Monday, October 22, 2012

Alex's Science Experiment Set Up - Phase III

Song:  Painting The Sun

Artist:  David Lanz

With all of the equipment gathered and the culling of the plants 
of dissimilar height completed
(after comfortably exhausting their seed reserves after sprouting in darkness...
some of the plants were dying)...
Alex and I moved on to the next phase of his science experiment
(the exposure of the plants to various spectrums of visible light...
to either prove or disprove his hypothesis of red light being the single 
most used band of light the plants use to grow).

I had bought more black poster paper to make into tubes to fit around each plant.

For every color and the clear plastic...
I had glued aluminum foil around the upper halves of each tube to reflect
enough light around the inside to ensure each plant had adequate exposure
(I had bought a special full spectrum plant light for this purpose).

I then cut each poster paper to appropriate width strips so we could roll and tape 
them into tubes (Alex and I spent hours doing this...the paper was very stiff).

I made 3 tubes each of Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Opaque, and Clear
(only the Opaque had no foil inside).

I then taped the top end of each tube with the appropriate color and left
some spacing between the downward facing plastic and the top of the tube
for free gas exchange, and heat and moisture release.

I had picked 21 plants of the most similar height and plants of as equal vigor as I could...
out of 140 sprouts we had growing.

I then taped three like tubes together and placed them over the same color groups
(I had decided that to pick as equal as possible plants to start out with
outweighed starting the plants at separate times.
We simply made three simultaneous trials).

As the placement of the tubes over the plants is a delicate operation...
I did it...and will do so each time Alex must record the height of each plant.

The opaque tubes are in the background for the no light control group
(to control for unexhausted plant seed energy).

The control plants under full spectrum lighting without tubes are on the right.

The light set up is on an automatic timer.
It is set for 10 hrs. a day of light (optimum for Mung Bean Sprouts).

Alex is keeping an experimental log for each measurement he does over the next month.

I am taking pictures of each step in the experiment.

He will then have to compile his stats and make his report.

He will then have to make a presentation board showing his notes...
pictures, results, and full report.

For right now...
it is just waiting and measuring for the next month...
or until the sprouts reach the top of the tubes.

At the conclusion of this experiment...
it is Broccoli and Daikon sprouts for salads (I have seeds)...
and Shishito pepper plants to fire grill (if I can get the seeds)...
to make for easy and healthful eating.


  1. Now we get to the fun part. It will be very interesting to see how the different plants do!

  2. Hopefully everything keeps going well. There is no time left to redo the experiment in case of catastrophic failure of the plants.


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