“There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere”.
Isaac Asimov (Biochemist)
Scoil Aonghusa C.N.S. received its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) award last year and is continuing to develop the science and maths curriculum in the school. Over the last few weeks 1st/2nd/3rd class pupils have been doing some project work, learning about how living things grow. Teacher Cora Nash led the project which involved studying plants. The children learned that people have been growing plants for thousands of years and that they can provide us with food, materials (wood, paper) and clothes.The children have been asking questions such as how do they themselves grow and what helps animals and flowers to grow. They decided to use an experiment to help them answer their question, this is easily done at home as well as in school.
Their question: What do plants need to grow?
Prediction: Seeds without water, correct temperature or light will not grow.
Equipment needed: 5 rectangular plastic carton lids, 1 plastic carton, cotton wool, water, watercress seeds
Five sets of watercress seeds were placed in cotton wool on a carton lid.
Trial 1 Control: Would seeds grow in ideal conditions? One set of seeds was placed in ideal growing conditions, with air, light, moisture and correct temperature (seeds were placed on cotton wool in a carton lid, watered and placed on a window sill).
The students then investigated what effect each variable had by doing the following:
Trial 2 Would seeds grow without air ( seeds were watered, placed in an airtight box and placed on the window sill)
Trial 3 Would seeds grow without light (seeds were watered and placed in cupboard no light)
Trial 4 Would seeds grow in cold temperatures ( seeds were watered and placed outside)
Trial 5 Would seeds grow without water (seeds were placed on a window sill and were not watered)
The pupils found out that the seeds grown without water, light and correct temperature would not grow and the watercress in the control grew the best. This sparked the interest of the pupils as to why these variables are so important and they are continuing the project and will be learning why each variable is important and how the plants use them to grow.
Anna, Emily & Zanda examining the results.