Water and Mosses

3.8 based on 29 ratings

Updated on Mar 15, 2013

Grade Level: Elementary School; Type: Biology


This science project will help students learn about non-vascular plants, such as mosses.

Research Question:

  • 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)
  • Water
  • Two-cup measuring cup

Experimental Procedure

  1. Weigh the measuring cup and record the weight.
  2. Fill the cup with one cup water and weigh. Calculate the weight of the water by subtracting the weight of the cup.
  3. Fill the cup with 1 cup sphagnum moss and one cup water. Let the cup stand in direct sun for two hours.
  4. Remove the excess water by turning the cup upside down and gentle squeezing out the excess.
  5. Measure the weight of the wet moss. Don’t forget to subtract the weight of the cup.
  6. 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.
  7. Calculate the difference in weight between the dry moss and the wet moss.
  8. 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

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