Will Tom's Plant Perish?

By Kate Fraser on May 30, 2015

Perkins School for the Blind Secondary school student shares his science fair project. 

After deciding between some experiments, I finally decided to see what would happen if I gave a plant hydrogen peroxide instead of water. I chose this experiment, because I knew that hydrogen peroxide is very similar to water in the sense that the only difference between the two of them is that water has one less oxygen atom.  I wanted to see what would happen if I watered one of my plants with hydrogen peroxide instead of water.  I know that hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen I predicted that the oxygen would evaporate, and the plant would be able to use the left over water to grow.  This is the experiment I have decided to do for the science fair.

One thing you might not know about my experiment, is how my plants grow. Each plant has three stems, and four leaves on each stem. The plants need either full sunlight, or partial sunlight to grow. You might also want to know the chemical formula for hydrogen peroxide which is H₂O₂. Also if you are ever doing an experiment that involves plants, you should know that if leaves are turning yellow, it is good to take those leaves off the plant, so that there is more energy for the other ones. This is some information that should help you understand my experiment.
 
My plants for my experiment will be set up as follows; the experimental plant on the right, and the control plant on the left. There will be a poster with information about my experiment. I will also be watering the plants some more during the science fair. I have decided to use parsley for this experiment. This is what I will have on display at the science fair.
 

Preparation:

  • Label one plant in Braille and print- Experimental. This is the plant to which the hydrogen p[peroxide will be added.
  • Label the other plant -Control. This is the plant that will receive only water. 
  • Plants need to be in full sun, 21.1 degrees Celsius soil
  • Hypothesis: If the oxygen evaporates in the soil, then the water will be left behind and help the plant grow.
 
plants

Materials

  • 2 plants of similar size
  • Tray
  • Hydrogen peroxide 3% solution
  • Water
  • 50 mL measuring cup or syringe
  • Talking Lab Quest and temperature sensor
  • Goggles
  • Apron
 

Procedure

  1. Identify and label plants ‘control’ and ‘experimental’.
  2. Day 1: Water control plant with 50 mL of water and experimental plant with 50 mL of hydrogen peroxide.
  3. There will be 4 days between times of watering.
  4. Maintain soil temperature at 21.1 degrees Celsius. (Check soil temperture with Talking Labquest and a temperature sensor)
  5. Day 2: Make observations about both plants. Water control plant with 50 mL of water and add 50 mL of hydrogen peroxide to the experimental plant.
  6. Day 3: Make observations about both plants. Water control plant with 50 mL of water and add 50 mL of hydrogen peroxide to the experimental plant.
  tom with his plant and hydrogen peroxide

Observations:

The plants looked healthy. The leaves on the experimental plant look darker than the ones on the control plant. The new stems identified on day one, on both plants, grew 5 cm by day three observations.   

Conclusion:

My hypothesis was supported because the plant grew 5 cm.   

NGSS Standards:

LS1.A: Structure and Function
Systems of specialized cells within organisms help them perform the essential functions of life. (HS-LS1-1)
Feedback mechanisms maintain a living system’s internal conditions within certain limits and mediate behaviors, allowing it to remain alive and functional even as external conditions change within some range. Feedback mechanisms can encourage (through positive feedback) or discourage (negative feedback) what is going on inside the living system. (HS-LS1-3)
 
toms plant
 
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