I need a title...

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I need a title...

Postby svnnshhernandez » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:18 pm

I am about to start a new Botany project about methods for watering plants. In my new project I will be testing some of these devices- Aqua Globes, Dr. Frog, Water Worms, and Hydrometers. We will be testing these methods on Pothos Ivys, since they are the most common house plant. Do you think that this could have potential as a good project? Also, I have no idea what could be a catchy title. My last project was about goats, and we called it "Does Size Really Matter." I would really like to have something just as catchy. I'm open to all suggestions!
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Project Question: In my new project, I will be testing the different methods to use for watering- Aqua Globes, Dr. Frog, Water Worms, and Hydrometers. We will be testing these methods on Pothos Ivys, since they are the most common house plant. Do you think that this could have potential as a good project, and I have no idea what could be a catchy title. My last project was about goats, and we called it "Does Size Really Matter." I would really like to have something just as catchy.
Project Due Date: July 2010
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: I need a title...

Postby MelissaB » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:24 am

Hi,

I think this sounds like a great project! Are you planning to measure various attributes of the plants, or the hydration of the soil (or both)?

I'm not the best person to ask about titles, but what about something like, "Water, water everywhere, what does your plant think?" Or something more standard, like "How to water plants" or "What water delivery system encourages the most plant growth?"
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Re: I need a title...

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:15 am

Hi,

A catchy title is helpful for a science fair project, but it should be related to your project. This sounds like it could be an excellent project, but I have the same questions that Melissa has posed and I am not certain about the purpose and scientific background for the project. Can you explain the science and the rationale behind all of the products you will be comparing? The science involved in doing product comparisons can be very complicated, so you do need to define exactly what you want to discover. What are you going to measure? Plant growth, soil hydration, appearance of the plants, time required to use the product, or something else? If you can ask the question that your experiment will answer, then that will be a good title for your project.

Here are two websites that explain why plants need water:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae021

http://cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/144.pdf

Here is a website that includes information for growing Porthos.

http://www.plant-care.com/easy-care-pothos.html

Do check out the project guide on the science buddies website and review the general outline.

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ndex.shtml

Let us know if you have any questions.

Donna Hardy
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Re: I need a title...

Postby svnnshhernandez » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:08 pm

I want to thank both of you for helping me out. I will answer both your questions after I do some more research. Thanks again. Savannah
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Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:11 pm
Occupation: Student 11th grade
Project Question: In my new project, I will be testing the different methods to use for watering- Aqua Globes, Dr. Frog, Water Worms, and Hydrometers. We will be testing these methods on Pothos Ivys, since they are the most common house plant. Do you think that this could have potential as a good project, and I have no idea what could be a catchy title. My last project was about goats, and we called it "Does Size Really Matter." I would really like to have something just as catchy.
Project Due Date: July 2010
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: I need a title...

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:24 am

Hi Savannah,

We would be very interesting in knowing more about your project as it develops. It would be interesting to contact the companies and ask for the rationale behind the develpment of the various products. What are you going to measure in this project? What will you use for a control? Let us know if you have any more questions.

Donna Hardy
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Re: I need a title...

Postby svnnshhernandez » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:30 am

