Seed Dispersal Science: Carried by the Wind
Explore the ways in which the shape and size of a seed influences how far it may travel when carried or blown by wind.
If you hold a dandelion to your lips and blow, the seeds scatter through the air. This scattering, also called dispersal, helps distribute seeds which helps plants reproduce. Wind can carry seeds away from their plants, but how far a seed travels has a lot to do with characteristics of the seed itself. What makes some seeds travel farther than others? In this week's family plant science activity, make model seeds and test them using the wind of a fan. Which seed properties result in seeds that travel the farthest?
- Gone With the Wind: An Experiment on Seed & Fruit Dispersal (Science Buddies project idea)
- Gone with the Wind: Plant Seed Dispersal (science activity at Scientific American)
A recent science activity on paper whirly birds might give you some other ideas about shapes to try, too!
Wind is not the only way seeds are dispersed! For an interesting and unexpected story about seed dispersal, see: On the importance of elephant poop (ScienceNews)
View more family science activities in the Science Activities for All Ages! area.