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Title: Botany : 49 More Science Fair Projects. Bonnet, Robert L


1
FFA Agriscience FairCDEWritten by Dr. Teri
HamlinGeorgia Agricultural EducationMarch
2001Georgia Ag Ed Curriculum
2
What is the Agriscience Fair?
  • Middle High School FFA members demonstrate and
    display agriscience projects that are extensions
    of their agriscience courses

3
Purpose Agriscience Fair
  • Encourage students to use scientific process
    reinforce skills principles learned in the
    classroom
  • Provide recognition, recruiting promotional
    opportunities for FFA program

4
Researched Based Project
  • Categories include
  • Biochemistry/Microbiology/Food Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Zoology
  • Botany (Plant Soil Science)
  • Engineering (Mechanical/Agricultural Engineering
    Science)
  • Divisions
  • Division I individual students 7th - 9th
  • Division II individual students 10th - 12th
  • Division III teams of two members 7th - 9th
  • Division IV teams of two members 10th - 12th

5
Rules
  • Enter only one project (team or individual)
  • Team 2 members working on same project
  • Projects must reflect students own work
    completed during the current year
  • Prohibited in display
  • Live animals Chemicals
  • Syringe Needles Human/Animal Cultures
  • Lasers Combustible materials
  • Open Flame
  • Crystals other than sucrose sodium chloride
  • Exhibits requiring voltages above 120AC
  • refer to CDE guide for other restrictions

6
Display
  • May consist of one or more panels
  • Must be stable free standing
  • Max size
  • 48 wide x 30 deep x 108 high from the floor
  • Upper right hand corner must have
  • Name of student(s)
  • Chapter Name
  • Title of Category
  • Division (I - IV)

7
Competition
  • State FFA Convention, April 26 - 28th
  • Display, Log Book, Project Report Interview
  • 100 possible points
  • Scores 1 to 10 given in 10 areas
  • Knowledge Gained Scientific Approach
  • Experimental Research Individual/Team Work
  • Thoroughness Information
  • Conclusions Written Report
  • Interview Visual Display

8
Project Must Use Scientific Method
  • Observation- Select a topic.
  • Question- Ask a question about what you observe.
  • Hypothesis- Predict an answer to your question.
  • Method - Decide on a way to test the hypothesis.
    The outcome must be measurable.
  • Result- Conduct experiment using defined method
    and record the results. Always repeat research
    to confirm results.
  • Conclusion- State whether your prediction was
    confirmed or not and try to explain your results.

9
Getting Started
  • Selecting a Research Topic
  • Choose a topic of interest
  • Realistic
  • (student abilities, knowledge, resources and
    time)
  • Select topic matches closely to SAE
  • Seek a topic that can be expanded
  • National winning projects (long term 2-3 year
    with performed replications more data
    collection)

10
Selecting a Topic
  • Get Ideas Resources
  • Websites search
  • Current newspaper, magazines, Educational TV
    programs
  • Librarians, Federal, State, County and Local
    agencies
  • Visit a university and speak to professors or
    graduate students involved in topic
  • Contact industrial firms doing research in topic
    area

11
Present Research
  • Effect of Colored Mulch on Tomato Root Growth

12
  • Don't hesitate to ask. If you are interested,
    most people will assist you.
  • It is very important to keep a complete
    bibliography of all material found and a list of
    people who helped.

13
Question After you decide on a topic, you need a
question
Narrow down your field of research. It is
important to focus on one question. Some
Guidelines What have you always wanted to know
in that area? Choose a question that can be
answered with a YES or a NO. What are
researchers asking in that area?
14
Rememberthe first requirement of a scientist is
curiosity
  • If a world-class physicist can spend hours
    figuring out the way curve balls work and the
    speed at which they work best, don't assume any
    question you come up with is too lowly to
    investigate.

