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In the lesson on “Growing Plants,” you tested the effects of light on seed germination. Now you are going to have the opportunity to test your own hypothesis on the effects of air, temperature, water, or light, on seed germination, growth rates, or seasonal adaptations of plants.

Plants make animal life possible. Through the process of photosynthesis, they convert sunlight into a usable form of chemical energy. Ultimately, all animals exist because plants provide the necessary energy to sustain life. So what do plants need to survive?

In this lab, you are going to be given a list of factors required for plant survival. You will then design and conduct your own scientific experiment to test just one of these factors for its effect on the plant.


List of Factors:

  • Light (amount or color)
  • Water
  • Air
  • Minerals
  • Appropriate temperature
  • Soil
  • Seed depth in soil

Choose one of these factors and design and conduct an experiment testing its effects on seed germination, growth rate or seasonal adaptations. Be sure to include a control and a variable in your experiment.

If you need a suggested lab format paper, print this one to help you organize your experiment.

Safety concerns Be sure to keep all chemical safety rules. As with all science lab activities, the most important safety rule is to follow all teacher directions.
  1. Which factor did you test?
  2. Describe the effects on the plant.
  3. If you had to repeat this experiment what would you do differently and why?
  4. If the factor you tested were to change globally, what would plant life on earth be like?

Review Science safetey rules here.

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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.

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Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 8th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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