Bubbly Plants

4.6 based on 31 ratings

Updated on Sep 26, 2014

Grade Level: 6th; Type: Earth Science


All living things need water to survive, but not all water is the same. This experiment aims to discover if different types of water effect the germination of seeds and growth of plants.

Research Questions:

How will tap water, distilled water, and seltzer water affect the germination and the growth of radish seeds? Which type of water will generate the most enhanced growth?

Regular tap water contains chemical contaminants that could hinder the growth of seeds and plants. Distilled water has been purified and thus lacks the chemicals and minerals of tap water. Seltzer water is water in which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved. The carbon dioxide reacts with the water to produce carbonic acid, slightly raising the pH balance.

The independent variable in this project is the type of water, and the dependent variable is the plant’s rate of growth based on the water fed to it. The constants include the type of seeds, the soil, the conditions and the amount of water.


  • Three small, plastic pots
  • One small bag of potting soil
  • One packet common seeds (ex. radish, tomato, poppy, etc.)
  • One bottle distilled water
  • One bottle seltzer water
  • Measuring cup
  • Ruler

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Label each pot with the water type that will be used in it.
  2. Fill pots with potting soil to the same level on each.
  3. Plant 5-10 seeds in each pot, following the directions on the packet.
  4. Soak the soil in each pot with the same number of ounces of the three types of water.
  5. Store pots with access to the sun.
  6. Water at the same time each day with equal amounts.
  7. When shoots appear in one of the pots, start recording the dates and growth for each type of water.
  8. At the end of a specified period (ex. two weeks), form a conclusion about which water.

A chart can record the daily data:


Tap Water

(height in mm)

Distilled Water

(height in mm)

Seltzer Water

(height in mm)

Mon., 12/19


Tues., 12/20



The chart can be translated into a simple graph:

Terms/Concepts: Germination; Carbonation; Distillation


  1. A Drop in the Ocean: The Story of Water, Jacqui Bailey (2006).
  2. Using Water, Sally Hewitt (2008).

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