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How Does the Stem Grow? *

Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.


Plant stems grow through a process of elongation due to cell divisions within the stem. Does the entire length of the stem elongate evenly? Or do certain regions along the plant stem grow more or less than others? Regions that are involved in active growth are called vegetative. You can conduct an experiment to show which regions of a bean seedling are involved in vegetative growth. Use a marker to mark one inch sections along the main stem of a young bean seedling. Number the regions 1-6 along the stem from the root to the shoot. Keep a daily log by measuring each region along the stem for a week or so. Do any of the regions elongate? Which regions show the most elongation? Which regions show the least elongation? What do you think would happen if you tried the same experiment with another species? What if you tried it with an older more mature plant? Will light or temperature effect the rate of growth? (VanCleave, 1993, 69-74; Vecchione, 2001, 150-151)

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Science Buddies Staff. "How Does the Stem Grow?" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 27 June 2014. Web. 21 Oct. 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/PlantBio_p023.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 27). How Does the Stem Grow?. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/PlantBio_p023.shtml

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Last edit date: 2014-06-27


  • VanCleave, J. 1993. Janice VanCleave's A+ Projects in Biology. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Vecchione, G. 2001. 100 Award-Winning Science Fair Projects. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing.

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I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.

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