15
Construct Theory Base
  • Search for items that will enable you to build an
    argument that the proposed research project is
    necessary and will make a contribution to the
    body of knowledge that already exists
  • Internet
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • College of Agriculture
  • Experiment Stations
  • Extension Service
  • Agribusiness

16
Students Research Proposal
  • Statement of the problem
  • Purpose and objectives of research
  • Summary of previous research
  • Method How experiment will be set up in order
    to solve the problem
  • Data collection Procedures for collecting and
    analyzing data
  • Assumptions what is your best guess hypothesis
    concerning the outcome of the experiment
  • Limitations Define any limitations that might
    impact outcome
  • Definition of Terms for person reading paper
    with no previous knowledge of subject area
  • Bibliography

17
Hypothesis
  • What do you think may be the answer to your
    question, how the project will turn out?
  • The hypothesis is the possible answer you will
    try to prove or disprove.
  • There is no right or wrong answer here.
  • As the project progresses, try to determine if
    hypothesis is true.

18
Decide on a procedure method How will you go
about doing the experiment?
  • Method will be the process by which the
    hypothesis is proved or disproved.
  • Compile a list of all the materials needed to
    conduct investigation. Keep track of costs.
  • While doing experiment, keep very accurate
    records of all steps tests performed.
  • Record failures as well as successes.

19
Record your results
  • Use a notebook to record all information or data.
  • Make charts and graphs, draw pictures or use
    videotape to show results.
  • Give facts, not opinions.
  • If experiment uses measurements, then give those
    exact measurements.
  • Do not use terms like about, more or less, close
    to, etc.

20
Record the Results
  • What was the result of the experiment?
  • Have you eliminated all variables?
  • (conditions which could affect the answer but for
    which you are not testing)
  • Repeat experiment to ensure accuracy validity.
  • It is recommend that experiment be repeated a
    minimum of 8 times to validate.

21
Conclusion Write a final report summarizing your
question, research methods and conclusion.
  • The conclusion is the answer to your question.
  • Should be clear, concise and stick to the point.
  • Resist the temptation to jump to conclusions.
  • What did your project teach you?

22
Conclusionaddress these questions
  • If you were to do your experiment again, would
    you get the same results?
  • Can there be differences? Why?
  • What happened when you tested your hypothesis.
  • Even if the experiment proved your hypothesis
    wasn't true, you've learned something. What is
    your project's importance?
  • What have you learned?

23
  • Prepare a winning display

24
Display
25
Winning Display
  • Prepare a display to give your audience a quick
    overview of
  • the question you asked, the method you used, the
    result you got, and the conclusion you came to
  • Draw charts, diagrams or illustrations to explain
    your question, methods and results
  • A neat and organized poster will obviously
    communicate your work better than a sloppy,
    disorganized one.

26
Include within Display
  • Notebook
  • Includes the nitty-gritty details of the
    experiment
  • Make sure it is complete the information in it
    clear
  • Demonstration Materials
  • Items that illustrate a scientific principle,
    equipment or materials used, or enable others to
    retrace your steps
  • Hands-on" will make an exhibit more interesting
    and help others understand your discovery
  • Use photographs to illustrate your work if your
    experiment involves valuable equipment or animals
    dangerous chemicals that are not allowed

27
Horticulture Related Agriscience Projects
28
Botany (Plant/Soil Science)
  • Study of plant life, agronomy, horticulture,
    forestry, plant taxonomy, plant physiology,
    pathology, genetics, hydroponics, algae, etc.

29
Web Sites
http//www.ffa.org/activities/agscifair/index.html
http//www.uswcl.ars.ag.gov/exper/exper.htm http
//www.florence.ars.usda.gov/kidsonly/middle/mulch5
.html http//members.aol.com/ScienzFair/botany.htm
http//www.acessexcellence.com http//www.ipl.org
/youth/projectguide/ http//www.scifair.org http/
/www.stemnet.nf.ca/jbarron/scifair.html http//do
acs.state.fl.us/marketing/planetag/ideas.htm http
//www.oxnard.org/project.html http//schoolnet.con
nectok.com/science/dr/ http//www.quantumlynx.com/
AlexanderScienceProjects/ http//www.bay.k12.fl.us
/schools/bms/hotbot_science.htm http//www.tyler.n
et/ruskhslib/sci_fair.htm http//www.ipl.org/youth
/projectguide/ http//sciencefairproject.virtuala
ve.net/ http//www.ars.usda.gov/is/kids/fair/ideas
frame.htm
30
Books
  • Biology of Plants. 5th Ed. Raven, Peter. New
    York, NY Worth Publishers, 1992. 791p. College
    or advanced high school level. Covers viruses,
    bacteria, fungi, photosynthetic molds and algae
    and plants.
  • Biotechnology Projects for Young Scientists.
    Rainis, Kenneth G and George Nassis. New York,
    NY Franklin Watts, 1998 160p. Gives
    instructions from the simple to the more complex.
  • Botany 49 More Science Fair Projects. Bonnet,
    Robert L. and Dan Keen. Blue Ridge Summit, PA
    TAB Books, 1990. 144p. A collection of
    experiments and projects in botany for grades
    6-12. Includes germination, vegetable
    reproduction, hydroponics, photosynthesis, and
    plant stimulation.
  • Botany High School Science Fair Experiments.
    Dashefsky, H. Steve. Blue Ridge Summit, PA TAB
    Books, 1995. 158p.

31
Books
  • Experiment With Plants. Byles, Monica and
    others. Minneapolis, MN Lerner Publications,
    1994. 32p. Basic information on plants and simple
    experiments that demonstrate some of their
    characteristics.
  • Exploring The World Of Plants and Soils. National
    4-H Plant and Soil Science Program Development
    Committee. Members' Manual, Unit II B. 1990.
    20p. Document Available from National 4-H
    Council, Educational Aids, 17100 Connecticut
    Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20015. Junior High
    science projects. Plant responses to fertilizers,
    water holding capacity and other experiments.
  • Janice VanCleave's Plants Mind-Boggling
    Experiments You Can Turn Into Science Fair
    Projects. VanCleave, Janice. Pratt New York,
    NY Wiley, 1997 90p.

32
Books
  • Make a Plant and Soil Science Exhibit. Dozier,
    T. Leaflet YANR No. 107. Auburn, AL Auburn
    University, Alabama Cooperative Extension
    Service, Mar. 1989. 4p.
  • Science Fair Handbook for High School Teachers.
    .Instructional Materials Service, F.E. Box 2588,
    College Station, TX 77843-2588. Texas AM
    University, Telephone 979-845-6601.
  • Science for Kids 39 Easy Plant Biology
    Experiments. Wood, Robert W. Blue Ridge Summit,
    PA TAB Books, 1991.

33
Books
  • Science Project Ideas about Trees. Science
    Project Ideas. Gardner, Robert. Springfield,
    NJ Enslow Publisher, 1999 96p. Projects
    involving the processes that take place in plants
    and trees.
  • Science Workbook Student Research Projects in
    Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources. Ohio
    Agriculture Education Curriculum Materials
    Service Rm 254, 2120 Fyffe Rd, The Ohio State
    University, Columbus, OH 43210-1067. Telephone
    614-292-4848
  • The Great Seed Mystery for Kids. Henry, Peggy.
  • NK Lawn Garden Step-by-Step Visual Guide.
  • New York, NY Avon Books, 1992 79p. Projects and
    experiments demonstrate the significance of
    seeds, how and why they grow and how to plant and
    care for a garden.

34
Examples of Horticulture Topics
  • I. New Plant from Old
  • Seed germination at varying depths
  • Temperature effects on seed germination
  • Soil Types on seed germination
  • Seed soaking effects on germination (vary length
    of time or types of solutions)
  • Dormancy time can dormancy periods be
    artificially shortened
  • Factors that effect plant cloning
  • Factors that effect rooting of asexual cuttings
  • Germination and Seedling Growth under water
    stress
  • Use of a warm germination and cold vigor test to
    determine germination and vigor of damage and
    undamaged seeds

35
  • I. New Plant from Old (cont.)
  • Different light spectrums effect on seed
    germination
  • Are there really lunar influences on seed
    germination?
  • How do different treatments change how fast seeds
    sprout?
  • What effect does seed size have on how well a
    crop like oats or wheat grows?
  • What are the effects of gravity on seed
    sprouting?
  • Does electric or magnetic fields affect seed
    sprouting or plant growth?
  • Would microwaves have an effect on seed
    germination?
  • Does tobacco or alcohol affect germination rates?
  • Does moisture pH affect sprouting of grass seeds?

36
  • II. Photosynthesis, Plant Physiology Growth
  • How covering plants or parts of plants affects a
    plants ability to produce vegetative growth
  • Plant growth by different light wavelengths
  • Chlorophyll measurement
  • Carbon dioxide deprivation
  • Carbon dioxide enhancement
  • Using paper chromatography to separate pigments
    in leaves
  • Light its effect on amount of starch (food) in
    leaf tissue
  • Genetic factors (genes) that control the
    inheritance of simple physiological
    characteristics in plants
  • Nutrient Deficiencies in Plants
  • Nitrogen Fixation
  • Measuring Photosynthesis Rate by Measuring Oxygen
    Production

37
  • II. Photosynthesis, Plant Physiology Growth
    (cont.)
  • Biological clocks in plants
  • Amount of water lost by a plant due to
    transpiration
  • Determine the ideal relative humidity for a
    particular plant
  • Can you produce new varieties by
    cross-pollinating flowers of forced bulbs?
  • Can you speed up the process of cloning by
    changing the formulation of the nutrient mix?
  • Can you grow clone mutants that tolerate harsh
    environmental conditions (think of the industry
    significance)?
  • Does crowding affect plants?
  • Does colored mulch affect the growth rate of a
    plant?
  • Does the respiration rate indicate the rate of
    plant growth?
  • Do plants grow better with tap water or distilled
    water?
  • Does photosynthesis take place in the absence of
    light?
  • Does light intensity affect the rate of
    photosynthesis?

38
  • II. Photosynthesis, Plant Physiology Growth
    (cont.)
  • Determine if a certain flowering plant is a long,
    short, or neutral day plant. Does CO2
    concentration affect the rate of photosynthesis?
  • Is the amount and rate of plant photosynthesis
    variable?
  • Which type of vegetable has the highest
    concentration of chlorophyll?
  • Is there a relationship between a leaf's starch
    and chlorophyll?
  • Can you paint images on plant leaves using light?
  • How would leaf harvesting affect a plant's health
    at different growth stages?
  • What factors affect how plants reproduce?
  • Examine whether or not the shape/angle of the
    stalk cut has any effect on the life of cut
    flowers.
  • What is the effect of temperature on the rate of
    photosynthesis?

39
  • III. Growing Media Soil
  • Test plant growth in different types of media
  • Loosened and compact soil
  • Making a nutrient solution from soil
  • Root size with hydroponics
  • Composting kitchen refuse its affect on house
    plants
  • Break down of construction materials ( stone,
    brick, cinder block other building materials)
    its affect on plants
  • Making nutrient-rich topsoil
  • Comparing the thickness of soil to the dominant
    plant species
  • Nitrogen content in soil where carnivorous plants
    live
  • The grabbing ability of sand, silt and clay
  • Evaluating the nutrient content of ant hills

40
  • III. Growing Media Soil (cont.)
  • Factors that increase decomposition rate of
    leaves
  • Container type water loss
  • Are the claims made for hydroponics true?
  • Are there fewer insects problems?
  • Is less fertilizer needed?
  • Are there greater yields?
  • What is the effect of lowering/raising the pH on
    a plant's growth?
  • What physiological functions are related to a
    plants biological clock?
  • Breeding a new iris plant
  • How do different conditions affect the speed at
    which fruit and vegetables ripen?
  • How does soil pH affect the pH of water that
    touches the soil?

41
  • III. Growing Media Soil (cont.)
  • Decomposition of common materials
  • Decomposition above and below the ground
  • Does soil type change how well crops grow?
  • How are different soil types affected by water
    running over them? (soil erosion)
  • What happens to the way plants grow if there are
    no microorganisms in the soil?
  • Are different plants affected in different ways
    by specific microorganisms?
  • Does colored mulch affect soil temperature?

