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U2L3: Plant Growth Lab

Background: Factors in the plant’s environment, such as the amount of sunlight and water, play a role in
the health and life span of a plant. Green plants need sunlight to carry out photosynthesis. This process
allows the plant to make food that can be used later for growth and reproduction. Without light, the
plant cannot make food, and it cannot grow. This experiment will demonstrate whether or not light is
needed for a plant to grow.

Hypothesis: I predict that if a plant gets more sunlight, it will grow more.

The independent variable in this lab is: The amount of sunlight a plant gets

The dependent variable in the lab that I am measuring is: The growth of the plant


Turnip, bean, and tomato seeds


Pots with soil

Lamps or sunlight

Procedure: List the steps below of how to do this experiment. Add as many steps as needed.

1. Set up six pots of soil and put turnip seeds in two, bean seeds in two, and tomato seeds in two.

2. Place one group of three pots (each having a different seed type) into an area that gets lots of
light, then put the remaining pots in a dark spot.

3. Water each plant 50 mL of water every day for 50 days, measuring length every 10 days.

Data Use a few seeds/plants for each group. I listed 3 for each group as an example. Use more if you
Try using a few plants for Length of the Plant (in centimeters) Observations
each group.
Write any observations you make for
Plants Day Day Day
Day 30 Day 50 each plants other than length such as
10 20 40 color, health, etc.

Plants Tomato 0.6 3.0 5.4 7.4 9.4 Good green color, looks healthy
in the
light Bean 3.5 16.2 28.3 38.2 46.2 Nice green color, looks very healthy

Turnip 1.3 7.5 9.0 9.0 9.0 Bit of brown yet largely green color,
looks healthy

Plants Tomato 0.5 4.6 7.1 8.0 8.4 Looks gray and dead, unhealthy
in the
dark Bean 2.9 18.4 26.3 29.3 30.8 No leaves and looks gray, unhealthy
Turnip 2.1 13.1 14.0 14.0 14.0 Gray and no leaves, unhealthy

Conclusions: (Answer the 3 questions below and also write down any other conclusions in this

1. What is/are the main factor(s) that determine(s) that your plants will grow into bean
plants (or other fast-growing plants that you used for your experiment) and not some
other type of plant (genetics, environment, or both)? Explain your answer.

The main factors that determine my plants will grow into the type of plant they do is
genetics. The DNA inside the seed is like code in a computer, telling it what the plant will look
like and do. Inside DNA is a combination of nitrogen bases connected in a double helix, and this
pattern determines all the physical characteristics you are born with. It does the same with
plants and animals, and so that it why the tomato seeds grow into tomato plants and the bean
seeds bean plants.

2. What is/are the main factor(s) that determine(s) the height of a plant (genetics,
environment, or both)? Explain your answer.

The factors determining the height of a plant are both genetics and environment. Certain
genes can make one plant small yet another tall but environmental factors like light and water
play a very big role as well.

3. Use specific data from your experiment to defend or refute the following statements:
Plants continue to grow throughout their lives by producing new plant material.
Photosynthesis is required for this process to occur.

Photosynthesis is the process in which green plants use the suns energy to make food and
nutrients, both of which are required for them to grow and produce new plant material. This is
backed up by my experiment. As we saw, all the plants that were left in sunlight grew taller
than the ones left in the dark except for turnips. Even so, all the plants left in sunlight looked
much healthier than the ones left in the dark and weighed more.