Teacher Site Map
3rd Grade Science Core
USOE Science Home Page

Hey, Neighbor

In the last activity you predicted what would happen to organisms as elements of their environment changed. In this activity you actually design and perform an experiment.
Create a small environment. You might want to use an aquarium, terrarium, or pots of plants. Test one condition of the environment, such as temperature, water or light. You only want to test one, so you can be sure of what the effects are.
A good experiment might test how light effects plants.
  • Buy three identical plants. Many varieties come in 6-packs. You can carefully cut the plastic tray apart. Plant the extras in your garden or pick another experiment to do.
  • Keep your test plants at the same temperature
  • Water your test plants the same amount. Use a measuring cup to make sure.
  • Set them in locations that receive different amounts of light. One could be in a sunny window, one on the table, or one in the closet.
  • Take your plants out, and record how they look and how tall they are each day for a week. Remember to put them back after you look at them!
  • Check your results. Write what the effect of light is on your plants.
Think About It:
Why is it important to keep the temperature and water the same and only vary the light in your experiment?
Highlight this box for the answer.
We are testing the effect of light. We should only vary the amount of light.
Here are some experiment ideas to get you started!
  • What is the effect of water on plants?
  • What is the effect of temperature on goldfish*? How about on plants, mold, or potato bugs*?
  • How does light effect earthworms*? What about snails* and crickets*?
* If you experiment with animals, make sure your test is humane. This means you aren’t hurting the animals. Check with an adult to be sure.

Download the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 3rd grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

Science Home Page | Curriculum Home Page | 3rd Grade Science Core Home Page | USOE Home Page

Copyright © Utah State Office of Education.