I have looked over some of the questions that you have asked me, and I'm going to try and answer some of them for you.
The purpose of my project is to find a method of watering plants without over watering or under watering them. I will be testing appx. 5 different automatic watering systems along with a control plant that will receive a cup of water every week. This project could help people find a way a better way to water their plants without killing them, and also a watering method that will work if you were to go on vacation. [I'm still not sure what my scientific background will be. How will I find my scientific background?] The Aqua Globes are to be placed into the potted plant already full of water. It is said that when the plant becomes dry, it will release oxygen and the Aqua Globe will release water at that time. Once the plant is moistened, it will no longer release water. The hydrometer is a meter that is going to be placed into the potted plant as well. It has a meter that will tell you on a scale how dry or wet the soil is. When the meter shows that the plant is dry, I will then add water to increase the scales reading. I will be conducting this experiment over a 4 to 5 month period, and at the end, I am hoping to see a difference in the plants aesthetic value. After I have recorded that, I will also do a fresh and dry weight measurement. Depending on how far I am going with this, I may also try to do a root to shoot ration. In my project I'm hoping to find if one of the watering devices helps keep a plant alive and looking healthy longer compared one to another.
I hope that I have answered some of your questions, please let me know what you think I should change or do.
Thank you.
Savannah
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Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:11 pm
Occupation: Student 11th grade
Project Question: In my new project, I will be testing the different methods to use for watering- Aqua Globes, Dr. Frog, Water Worms, and Hydrometers. We will be testing these methods on Pothos Ivys, since they are the most common house plant. Do you think that this could have potential as a good project, and I have no idea what could be a catchy title. My last project was about goats, and we called it "Does Size Really Matter." I would really like to have something just as catchy.
Project Due Date: July 2010
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: I need a title...

Postby carolinethorn » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:36 pm

Hi Savannah,

It sounds like you have thought a lot about the practical application of your project and have a goal for that in mind which is good. I would try to make sure you collect as much data as possible to help make this as scientific as possible even though there will be aspects that will be more subjective (opinion rather than quantitative).

I think part of your background is to discuss how and why plants need water and what causes underwatering and overwatering to kill the plant and how that is measured. For example what happens to the cells of an overwatered plant? What does that make the leaves look like etc. Does the watering of a plant effect whether the plant will produce flowers etc?

Some things to think about - How can you tell the health of a plant - what are useful measurements than can indicate a plant is sick? leaf counts, leaf color (compared to a chart)? is there a way you can incorporate quantitative measures of how healthy your plants are, not just the aesthetic value? the shoot root ratio sounds quantitative - how would you do that?
How will you control for how much water is added by the different devices? is there a way you can measure these at intervals to see if the mechanism of adding the water or the time over which it is added makes a difference? For example does adding a cup all at once have a different effect to adding it a tablespoon at a time over several days?

Have you thought about how many tests you will do? You mentioned that you were going to grow them 4-5 months which is good as hopefully that will give plenty of time to see growth. But it also means it would be hard to repeat it again after so you might want to think about having 2 or 3 plants for each condition, just in case a few plants don't grow well for other reasons than the watering. It's better to only test one or two devices and control with 3 plants each than to try and test more devices.

lots to think about!
best of luck,
Caroline
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Re: I need a title...

Postby donnahardy2 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:56 pm

Hi,

Caroline has given you some excellent suggestions, and I completely agree that it would be better to have more replicates and fewer independent variables. And her suggestion to include more methods of evaluating the plant health would improve your project. For example, you can include plant weight and plant color, and you can record pH, soil moisture, temperature at intervals during the experiment.

Caroline has also suggested that you develop the background of your project. You want to avoid over-watering and under-watering your plants, so you should try to find more background information on the physiology of plants that will explain what happens when plants are over-watered or under-watered. When your project is evaluated at the science fair, the judges will be wondering what scientific principles and what prior research your project is based on, so read as much as you can about plant physiology, especially about water. Then see if you can ask a specific question that you can answer by doing your experiment. This will help you develop an excellent project.

Here is an example of what I am trying to explain. I found a paper from Journal of Plant Physiology that reports an investigation of water stress on a specific plant. For your project, you will want to follow the same general steps in doing your project. Notice that the authors explain the prior research on their topic in the introduction and give a reason for doing the project. I think it is very important for you to identify the reason for doing your project.

In the material and methods section, they include enough detail that anyone could reproduce their experiments and obtain the same results. Of particular note for your project, they describe how they measured soil moisture (with a moisture sensor type ML1) and plant growth (plant height and number of leaves). They measured the dry shoot weight, leaf relative water content and osmotic potential on plants that were harvested. They did analysis for free proline and glycinebetaine. They used 10 plants per treatment. You would not be able to do everything that was done in this paper, but you should try to do as many measurements as possible. You need to quantitate the results to show that plants were not over watered or under watered. I will attach the paper on this post and on the next 3 posts.

