Sunday, January 30, 2011

One Hundred Flowers - A Science Experiment

Stemming (punny!) from our One Hundred Flowers art lesson and brief introduction to plant parts was a science experiment.

I remember doing this experiment in 7th grade. I loved it! I couldn't wait to share it with the girls. Who knew it would be so hard to find white carnations? With January nearing an end (how did that happen so fast?) and Valentine's around the corner I thought I'd be able to find them anywhere, and in abundance. I found 2. I wanted 3. But I found 2 and one's stem was already broken. I thought it would be ok with this experiment so I bought what I could.

What are we learning about? Capillary Action - how water gets from the ground to the flower.


We trimmed our carnations to fit in the glasses. We put one in the yellow glass. 

Then I cut the stem of the second flower in half long ways and put one side of the stem in the blue water and the other side in green.

We left them alone after this to see what would happen. Kennedy drew a picture of the three flowers in her science journal. I split the journal page up into 4 days so she could track the progress of capillary action.


The Second Day

The carnation in the yellow glass had turned yellow!

But the carnation that had been split did not do near as well. This is the only area on the green side that changed colors. 

And those few little streaks of blue is all that we have to show for that side of the flower. I'm thinking it is because the flowers were not fresh. As you can see in the pictures their edges were already starting to brown. We'll try again the next time I can find fresh white carnations.


The Third Day
Today we moved the yellow flower into the green glass and threw out the split flower. Hoping to see some new change (and not Obama's!) in the morning!

Science Sunday


An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

You got great results! We've never had much luck with color changing on carnations - maybe I've never gotten them fresh either - you've given me something to think about!

Ticia said...

Have you been able to do it before with a split flower? I've never seen that variation, and have had mixed results with it.

Becky said...

If I remember correctly the split flower worked when I was in 7th grade. But I do know that we had "special" carnations ... a certain variety, ordered from a florist. This is the first time I've tried it since then but we will definitely give it another go.