A Failed Experiment

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What started out as a science experiment ended up as just another plant I've killed. A few days ago we set out to learn about how plants absorb water and nutrients and then create the food they need through photosynthesis. We found a nifty little experiment in our book, 501 Science Experiments, where you take 4 white flowers, put three in water colored with food coloring and one in plain water.


Then, over several hours you begin to see the coloring travel through the stems and eventually color the petals. Sounded cool and my kids surely would have been impressed with our green, blue and red flowers...except that NOTHING happened. We checked after several hours, overnight, even one, two, three days later. Nothing changed, except that the flowers wilted, lost their petals and eventually died. Hmmmm. Not quite the result we had anticipated. (Well, truth be told, I do have quite a knack for killing any living thing that grows in soil.)


Still, all was not a loss. Aiden came running in through the front door this evening with a leaf he'd found from a Magnolia tree and exclaimed, "Mom, look what I found!" He then peeled back the top of the leaf and said, "See Mom, that green stuff, that's called Chlorophyll. that's where the plant gets it's energy."
Guess he learned something after all!
Here's an experiment from the same book that did go well. We made a compass by magnetizing a needle and using thread, a card, a pencil and a glass. It really pointed due North (we checked) and this was Aiden's face when he first saw it work...
Sarah said...

I am so flattered to see myself in your blog list!

OK, so I had the same problem with changing the color of the flowers too. But then again, once I stopped paying attention to my aloe vera plant it was much happier as well, so obviously I'm not a green thumb. At least not with indoor plants; outside my plants thrive, but then again, I have very little to do with that-- I just let mother nature take her course.

You know your quote about not wanting the village to raise your kids? It's funny, because I said almost the exact same thing to a friend of mine (who doesn't homeschool--gasp!) last week and she laughed and laughed (because she agreed). Now if I could just convince her to pull her kid from public school..........

Katie said...

Funny-we just did the very same compass experiment! Like minds think alike, I guess. Great reading your blog.

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