The Effect of a Microwave on Radish Seed Germination Science Fair project by connor Lew
My science project is on the effect of a microwave on radish seed germination. Every seed contains a baby plant called, the embryo. The embryo gets its nutrients from the cotyledon, which is the fleshy part of the seed. Germination is the sprouting of seeds, and the process during which the embryo emerges from the seed and develops its first set of true leaves. Germination is a very intricate process and can be prevented by many factors, such as lack or overdosage of water, or strong chemicals. In this case, I am testing whether or not a microwave can affect the process of germination.
Plants use energy from the sun to create food during a process called photosynthesis. Some of the energy from the sun is in the form of Ultraviolet radiation, or UV rays, which are a kind of electromagnetic radiation produced by the sun. Microwaves can also produce electromagnetic waves, and in this experiment, a microwave will be used to expose the radish seeds to electromagnetic radiation.
This experiment is important because it will help determine whether a microwave can either help or hinder a seeds germination speed and growth. Seed germination is important for natural plant growth and growing crops for human use. There are a variety of methods of seed germination methods, and it would be useful to know if a microwave would be able to benefit a seed in the process of germination.
Biology is the study of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin and evolution. The relation between this experiment and biology is that this experiment deals with a living organism, its origin, and its growth. It also includes some concepts, such as photosynthesis, that we have studied in class this year. In addition, we have studied a variety of living organisms, and processes that are similar to the process of germination.
I think the seeds which are microwaved for 30 seconds or less will germinate faster and have longer shoots than the seeds in the control group. And, the seeds microwaved for 1 minute or more will germinate slower than the seeds in the control group.
- The amount of time radiation is applied to the radish seeds
- The number of seeds sprouted from each group
- The speed of germination
- The length of the seed's shoots
- Radish seeds
- A microwave
- Paper towels
- A permanent marker
- Ziploc bags
- Water and a dropper
- A desk with draws
- Label each Ziploc bag with a permanent marker.You will need to label one Ziploc bag for your control group, and one Ziploc bag for each group of microwaved seeds. Label each Ziploc bag with the time you microwaved your seeds: “5 seconds,” “15 seconds,” “30 seconds,” “1 minute,” “2 minutes”
- Place a folded paper towel in the bottom of each Ziploc bag making sure it lies nice and flat
- Add a few drops of water into each Ziploc bag until the paper towel is evenly moist, but not dripping wet. Make sure the Ziploc bags are ready, so that as you treat your seeds you can put them into the Ziploc bags right after
- Make sure that you have a Ziploc bag labeled “control” group, which will be a group of seeds that will not be microwaved. For this group, take 10 radish seeds and place them at the bottom of the “control” group bag on one side of the napkin. Then close the bag, and place the bag in a desk drawer
- Now, for the experiment, you will be taking groups of 10 radish seeds and microwaving them for different amounts of time. Take 10 radish seeds, place them on a dry paper towel, and microwave them for a period of time (5 sec., 15 sec., 30 sec., 1 min., 2 min.)
- After you microwave each group of seeds, place the seeds into the matching bag with the correct label, close the bag, and place it in a desk drawer
- Let all of your experiments sit in the desk drawer for 3-5 days. After that period of time, you will notice that some of the seeds have sprouted
- After the seeds have sprouted, write the number of sprouted and unsprouted seeds on the baggie for each group. Record your data in a table.
After 3 days, all of the seeds that were microwaved for 15 seconds or less seemed to have progressed similarly to the control group. The seeds that were microwaved for 30 seconds or more seemed to have progressed worse than the control group.
After analyzing my results, it appeared that there was no significant or noticeable benefit from the seeds that were microwaved since the seeds that were microwaved for 15 seconds or less progressed similarly to the seeds in the control group. This means that there was no significant harm or benefit in microwaving the radish seeds for those times. However, there was a noticeable difference between the seeds microwaved for 30 seconds or more and the seeds in the control group. It was apparent that the seeds microwaved for 30 seconds or more progressed worse than the seeds in the control group. And, the seeds microwaved for 1 and 2 minutes did even worse than the seeds microwaved for 30 seconds. This shows that the more time the seeds were microwaved, the worse they progressed in the process of germination.
My hypothesis was, that the seeds which are microwaved for 30 seconds or less will germinate faster and have longer shoots than the seeds in the control group, and the seeds microwaved for 1 minute or more will germinate slower than the seeds in the control group. My hypothesis was incorrect. It was incorrect because the seeds microwaved for 30 seconds or less did not germinate faster or have longer shoots than the seeds in the control group. And, it was actually the seeds microwaved for 30 seconds or more that germinated slower than the seeds in the control group.
What happened in this experiment was, the seeds microwaved for 15 seconds or less progressed similarly to the seeds in the control group. And, the seeds microwaved for 30 seconds or more progressed worse than the seeds in the control group. This helped me learn that there is no significant benefit or harm in microwaving radish seeds for 15 seconds less, but there is a slower germination time for the seeds microwaved for 30 seconds or more.
After analyzing my results and looking over my experiment, there is no real benefit in using a microwave to germinate seeds. It does not speed up the process, but instead it slows down the process of germination if the seeds are microwaved for too long. Other studies I can do next are, the effects of different conditions on the process of germination. This would include freezing, dry, and hot conditions to test the effects of those conditions on seed germination. And, I could also repeat this experiment using a different type of seed to see if i get the same or different results.