Sabiha Dalal, 6th Grade Special Education Teacher at Sepulveda MS
Research Question and Hypothesis
What is the effect of various light sources on bean growth?
What is the effect of water versus no water on bean growth?
Investigation and Experimentation
6. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:
d.) Identify the dependent and controlled variables in a scientific investigation.
f.) Select appropriate tools (e.g., thermometers, meter sticks, balances, and graduated cylinders) and make quantitative observations.
g.) Record data by using appropriate graphic representations (including charts, graphs, and labeled diagrams) and make inferences based on those data.
Most plants come from seeds and when a seed sprouts it is called germination. The first
sign that a seed is sprouting is when the seed coat or case breaks open and the root
pushes out. All seeds do not germinate in the same amount of time. The time it takes for a
seed to begin to grow is called germination starting time.
Students will measure and compare bean growth between lima beans and kidney beans that are exposed to different variables such as sunlight, no sunlight, wet and dry. As the plants grow, students will observe how the appearances change daily while charting, measuring and observing.
Light, water & time. These are measured in absolute terms. Ex. "either there is light or no light"
Seed growth. This is measured with a measuring tape.
Study the growth of bean seeds as a function of time, with varied light and wetness.
Constants and Controls
Constant - time
Control - observational study, none
20 kidney beans
- 20 lima beans
- 8 ziploc bags
- 8 paper towels
- Measuring tape
1.) Soak 20 lima beans and 20 kidney beans in water (for 24 hours).
2.) Once soaked, each student should receive eight ziploc bags and eight paper towels.
3.) Label each ziploc bag numbers 1 through 8.
4.) Fold each paper towel into fourths and dampen 4 out of the 8 paper towels.
5.) Start labeling all 8 bags: kidneys beans wet sun, kidney beans dry sun, kidney
beans wet no sun, kidney beans dry no sun, lima beans west sun, lima beans dry
sun, lima beans went no sun, & lima beans dry no sun.
6.) Place 5 beans in the appropriate bag and put the bags in the appropriate setting to
match their label.
7.) Observe, measure and record the growth everyday. Measurments of growth
(in cm) should be included on your table.
Sample data and graphs
See attached excel spreadsheet
Analysis & Conclusions
Here are some questions to consider after graphing your data:
1.) Do seeds need light to germinate?
2.) Do all seeds take the same amount of time to germinate? Explain.
3.) Which beans grew faster, the lima beans or the kidney beans? Why?
4.) Why was so much moss developing on the beans? Especially the lima beans.
5.) Under which condition did the beans grow the fastest?
6.) How does this activity connect to the water cycle?
7.) Repeat this activity with other variables and additional beans.
8.) Did your data match other classmates data?
1.) No...some of the seeds were able to germinate without light. Also, seeds are in soil which is
2.) All seeds do not take the same amount of time to germinate. This is why it takes crops
different amounts of time to grow (radish vs corn). Also, different seasons are better for
3.) The beans have different germination rates.
4.) The environment was not conducive to growth.
6.) The beans and wet paper towel created their own ecosystem in the Ziploc bag through
evaporation and transpiration.