42
  • IV. Stimulation
  • Phototropism
  • Natural weed killer
  • Chemotropism
  • Geotropism
  • Thermotropism
  • Touch stimulation
  • Sound stimulation
  • Reduction of stimulation
  • Effect of stimuli on plant development and fruit
    production
  • Effect of Electromagnetic fields on fruit
    production or growth
  • Effect of blue light vs red light
  • Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation on different
    plants
  • Effect of Ultraviolet Light on Plant Growth

43
  • IV. Stimulation (cont)
  • Allelopathy What happens when you grow sweet
    potatoes next to other plants?
  • To determine if brightness of light will alter
    the growth rate of a plant.
  • Is leaf size related to the amount of light
    received by a plant?
  • V. Transport
  • (projects in food, water, and waste movement
    within plant cells)
  • Transpiration in plant leaves
  • Determining root size by leaf size
  • Food storage time
  • Capillary action

44
  • VI. Fungi and Simple Plants
  • Other host for bread molds
  • Gathering airborne mold spores
  • Testing algae as a nutrient
  • Symbiosis with lichens
  • Temperature affect on the production of carbon
    dioxide by yeast
  • What is the best environment in which to grow
    mushrooms?
  • What are the steps in the lifecycle of a
    mushroom?
  • What environment is needed for moss to grow and
    flourish?

45
  • VII. Environment Health
  • Shrubs as natural sound barriers
  • Water purification
  • Compare plant growth air pollutants
  • Plant sensitivity to sulfur dioxide
  • Plant sensitivity to nitrogen dioxide
  • What is the effect of acid rain upon the growth
    of roots?
  • What are the ecosystem effects of replacing
    native wildflowers with foreign varieties of
    flowers? Effect of acid rain on the germination
    of bean seeds?
  • Determine the pH of local water sources
  • What climatic changes causes pH fluctuation?
  • Do different varieties of the same fruit have the
    same level of vitamin C?
  • What effect does cigarette smoke have on plant
    transpiration?

46
  • VII. Environment Health (cont.)
  • Does nicotine affect plant growth?
  • How does cigarette smoke affect plant growth?
  • Does caffeine affect plant growth?
  • Does the use of insecticides affect the growth of
    vegetables?
  • What is the effect of Tobacco Mosaic Virus on
    common vegetables?
  • What effect does ozone have on plant growth?
  • Which type of grass is the most drought
    resistant?
  • Why is ethylene gas important in the fresh fruit
    and vegetable industries?

47
  • VIII. Chemicals
  • Influence of hormones on plant cell development
  • Changes in plant growth caused by application of
    growth hormone
  • Can chemical hormone treatment replace cooling
    for bulbs?
  • Liquid fertilizer affects on flowering of bulbs
  • At what concentration will 2, 4-D fail to kill
    weeds?
  • What is the highest concentration of 2, 4-D that
    will stimulate plant growth? Lowest
    concentration?
  • Compare the effects on plant growth of a natural
    auxin and a synthetic hormone
  • What effect do auxins have on algae cells that
    live in water?
  • What happens to cuttings if you add various
    auxins, natural synthetic in combination with a
    cytokinin (another type of plant growth
    substance)?

48
  • VIII. Chemicals (cont.)
  • Some known effects of auxins include causing
    leaves to fall and preventing potatoes from
    rotting. Can you discover any new effects that
    auxins have on plants?
  • How do organic pesticides compare in
    effectiveness with synthetic chemical pesticides?
  • What effect do pesticides have on earthworms?
  • Creating organic fertilizers
  • Comparing lawn care methods (synthetic vs
    organic)
  • How do different types of fertilizers affect
    plant growth?
  • How close does a pesticide have to be to protect
    a plant?
  • What is the effect of MSG, sodium, and glutamate
    on plant growth?
  • What is the effect of different nitrogen
    concentrations on plant growth?

49
  • VIII. Chemicals (cont.)
  • Which brand of chemical fertilizer produces the
    greatest growth?
  • Which is the best medium for new cuttings - plain
    water, water with synthetic auxin added or water
    with fertilizer added?
  • Is food waste (tea bags, coffee grounds, orange
    rinds, banana peels, etc.) a good fertilizer for
    plants or does it harm their growth?
  • Would it help plant growth to add vitamins (A, E,
    C) to the soil?
  • Will fruit extract help bean cuttings re-grow
    root cells?
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