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Plant Biology Project Ideas

Science Fair Project Idea
Some plants grow only in water-logged environments. These plants are usually native to wetlands and are important for the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. Wetland ecosystems are very fragile and susceptible to the toxic dumping of sewage and fertilizer run-off from neighboring farm land. One very common aquatic plant called duckweed inhabits many wetland marshes. Duckweed grows by asexual reproduction and floats at the surface of the water with tiny roots extending into the water below.… Read more
PlantBio_p030
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Duckweed can be purchased from plant nurseries, or you can also find it growing naturally in local ponds and marshes. If you find the duckweed in a local water source, make sure you get permission from the land owner or town before taking any.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Fruit is a strategy some plants use to attract animals to disperse seeds. The animals eat the fruit and disperse the seeds through the digestive system. To attract animals, fruit needs to ripen and develop an odor that acts as an attractant. How much more successful are ripe fruits at attracting animals? Try setting out an over and under ripe piece of fruit, and compare how many many insects are attracted to each fruit. How does ripening occur? You can do an experiment using a very ripe… Read more
PlantBio_p021
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Do not eat any fruit to which you have added chemicals. Use caution when using sharp knives or other kitchen equipment; adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Mushrooms are not plants, but are fungi. Fungi include mushrooms, molds, and lichen. They do not produce seeds to reproduce like some plants. Fungi produce spores, like more primitive plants do. The spores of a mushroom are contained in the tiny folds around the stem underneath the mushroom cap. Different species of mushrooms have different types of spores, with different colors and different patterns of folds. You can make mushroom prints by removing the stem from a mushroom and placing the… Read more
PlantBio_p026
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires access to a place where mushrooms grow wildly (and you have permission to harvest them) or the purchase of a mushroom growing kit from an [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="online vendor" #].
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Do not eat any mushrooms that you find growing in the wild.
Science Fair Project Idea
Global warming is how scientists describe the gradual warming of our global climate. Scientists think that the trend towards global warming can be attributed to the build up of greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere from industrialization. Another problem is deforestation, as we remove plants and trees from the environment to meet a high demand for lumber or by clear cutting fields for farming and urbanization. By removing trees from the earth's environment, are we changing how greenhouse… Read more
PlantBio_p029
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You might not know it, but plants are able to sense their environment and actually respond appropriately. One of the key parameters that every plant must respond to is the direction of gravity: stems go up (opposite to the pull of gravity) and roots go down (in the same direction as the force of gravity). In this project, you will construct simple devices that hold several germinating seeds, which allow you to watch how growing rootlets respond as you rotate the devices, effectively altering… Read more
PlantBio_p034
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues.
Science Fair Project Idea
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… Read more
PlantBio_p023
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever planted a garden? It is a real pleasure to see a garden where all of the plants lie in neat rows and are healthy and thriving. Plants need sunlight and nutritious soil to grow and be healthy, right? Not always! Hydroponics is the science of growing plants in nutrient-rich water. Does it work? Try this project and see for yourself! Read more
PlantBio_p045
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A hydroponics terrarium is required and, for your convenience, can be purchased at the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p045.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use gloves and safety goggles when handling chemicals. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever planted a garden? It is a real pleasure to see a garden where all of the plants lie in neat rows and are healthy and thriving. However, it can be very frustrating when your garden doesn't thrive. There are numerous causes that prevent a plant from thriving. Perhaps the soil is not rich enough with nutrients or maybe pests are present in the soil that are sapping the seedling's energy. Soils also carry fungi that can attack a young seedling. What if you could avoid some of the… Read more
PlantBio_p044
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You must purchase a hydroponics kit. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use gloves and safety goggles when handling chemicals. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever gone camping, looked up at the stars, and found the Big Dipper? Two stars in the dipper part of this constellation point to Polaris, the north star, which people have used for thousands of years to help them find their way. In this plant biology science fair project, you'll investigate whether plants, like moss, can help you find your way, too. Read more
PlantBio_p043
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You must have access to three lone trees that have moss growing on their bases, and that are not shaded by other trees or buildings.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Every spring, gardeners around the world get ready to plant their summer gardens. They turn the soil over in their garden plots and add nutrients to the soil. Then they plant their seedlings and wait for nature to provide a bounty of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. But nurturing the garden doesn't stop there. In order to get lots of fruits and vegetables, the gardener must eliminate factors that can hurt the plants. Sometimes, chemicals in the soil from other plants and trees can hurt a… Read more
PlantBio_p042
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You must have access to black walnut trees on your own property, or permission to pick leaves if the tree is on someone else's property. You must also have access to a stovetop.
Material Availability Specialty items are required. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Use disposable gloves and safety goggles when working with chemical solutions. Don't use the solution made in this science fair project in your home garden. The chemical juglone can remain in the soil, poisoning plants for many years.
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