I think the purpose of this project was to see how the mung beans and pieces of corn grew. And to see how they grew, and what the process looked like. It was also to see if they were monocots or dicots. Corn is a monocot and a mung bean is a dicot, which means they have different root systems, amounts of flowers, vascular systems, etc. One obvious change I saw was the beans sprouting. First, the outer layer of the beans opened up and a small stem grew out of it. They started to have roots and grow leaves. I don't know what would happen after that because all of mine died. The paper towel that was in the cup also started turning yellow. I’m not sure why it did that, but it started to smell pretty bad.
Before we put the beans and corn in the cup, we predicted which would be a monocot and which would be a dicot. I predicted that the mung beans were going to be a monocot and that the corn was going be a dicot, but I was wrong. Corn is a monocot because its vascular system has holes all over the place, whereas mung beans only have holes around the outsides of its stems, making them a dicot. (See picture below.)
In the end, my plants neither drown or thrived. They all died. I think they died because I left them on a window sill and they shriveled up, probably because it was too hot. I should have watered them more and put them on a table next to the window so they could still get sunlight, but not to much. If we do this again, I'm definitely to find another place to put my cup so that they survive for longer and grow more.
I think we did this to further our understanding of what photosynthesis is and how it works. That's definitely something I got out of this. Before this lab, I didn't really understand how photosynthesis worked. You might be thinking, "Wow, this girl is really dumb haha." But seriously, I didn't get it. We all learned it in 4th grade or something, but I've never really understood science very much. So when we did this, I was excited I actually understood it. Photosynthesis is the process plants use to turn carbon dioxide and water into food for themselves. We did a lab to help see how plants did it. In this lab, I observed that it takes a while for photosynthesis to actually happen. We hole punched some leaves and shook them up in carbon dioxide. Once they all sunk to the bottom, we put them in a cup of water and either put them underneath a black or white light (I chose white light), and timed how long to took for them to float to the surface. Our teacher thought it was only going to take about 20 minutes, but it took much longer than that. My leaves didn't start floating until they had been in the water for 40 minutes!
This is a picture of how photosynthesis works. I didn't use one with the element names because that can be confusing.
This is a graph of some of the data collected by a few of my classmates.
A major trend I found in this data was that at the beginning of the experiment the leaves aren't doing anything, but they peak rapidly. You can see this mostly with the yellow line on the graph. This data was collected from people who used white light, and both aspen and spinach leaves, but I'm not sure how far away the leaves were from the light, it wasn't included in the Google Sheets document. I think the line that gives the most information in the graph is the red one, Brittan's. It was slow at first, then shot up, leveled out again, and then slowly went all of the way up. I'm pretty sure it's the only one that had all of the leaves float (according to this data and graph).
The Plant Project!
For this project, my group and I decided to test the oxygen levels of two different plants. They were originally going to be spider plants and heartless philodendrons, but the philodendrons died so we replaced them with aloe vera. We tested the oxygen levels by putting the plants in an oxygen chamber Steve provided us with. We would leave the plant in the chamber for 24 hours and a little recorder would record the oxygen and carbon dioxide the plant produced in that time.
The most important piece of research we found was that if you have plants in a classroom or your house that produces a lot of oxygen, it can help with mental health and breathing problems. I think most of our project was based around this mental health piece because we wanted to find plants that we could hang in the classroom to help with this. Eventually, we are going to hang up some plants in the classroom to help with this. Some of them are definitely going to be spider plants because we found that overtime, they produce a lot of oxygen.
Something I would do differently if I did this project again would be working in a different group. It's not that I didn't enjoy working with Darby, Amelia, and Sarah, I'm just not really friends with any of them so I didn't really say very much during this project. I was placed into their group and I wasn't extremely excited about the project they were doing, which ended up being changed to this. If I did this again, I would choose to work in a smaller group because there was so much going on the entire time I didn't really understand a lot of it. Next time I'm going to work with someone I know and maybe only one or two other people. I also didn't help very much at the beginning of the project which I regret, so I'm going to work on that for the future. I was helping other groups instead of my own, and I'm not really sure why I did that. I think it was because I wasn't excited about what we were doing, and I felt awkward in my group, so I helped people I knew really well because I felt more comfortable with. I'm going to work on this as well because I need to be able to work with anyone, not just my friends. And I'm going to be in more projects in the future where I'm not with people I know super well.
Math question for exhibition
This was the math portion of this project. We had to answer a question based on some of then things we have learned in math so far this year.
Question: Why didn’t your methods allow for productive data collection? X² This symbol is Chi-Squared. It is a mathematical term used to find probability and is often found when comparing statistics. To perform a X² math problem, you need at least twenty points of correlating data. If there are less than twenty points of comparable data the results will be skewed. The point of this formula is to accurately depict the expected probability if you were to consistently test. X² can also be used to compare different data results as long as there are the same amount of data points to compare. Unfortunately, our group was unable to use X² on our data because we didn’t have enough data points to test with either of the plants that we studied. The main restriction of our project was our time limit. Ideally, we would have needed 40 days to get our full and accurate data collection. In the end, we were only able to have 13 days of data collection. Why we were only able to get 13 days of data was mostly because we spent a lot of our time planning the entire project and refining it the best we could. During our testing period, we could only allow one plant to be in the oxygen chamber at once. This limited us because it made out process fairly slow, and the plants had the be in the chamber for 24 hours at a time total. After we tested the spider plants multiple times, we started testing aloe plants to collect data on their oxygen levels. We also needed to do this to compare the differences between the oxygen levels of each plant. After we started collecting data on the aloe, we realized that they were starting to die when we put them in the oxygen chamber. The container was too small and there wasn’t enough room for the aloe to fit in the chamber, even if it was just for a day. We collected data for three days on the aloe plants which was not enough. Luckily, we collected multiple runs of data for the spider plants, but that still isn’t enough information to conduct any conclusions on. If we ended up doing this project again or continuing it, we would get more plants of a different species (like heartleaf philodendrons as we had originally planned) and test their oxygen levels as well.
Mitosis mini project
During this mini project, we learned about mitosis, which is the reproduction of cells. We made little models and talked about the different stages of mitosis. Mitosis occurs when cells are splitting to create more cells in an organism. The stages of mitosis are interphase prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. The process of mitosis lasts three to four hours, which I personally think is mind blowing because this is a really important stage of life. This connects to our plantain research because they have to regenerate cells when they are cut in any way or are split. Understanding the process of mitosis helps us tackle questions about human regeneration because we can find ways to modify it for the future. This could help with people who loose limbs, for example, because we could possibly regenerate them. Now that would be crazy!