The Germination Rate of Bean Seeds Growth Factors Lab Report

Description

Plant seeds germinate in response to a number of environmental stimuli, beginning a phase of growth that will see the seed sprout and the seedling form. In this assignment, you will investigate a single factor that affects germination in plants.

Instructions

Your task is to design an experiment that investigates a factor that affects either germination . Use a species that is easy to germinate, such as a bean plant, which you can purchase at most garden centres and some hardware stores. In some regions of the world, you may find another species of plant that are easier to germinate. You can select any plant you want, but choose something that germinates relatively quickly and easily.

The procedure is really up to you. The key is to design an experiment that tests how a change to a single factor (independent variable) will affect plant germination (dependent variable). It is important to control all other variables (control variable) in your experiment to determine whether the change  you introduced had an affect on the germination of the seed.

For example, if you want to study how light affects seed germination, you will want to set up three plants under different lighting conditions, and keep everything else—soil type, depth of planting, amount of water, fertilization, temperature—the same.   

Conditions for Seed Germination

In order to plan your experiment, you first need to understand the environmental conditions necessary for a seed to germinate into a seedling (and eventually a mature plant). Review these conditions before selecting the investigating your independent variable. 

Water

The presence of water is important to the germination of plant seeds. Early in germination, a seed will take in water and begin to swell (or grow in size). If water is only available in low quantities within the soil, germination may not occur. 

In addition, water is capable of carrying dissolved oxygen and other nutrients that are critical to development of the growing embryo. 

Oxygen

The germinating seed requires oxygen for metabolism and aerobic respiration. Although oxygen can be found within pores or pockets of the soil, it is important to ensure that the seed is positioned at the right depth to ensure it has access to a vital oxygen supply.

Temperature

In order to germinate, the soil temperature most be within the optimal range for the seed. Although most seeds will germinate within the range of 25°C – 30°C, there are exceptions where some species of plants require extremely high(40°C) or low (5°C) temperatures.

Light

The presence of light within the environment is required for some seeds to germinate. 

Part I: Planning Your Experiment

Write down the testable question you want to investigate. In order to be testable, you want to ensure that you are changing a single variable (independent) to see what quantifiable or measurable effect it has on another variable (dependent).

Identify your independent variable (the factor you are changing in your experiment).

Identify your dependent variable (the factor you are going to measure in your experiment).

Identify at least three variables you will keep constant.

Write your hypothesis statement. This should explain how believe the change in the independent variable affects the dependent variable. Ensure that you provide some background research to support your hypothesis.

Write down the materials and the planned procedure you intend to use in your experiment.

Part II: Do Your Experiment

Revise your experiment based on your teachers feedback.

Complete the experiment.

Part III: Write Your Report

Communicate your results in a lab report. 

The following information will help guide you through the process of putting together your report.

Testable Question

Your experiment should begin with a testable question that you hope to answer in your experiment.  

What makes a good question?

Does is avoid giving a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer? These are considered lower order questions and should be avoided in this course.

Can the outcome be measured? Unless specified by your teacher, you should always aim to answer your question with quantifiable data. 

Is it specific?

Is it relevant to the topic being investigated?

Hypothesis

You should have a hypothesis for your experiment that attempts to explain the relationship between your independent and dependent variables.

You should include some background information or preliminary data to support your hypothesis.

Materials

List all the materials you require to perform your experiment.

Procedure

Write out each step you took in the test. Anyone who takes your procedure should be able to replicate your tests, exactly as you performed them so be clear, concise, and descriptive.

Observations

In science, you should record all relevant observations. Often, your observations will be qualitative and might help to explain your results. 

Try to link your observations to the relevant step in the procedure.

Describe only what you observed during the experiment. For example, you should note if you make an observation that cannot be measured but may be important to your analysis of the experiment.

Results

Record the experimental data you collected in a table and graph.

Your results section should only report your findings. Do not analyse or try to interpret your data in the results section.  Leave this type of analysis for your discussion.

Do not state your results or provide analysis of your experiment in your observation section.

Your procedure should be written in the past tense and avoid the use pronouns such as ‘I’, ‘we’, or ‘they’. 

Write: 

The subject ran up 5 flights of stairs. Once completed, the heart rate and blood pressure were measured and recorded. 

Do not write:

The subject will run up 5 flights of stairs, then I will measure the heart rate and blood pressure. I will record the data in my notes.

Discussion

This will be the largest section of your lab report, where you discuss the patterns and/or trends in your results and evaluate the experimental procedures.

A discussion can take on many different formats, but should include the following:

A minimum of one paragraph that summarizes the background science involved in your experiment.

A minimum of one paragraph that summarizes the patterns and/or trends you see in your results. Include quantitative data to support your evaluation of the results. Ensure you discuss whether or not your data supports the hypothesis.

A minimum of one paragraph that discusses any errors in your methods observations that might help explain deviations in your data. Do not  discuss human error.

Conclusion

You should end your report with a short statement of your results. Summarize the main points and whether you have addressed your testable question. Use your results to support your conclusion, if possible.

Important

Your lab report must be written in your own words and sources of information properly referenced.

Assessment Details

Your submission should include the following:

Part I: Your testable question

Part I: Identification of the independent, dependent, and three control variables.

Part I: Your hypothesis

Part I: A list of all materials

Part I: Your proposed procedure

Part III: Your completed lab report that includes a testable question, hypothesis, materials, procedure, observations, results, discussion, and your conclusion