pot with soil.
  2. Plant one bean seed in each pot. Make sure you gently cover each seed with a shallow layer of soil.
  3. Place three of the pots outside in a spot that receives lots of sunshine. If the weather is too stormy or overcast, position the pots under a grow light.
  4. Place the remaining three pots in a dark cupboard.
  5. Think about what you know of plants and light. Why do you think plants might need light? Why do you think they might be able to do without it?
  6. Remember the question of this experiment: Do plants need light to grow? Write down your guess, often called a hypothesis, in your notebook.
  7. Spray all your planted seeds gently with the mister.
  8. Now it's time to wait. To get the best results, you'll want to observe your seeds for at least three weeks. Make sure you use the mister every couple of days.
  9. At the end of each week, take a close look at each of your pots. Write down what you see in your notebook.
  10. Once a full three weeks have passed, read through your notes. Did the absence of light make a difference?

Results:

The seeds in the cupboard, away from the light, will not grow. Only the plants that received light will sprout.

Why?

Plants need light -- they can't survive without it. Light is a very important part of photosynthesis, the process plants use to convert carbon dioxide and water into food. Without light, photosynthesis can't work properly, and without photosynthesis, plants don't get all the food they need to grow healthy and strong. A good tip to remember? Plants always need the presence of three things to grow: water, heat and light.

That's not to say, however, that all plants need the exact same levels or types of light. Some plants require lots of warm sunshine, but others are okay with just a few hours of cool light. Do you think you can find out which plants love the heat and which ones are okay without it? Try another growing experiment and play with new ways to study plants and light. Continuing to guess and test your ideas is a big part of being a real scientist!

Author: Tricia Edgar
Disclaimer and Safety Precautions

Education.com provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. Education.com does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against Education.com that arise thereof. In addition, your access to Education.com's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by Education.com's Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on Education.com's liability.

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.

How likely are you to recommend Education.com to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely