Experiment 4

Are small amounts of soap or detergent harmful to the growth of plants?

Materials:

 

Radish or beet seeds

Soap and detergent

3 Styrofoam cups

Soil

Water

2 Quart jars

Do this first:

 

Fill the jars to the same levels with water, and then make soap and detergent solutions. For one jar use 1/4 teaspoon detergent and fill with water. For the other, use 1/4 teaspoon soap and fill with water.

 

1.Plant 2 seeds in each cup, about 1-cm deep, and place in a sunny windowsill.

 

2. Water one cup with 2 tablespoons of soap solution every day.

 

3. Water a second cup with 2 tablespoons of detergent solution every day.

 

4. Water the remaining cup with 2 tablespoons of tap water every day.

 

5. Chart the growth of plants in each cup. Compare the results. Which sprouts first? Which grows fastest?

OTHER IDEAS TO EXPLORE:

 

What happens to soap when it leaves your bathtub?

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