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Project Idea
Trees grow more during the early spring than they do the rest of the year. Because of this period of dormancy, or lack of growth, each year of growth is marked by a line called a tree ring. You can count the number of rings in the cross section of a tree trunk to show how old the tree is. You can also count the number of rings in a stem to see the age of a stem or branch. One way to measure the rate of growth of a tree is to count the number of rings per inch. Trees with high numbers of… Read more
PlantBio_p025
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Animals have different levels of activity depending upon their habitat, metabolism and behavior. Diurnal animals are more active during the day. Nocturnal animals are more active at night. Being diurnal or nocturnal may have different advantages for different animals. For example, desert animals tend to be nocturnal so they can stay cool and escape the desert heat present during the day. What types of diurnal and nocturnal animals are common in your area? You can set out a small trap to… Read more
Zoo_p041
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety If you choose to try trapping small animals, adult assistance will be necessary. Avoid touching wild animals. Seek immediate medical attention if bit by an animal.
Project Idea
Leaves grow in a different pattern than stems and shoots. They do not elongate along one axis, but instead spread out over time. Do all regions of the leaf grow equally? You can use markings on different regions of a growing leaf to see if the whole surface grows, or if growth is focused in a particular region, like the veins or edges of the leaf. If you look along a leafy stem, you may notice that leaves at different positions along the stem are different sizes. You can do an experiment to… Read more
PlantBio_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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
Project Idea
Ladybugs are common insects in North American gardens that prey upon aphids, making them all the rage in biological pest control. Ladybugs can be bred in captivity making them a good insect to study. Just chop off an aphid infested plant stem for food, make a water soaked cotton ball for water, and add to a small plastic container with a lid to make a breeding box. You can use ladybugs collected from the wild, or buy ladybugs from your local nursery. The most common species is the 12-spotted… Read more
Zoo_p036
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Material Availability Ladybugs can be collected from the wild, or purchased from a local nursery or an online vendor such as [# Link Name="Zoo_p036.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Project Idea
Do you like to climb trees? The branches of trees are what make them so fun to climb. Each branch starts out as a tiny shoot that grows out from a stem. How is the growth of shoots along a stem regulated? Read more
PlantBio_p018
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No hazards
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that apple trees do not "breed true"? This means that if you plant seeds from an apple, say a Granny Smith, you will get apple trees, but they will make apples that are actually different than Granny Smiths. So how do farmers produce new Granny Smith trees? They use a method called vegetative propagation. For instance, they may cut a branch off of a tree that grows Granny Smith apples and attach the branch onto a different tree trunk. This method of making new trees is called… Read more
PlantBio_p040
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Flower development is an important part of plant growth. When a plant has reached maturity, it needs to develop flowers in order to reproduce. The male and female parts of the flower have specialized structures for reproduction that develop as the plant matures. How do flowers develop over time? Which structures develop first? You can answer these questions by dissecting the flowers of a gladiola. Gladiola flowers grow and develop along the stem, whith the most mature flowers opening at the… Read more
PlantBio_p027
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Gladiola plants are available for purchase in many plant nurseries at select times of the year. Check with your local nursery.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when using a blade for flower dissection. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you like to watch outdated science fiction and cheesy horror movies? Many fictional tales of cloned organisms have been created based upon the scientific method for cloning animals or plants. In the real world, the cloning of plants is a common method used in modern farming. How do you clone a plant? In this science project you will get to find out by making your own cabbage clones! Read more
PlantBio_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision required for using a knife
Project Idea
Invasive species are organisms (either plant or animal) that have been introduced into a new, non-native area and spread rapidly in the new environment due to a lack of regulation by predators. Frequently, invasive species will out-compete native species for resources which can put native species at risk. This is an especially big problem for threatened habitat and endangered species, which are already at risk. Survey your area to document cases of invasive species invading a local… Read more
EnvSci_p029
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
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