inquery project

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The question I choose to investigate was if beans needed soil to grow and if a bean which was soaked in water will grow faster than one that was not.

The first step was to soak several dry beans in water overnight. Put four soaked beans on a wet piece of paper toweling and four dry beans on a piece of wet paper toweling. Then I labeled two plastic cups with the start date and soaked or dry, and put the toweling and beans in the appropriate cup and placed them on the windowsill. Everyday I checked the moisture level of the toweling and added water if needed. In the middle of the second week I noticed mold forming on three of my dry beans. I choose to discard of those beans. By the beginning of the third week someone suggested keeping the beans in an open Ziploc bag to keep moisture on the toweling so I switched. At the end of my inquiry I saw that neither the soaked nor the dry beans had extensive growth and I couldn’t understand why. Below I have charted my observations and then gave possible explanations as to why this did not work properly.







Observations:
Week 1:
July 08, 2004: Start project. Leave beans in cups on windowsill.
July 10, 2004: No change.
July 12, 2004: Start to see sprouts come out of 2 beans in soaked cup.
July 14, 2004: No Change
Week 2:
July 16, 2004: Mold is starting to form on 2 beans in the dry cup. 3 beans in the soaked cup have sprouted. 1 bean in the dry cup has sprouted.
July 18, 2004: Mold is on 3 beans in the dry cup.
July 20, 2004: Threw out 3 molded beans. Sprouts and roots are seen in the soaked cup.
Week 3:
July 22, 2004: Changed from a cup to Ziploc bags. Changed paper toweling.
July 24, 2004: The bean from the dry cup has noticeable roots and a sprout
July 26, 2004: The roots in both bags are attaching themselves to the paper toweling.






My Research:
     While researching this experiment I realized that I did several things wrong. First, the beans should have initially gone into a plastic bag, this would keep in the moisture, helping the paper toweling to keep the water. Second, the beans should have been placed side by side and laid flat.

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This would have prevented the beans from molding together. By leaving the beans on top of each other in the wet paper towel it formed the right environment for the mold to grow. The bags must also be placed in an area with a lot of sunlight and the toweling must be kept damp at all times. After finding out what I did wrong I am very curious to try my experiment again to see if it would work better under different conditions.












Bibliography

1.     http://yahooligans.yahoo.com/content/ask_earl/20020911.html Why mold Grows.
2.     http://www.teachermagazine.org/tmstory.cfm?slug=01labs.h14 more about the experiment
3.     http://www.nsta.org/educationnews/&category_ID=191






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