Science Fair Project By: Ronan Cooney and Connor Dempsey

Introduction

Our science project consisted of growing wheatgrass with different types of water. We used background knowledge along with research to help complete the project. We knew that wheatgrass grew quickly and is best grown indoors. Some plants need special lighting along with other things but wheatgrass is simple because it has minimal needs. We also knew that there were different minerals and pH levels in different brands of water.

Our project showed the effects of the different waters on the plants. Our project also shows us what minerals plants need for growth. Farmers can use this information when they are watering their plants. Farmers have many crops so they will not buy individual water bottles but they could supply their plants with the same minerals and pH to get optimal plant growth. Our experiment shows that the amount of minerals and pH effects the growth and development of plants; this could help scientists and everyday people understand why water quality is so important.

We learned how to grow wheatgrass from wikiHow’s article “How to Grow Wheatgrass at Home.” We learned that wheatgrass requires room temperature and shady light exposure. Wheatgrass is grown best indoors near a window that gets sunlight. We understood the effects of pH on the plant by using The University of Arizona’s article “Environmental Factors that Affect Plant Growth.” We learned that minerals such as calcium and magnesium are important in the development of the plant.

Our project relates to biology in many ways. We learned that the conditions and different factors play roles in the growth of the plants. We kept all the conditions the same except for the types of water. Plants need light, Co2, and H2O. In class we learned about photosynthesis which is when plants convert light energy into chemical energy. If the wheatgrass did not receive any sunlight, photosynthesis would not be performed so the required chemical energy would not be made. Prior knowledge of biology and plants helped us with our science project.

Hypothesis

The Fiji water will allow the wheatgrass to grow the tallest.

Independent variable - is the different water bottle brands

Dependent variable - is the plant growth

Materials

1. 10 gallon empty fish tank

2. Sheet of plastic (cut into dividers)

3. Soil (potting mix)

4. Wheatgrass seeds (5 packs)

5. Water (Poland Spring, Pure Alkaline, Fiji, Core, and tap water)

6. Measuring cup

7. Electronic Thermostat/Humidity reader

8. Bowl

9. Tinfoil

10. Paper, pen, tape, scissor, ruler (cm)

Methods

1. We gathered/bought all the supplies from stores or our homes

2. We first, cut the plastic into dividers creating 5 separate sections in the tank and taped them into place

3. We next, put 2 inches of soil evenly throughout the tank

4. We then, labeled each section of the tank and 5 bowls for each water brand

5. We filled each bowl with one pack of wheatgrass seeds and some of the specific water intended for each bowl

6. We covered the bowls in tinfoil and waited 10 hours before planting them into the soil

7. We matched each water type with the section and planted the seeds

8. We placed the tank by a window with even sunlight throughout the tank

9. Everyday we watered the seeds with 1/4 cup of the proper water for each section

10. Finally, we recorded the results

Results

The wheatgrass was grown in a twelve day period and were watered every day with 1/4 cup. All the plants grew at a consistent rate. The average height of all the plants was 20.6 cm. Pure Alkline water was the smallest in height ending with a height of 19 cm.Fiji came out on top with an ending of height of 22 cm.

Analysis

Over the span of twelve days the wheatgrass seeds were grown successfully. The plants were measured in the last five days of the growing period. The plants received equal sunlight and 1/4 of water everyday. The humidity ranged from 33% - 51% and the temperature ranged from 69-71° F.

Our data tells the observer a couple of important facts. One, that the higher the pH doesn't mean better growth of the plant. We saw this with the Pure Alkaline water, which is labeled to have a pH of 9.5 (higher than any of the bottles we tested). The Alkaline water ended with the smallest average height of 19 cm.

Next, fact we can state that the added minerals found in Fiji aided the growth of the wheatgrass. Fiji shown that it is the best water to use for growing wheatgrass over the other waters we tested. Overall our data concludes that the right combination of pH level and mineral content is the key to optimal growth of wheatgrass.

Conclusion

Our experiment was testing what water would grow wheatgrass the tallest. We used Core water, Poland spring water, Pure Alkaline water, tap water, and Fiji water. Our hypothesis was the plant watered by Fiji would grow the tallest, and we were correct. We believed that Fiji would be the best water for plant growth because it contains many minerals such as silica, calcium, magnesium, and biocarbonates.

The wheatgrass seeds were grown over a twelve day period. The plants received equal amounts of water, sunlight, humidity, and temperature. The wheatgrass was measured in the last five days of the twelve day span. All of the plants grew quickly but some grew more than others.

Wheatgrass can be grown with any type of water but for optimal growth Fiji water should be used. Wheatgrass needs many different minerals along with sunlight to grow to a large size. We could study the minerals in the water to see the effect they have on different plants. Overall our experiment, even though on a small scale, teaches us the importance of minerals and pH levels found inside water.

Citations

http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Wheatgrass-at-Home

https://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/botany/water.html#water

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