Sunday, 25 November 2007

Improving on Nature?

We've been doing more experiments. This one took days to complete but we had fun setting it up and were pleased with the results. We've talked frequently in the garden about how plants take up water from their roots and it travels up the stems, but this lets them actually see it happening.


We started by making strong solutions of food colouring - one pink and one blue - in oddly appropriate glasses, and then standing some poor white flowers and sticks of celery in them.
We let them stand overnight, and by the next day we could see the vessels clearly stained in a slice of celery. The light was rotten - this was midday, outside.



It made me want to buy a tiny microscope - too soon, too soon. Though I am tempted to buy one for myself.

After another day or so the white flowers had blue (or pink) streaks in the petals


and the celery was nothing short of alarming! (if you click on this one you can see the tiny veins in the leaf are dyed. I know, I'm a geek.)


Would you eat that?! Really, this is the only good use for celery, I think. To me it is just evil in plant form.

I've found a couple of good books of experiments for little people, and this one is a cross between stuff I did at school and ideas from "The Usborne Big Book of Experiments". There's a newer version of it - a book of Science Things to Make and Do, like those fairy books they do - that I think I may request from Father C in a month or so. I have tried to be a good girl ...

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for the book links - I've just added the first one to my on-going Amazon shopping basket for the children for Christmas! I love reading what you have been up to! Lucy x

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  2. Oh this osunds fun...I think I shall be trying this later in the week...

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  3. Oh thank you! For the experiment idea and the book recommendations. Perfect for Christmas!

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  4. Hi ... I've been reading your blog for a while, but have been tempted out of the comment closet by that fantastic experiment. We are currently growing mould on various bits of food for a school project - not sure I'll post pictures though - it's disgusting!

    Keep up the good work :-)

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  5. Wow what brilliant experiments! I shall have to show miss T after school as she is also thinks celery is disgusting! We did try and grow alge but managed to kill it!

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  6. Fantastic experiments - especially with the school holidays coming up...

    our eldest (11) wants and is getting a microscope for Christmas - who we to get in the way of science?

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  7. blue celery! and to think I like celery, I may never look at it the same again!

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  8. My girls both love this kind of stuff! They did the celery experiment at school and talked avbout it nonstop. Celery looks prettier dyed!
    Kim x

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  9. Great post!
    Loved it and you're no geek ,just lust for life!
    I clicked to see it bigger!
    Happy Holidays!
    Sandra Evertson

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  10. I love the blue streaks on the white flower. I haven't done this experiment with my two but I know they'd love it.
    Blue celery - yum!
    xxx

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  11. Such fun! It's amazing to see what happens...and it's a natural curiosity about life! Great links too--thanks. May the experiments and reports on them continue! Happy week ((HUGS))

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  12. That looks like a fun experiment :)

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  13. Love celery raw or cooked. You can do this experiment with carrots as well, the ones sold with tops. The really brilliant thing about all these experiments is that you can use them for all ages not just young children but those doing GCSE's as well the experiments remain the same the expanations just get a bit more technical.
    Have you grown plants in water yet, mine always loved doing that Tradescantia is a good subject or a money plant cutting or even a baby spider plant - if you start now you should have enough root growth to have the plants potted up in time to use them as little Christmas gifts.

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  14. I used to love to do that with celery when I was small - I'd completely forgotten about it (rummages in the cupboard for food dye)

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  15. I had a hypodermic needle left over from when I had to inject the chickens with antibiotics (the vet had that much confidence - it scarred me for life!). Filled with ink I did the same thing with a rose petal - if you find the main "vein" in the petal and push the dye in there it spreads all over and looks wonderfully morbid (I did use black dye). Very interesting indeed :)

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  16. Another terrific variation on this project is to split the stem of the flower with a knife, and put each end into a different color dye.

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  17. you remind me of my friend who thinks celery is the biggest food farse on the planet... LOL

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