A disoriented sprout still knows which way is up.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Disoriented Sprout Experiment

No matter how you try to fool them, seeds know which way is up! Watch them struggle towards the ceiling with a disoriented sprout experiment.

What You'll Need:
  • Glass or plastic jar
  • Potting soil
  • Lima bean seeds
  • Water
  • Black paper
  • Tape
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rubber band

Step 1: Fill a plastic or a glass jar with potting soil, and push a seed right next to the side of the jar where it can be easily seen.

Step 2: Place three more seeds around the jar where they can also be seen.

Step 3: Moisten the soil with water, and check daily to see if the seeds have begun to sprout.

Step 4: Once the seeds have sprouted, cover the outside of the jar with the black paper. Make a lid for the jar with plastic wrap and a rubber band.

For the next 12 days you will be changing the position of the jar. During those 12 days, check the moisture level of the soil each day or two and add a little water whenever needed to keep the soil moist.

  • To begin the position-changing experiment, lay the jar on its side.
  • After three days, turn the jar upside down.
  • After another three days, but the jar back on its side.
  • Finally, set the jar right side up for 3 days.

After the 12 days of position changing, remove the black paper. You will discover that the beans kept changing their growth pattern in order to keep growing upward even though there was no light to show them which way was up.

In the next science activity of science projects for kids: classifying plants, you'll study the way that wilderness can reclaim a field.

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