Next, you need to research the science behind the watering devices, and find out how they work. I checked out a couple, and it looks like they are sold to water plants while you are away on vacation for a couple of weeks. Would these be recommended for an extended 4-5 month experiment? Perhaps you could contact one of the companies and ask for more information. Were these products developed just to make money, or was there any scientific basis for their development? Do the companies have any data to show that the products work? For the product you select, you need to have a plausible scientific reason for thinking that it will eliminate water stress for the plants.

Let us know if you have any questions. I'll see if I can find any more references that evaluated plant water stress.

Donna Hardy
Plant Physiology 1.pdf
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Re: I need a title...

Postby donnahardy2 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:57 pm

plant physiology 2.pdf
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Re: I need a title...

Postby donnahardy2 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:57 pm

Plant physiology 3.pdf
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Re: I need a title...

Postby donnahardy2 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:58 pm

plant physiology 4.pdf
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Re: I need a title...

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:17 pm

Hi Savannah,

Here is a little more background reading for you. In looking at this topic, it appears that optimum watering is a very complex subject.

Here is a citation that includes a detailed analysis of optimum watering:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4 ... 44.html#B1

Here is a description of optimum conditions for growing pothos. Can you provide as close as possible optimum temperature, fertilizer, and light? Your only variable will be the water.

http://mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/foliage/resrpts/rh_92_16.htm

Here’s an interesting reference where the authors used pothos to remove airborne chemicals. However, the relevance for your project is that the authors describe results with 3 different growing conditions and there is a photograph.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_o ... rticle.pdf

Donna Hardy
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Re: I need a title...

Postby svnnshhernandez » Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:05 pm

Hello,

I wanted to thank you again for all the help that everyone has provided me. I have not been on here for a while. I have been having some internal conflicts about this project. I am still having trouble deciding whether or not it had enough scientific background or not. I know this is a useful item since it applies to the common people, but other than that I am not sure about anything else. I still have yet to even start the report. If anything new comes along, I will be sure to update though.
svnnshhernandez
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:11 pm
Occupation: Student 11th grade
Project Question: In my new project, I will be testing the different methods to use for watering- Aqua Globes, Dr. Frog, Water Worms, and Hydrometers. We will be testing these methods on Pothos Ivys, since they are the most common house plant. Do you think that this could have potential as a good project, and I have no idea what could be a catchy title. My last project was about goats, and we called it "Does Size Really Matter." I would really like to have something just as catchy.
Project Due Date: July 2010
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: I need a title...

Postby donnahardy2 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:04 pm

Hi Savannah,

It's good you are thinking about this project. If you concentrate on the background reading, you might be able to identify a topic that is similar, but is more scientific.

If you need any more help, please do let us know.

Donna Hardy
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Re: I need a title...

Postby svnnshhernandez » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:18 pm

Hello everyone,

I am not a week into my project. I already have so many complaints about how it is going, and I will explain them to you in a bit. First off, I am wondering whether or not you think it would be best for me to test my plants in plastic pots instead of clay pots. For the past week I have conducted my first half of trials in clay pot, and I believe that they are affecting my outcome. I am using the Aqua Globes for one watering method, and 4 days into the project, they were completely empty. On the box it promises a perfect watering for up to two weeks, so the 4 days seems like a complete bust. What do you think was the cause of this, the clay pots, or simply the Aqua Globes proving us humans way to gullible?
svnnshhernandez
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:11 pm
Occupation: Student 11th grade
Project Question: In my new project, I will be testing the different methods to use for watering- Aqua Globes, Dr. Frog, Water Worms, and Hydrometers. We will be testing these methods on Pothos Ivys, since they are the most common house plant. Do you think that this could have potential as a good project, and I have no idea what could be a catchy title. My last project was about goats, and we called it "Does Size Really Matter." I would really like to have something just as catchy.
Project Due Date: July 2010
Project Status: I am just starting

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