The Effect of Sugar and Salt on Lima Bean Seeds Daniel Pham Hour 2 Abstract This experiment tested the growth of lima bean seeds over a five-day period. Three plastic air-tight bags each contained two seeds. All of the seeds had already germinated prior to being placed in the bags. Each bag was filled with 150 milliliters of water. One bag had 15 milligrams of sugar mixed with in the water. Another had 15 milligrams of salt mixed in with the water. After 30 minutes, all of the water was poured out of the bags. 24 hours later, a string and a ruler was used to measure the lengths of each seed’s sprout. This method was repeated for 4 more days. On the fifth day, the researcher discovered that the plain water seeds had a length of 4.9 centimeters. Compared with the lengths of the sugar water seeds (4.8 centimeters) and the salt water seeds (4.1), it became clear that the plain water seeds had the longest length. Review of Literature • • All living things need salt, but too much can be toxic (Hill, 2005). When plants are wilted, giving them sugar will help them return to normal. Sugar water helps keep the soil moist (Litherland, 2008). • Giving the plants too much sugar, however, can negatively affect plants’ photosynthesis process (Litherland, 2008). Problem and Hypothesis Problem Will sugar water and salt water affect the length of a lima bean seed after it has germinated? Hypothesis If sugar water is given to lima bean seeds, then the sprout of the seed will grow the longer than the seeds with plain water and salt water. Experimental Design Materials 4 Air-tight bags 6 Lima bean seeds Liquid measuring cup (metric) Metric scale Ruler that measures centimeters String 650 milliliters of water 15 milligrams of granulated sugar 15 milligrams of salt Spoon/Mixing device Markers/Writing utensils Variables Control: Seeds with regular water. Independent: Type of water. Dependent: Length of the roots of the plants. Constant: Size and type of bags, temperature of the room, amount of water, and temperature of water. Procedure 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. Fill 1 bag with 200ml of water. Place all 6 lima beans inside the bag. Take all of the water out of the bag after 24 hours of soaking. Wait a few days until the 6 seeds germinate. Label one bag “Plain,” another “Sugar,” and another “Salt.” Place 2 seeds in each of the bags. Pour 150ml of water into the bag labeled “Plain.” Mix 15mg of sugar into 150ml of water and pour it into the bag labeled “Sugar.” Repeat step 8 but use 15mg of salt and pour it into the bag labeled “Salt.” Wait 30 minutes. Pour the water out of each of the bags. Close the bag. Wait 24 hours. Measure and record the length of each seed’s root. Average the length of the two seeds with the same labels. Repeat steps 13-15 for 4 more days. Data Chart and Graph Conclusion From the given data, the researcher can conclude that the seeds that were given plain water grew the longest over a five-day period. However, on the fourth day of investigation the sprout of one sugar water seed and the sprout of one plain water seed had completely separated from the seed. This meant that the researcher could not receive any more measurements from the seeds because the sprouts would stop growing. So, the lengths of the second seed in the sugar water and in the plain water were recorded as the total average without the influence of the length of the dead seeds. Despite the death of the seeds, the following hypothesis was not supported: if sugar water is given to lima bean seeds, then the sprout of the seed will grow the longer than the seeds with plain water and salt water. The seeds that were given plain water grew the longest even though the sugar water seeds had a rapid growth rate. Future and Acknowledgments Future In the future, the researcher would like to grow the seeds in soil because the seeds began to rot in the plastic bag. He also plans to conduct the experiment in warmer seasons because there were many failed tests prior to this experiment. Acknowledgments Parents for buying the materials. Mrs. Richards for giving a lesson about seeds and helping me with the experiment. • • Bibliography Hill, P. (2005). “What Effect Does Salt Water Have on Plants?” eHow. Accessed: January 11, 2010. From: http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4967967_does-salt-water-haveplants.html Litherland, N. (2008). “Effects of Sugar Water on Plants.” eHow. Accessed: January 11, 2010. From: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5016890_effects-sugar-water-plants.html Miller, E., & Miller, C. (1998). “Growing Lima Beans.” Countryside & Small Stock Journal, 82 (4), 72. Accessed: December 15, 2009. Parker, P. (2008). “How to Grow Lima Beans in a Jar.” eHow. Accessed: December 15, 2009; From: http://www.ehow.com/how_2223122_grow-lima-beans-jar.html Pleasant, B. (2009). “All About Growing Beans.” Mother Earth News, (234), 26. Accessed: December 15, 2009.