Science Experiment


How to Do the Coloured Celery Science Experiment


The xylem -- or the tiny tubes that carry water up through a plant -- are easily observed in celery.

 
This easy celery science experiment demonstrates how plants absorb water out of the soil with their root system, then send it up into the rest of the plant. By using colored water you can track the movement of water through the celery stalk.
 
This experiment is appropriate for grade school children learning about plant growth and plant anatomy. Allow the children to do as many of the steps as possible on their own, within reason.

 Things You'll Need

  • Tall clear glass container, such as a clear vase
  • Water to fill the container
  • Red or blue liquid food coloring

Instructions1

1.Fill the tall glass with water. Add at least five drops of food coloring, more if desired. The darker the color of the water, the easier it will be to observe the water moving up through the xylem of the celery. Use a wooden spoon to gently stir the food coloring. If children are doing this step, have them wear protective clothing; food coloring is very difficult to wash out of clothes.

2.Cut the bottom off of the celery with a sharp knife -- have a responsible adult do this -- and put the celery into the colored water. Observe and discuss what the celery looks like at this point. Have the children record their observations.

3.Put the glass or vase in a safe place and let the celery sit in it overnight.

4.The next day, take a look at the celery. Observe what has happened overnight. There should be lines of the colored water moving up inside of the celery, showing clearly the xylem throughout the stalk. Discuss with the children why this occurred and have them record the findings.

Green celery is a common ingredient in many kitchens. However, it's not so routine to see purple or blue stalks. Thanks to the wonders of plant root systems anyone can make rainbow-colored celery quickly and easily.

Most plants require water to grow, and liquid makes up much of celery's composition. This experiment illustrates capillary action and transpiration, two processes that keep a plant moist and help it to produce food through photosynthesis.

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 Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Fresh celery stalks, with leaves
  • One-cup measuring cup

Instructions

1 Cut about one half inch to one inch of celery from the bottom of the stalk. Exposing fresh xylum, or water-carrying channels, will allow for better water distribution and coloring.

2 Fill the cup or bowl with one cup of water. Keep the temperature cool or cold to prevent wilting or softening.

3 Add at least five drops of food coloring to the water, adding more for darker color. The food coloring can be any color combination you'd like. Stir well.

4 Place the celery in the water and leave it. The colored water will rise through the stalk, rising higher the longer the celery sits in the water. This is a direct show of capillary action and transpiration.

5 Remove the celery after it has reached the desired color. The celery is safe to consume or use in cooking, but wash it first to remove any excess food coloring.

Capillary action allows water to be pulled through the thin tubes because the molecules of the water are attracted to the molecules that make up the tube. The water molecules at the top are pulled up the tube and the water molecules below them are pulled along because of their attraction to the water molecules above them." Transpiration is the process of water evaporation through the leaves that acts to pull even more water through the root system of the celery.

Purple food coloring is a great color to have on hand in the spring. The color looks bright and cheery on Easter...

How to Color Carnations With Food Coloring

Although white carnations are beautiful just as they are, it can be fun to trick Mother Nature just a bit and alter the color of the carnations. With food coloring, you can make the carnations nearly any color you desire. Coloring white carnations with food coloring can be a simple science experiment to demonstrate to kids how the carnations "drink" water and nourishment even without their roots. It can also be a way to create fun bouquets for special occasions. Make a single-color bouquet or create a bright rainbow of colored carnations.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 white carnations
  • Newspapers or old tablecloth
  • Apron or old clothes

Instructions

1. Purchase at least eight white carnations. Inexpensive carnations can be found at garden centers or supermarkets. Choose fresh carnations and avoid those that look wilted.

2. Spread a layer of newspapers or an old tablecloth on your work surface. Wear an apron or old clothes because food coloring can stain if it's spilled.

3 Fill eight disposable plastic cups half full with lukewarm water, and add 15 to 30 drops of food coloring to each cup of water. More food coloring means more vivid colors for your carnations. If you want all the carnations to be the same color, you can use a vase half full of lukewarm water, instead of small cups.

4 Use a pair of scissors to cut the end of each carnation at an angle. A fresh angled cut will ensure that the stem will be open and ready to take up fluid.

5 Put one carnation in each cup of water. Check the colors of the carnations every few hours to see how much color has been absorbed. The carnations may color very quickly, or it might take an entire day for the color to reach the tips of the petals. If the colors look too pale, add a few more drops of food coloring. Blue and red food coloring will be absorbed quickly, and green or yellow will take longer.

6 Remove the carnations from the colored water when they reach the desired level of color. Rinse the ends of the stems, and clip off the ends with scissors so the carnation will absorb fresh water. Put the colored carnations in a vase filled with fresh, clear water.

Tips & Warnings

  • To make the experiment even more interesting, slit the end of a carnation stem lengthwise with a sharp knife. Set two cups side by side, and put each split stem in its own cup of water and food coloring. Try different combinations, and watch what happens to the color of the white carnation.

How to Change the Color of White Carnations


Change the color of this white carnation with food coloring.

Carnations are available from florists in a variety of bright colors. Creating these custom-colored carnations at home is a simple process that takes less than a day. Coloring your own carnations gives you access to more color variety than what you can purchase. Dye white carnations to match a celebration theme, or dye carnations with children as a science project studying how flowers use their stems to drink water. Experiment with different colors until you find your favorite.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic cups
  • Food coloring
  • Spoon

Instructions

1 Fill the plastic cups with water. Use one cup for each color of carnation you want to make.

2 Place food coloring into the water one drop at a time until you reach the desired color intensity. The more food coloring you add, the brighter the colored carnation will be.

3 Cut off the bottom of the carnation stem an angle. Hold the stem underwater while cutting to avoid air getting into the stem and inhibiting water absorption.

4 Place the carnation in the dye cup. Let it sit for up to 24 hours. As the flower draws water up the stem, the petals will change color to reflect that of the water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Split the ends of a carnation stem and place one end in one color of water and the other in a different color to create bi-color carnations.

 

 

How to Do a Celery Science Experiment


Science is never easy but it can certainly be fun. The "Celery Science" experiment is a classic demonstration in the primary classroom. It clearly demonstrates how water moves though plants and teaches the students what a "control" is in any experiment.

 

Xylem





Tracheids and vessel elements

In vascular plants, the xylem is the tissue that carries water up the root and stem. In trees, it constitutes wood; the word is derived from Greek ξύλον xúlon, "wood, timber". Together with the phloem, the xylem is one of the two types of transport tissues in plants. The cell walls of xylem cells derive most of their strength from lignin, a chemical compound produced only by plants.


Structure


Xylem (in angiosperms) is composed of vessel elements and tracheids (gymnosperm xylem consists only of tracheids). Vessel elements are similar in structure to the sieve-tube members of the phloem, but they lack companion cells and do not have perforated sides as well as pores at the ends. Tracheids are much narrower cells, with tapered and perforated ends, constituting most of the volume of the xylem tissue. Both tracheids and vessel elements are dead at maturity.

A xylem vessel element is an elongated cell that dies once it has functionally matured. When the interior of a xylem vessel element disintegrates, the thickened cell wall remains, forming a nonliving passage for the flow of water. Vessel elements form in plant parts that no longer elongate. Vessel elements are usually wider, shorter, thinner walled, and less tapered than tracheids. They are aligned end to end, forming long micropipes, the vessels of xylem. The end walls of vessel elements are perforated, enabling water to flow through vessels.

Xylem cells are also known as tracheary elements . This name was applied by Marcello Malpighi after noticing similarities between the tracheae of insects and xylem cells.

In perennial plants, xylem is laid down in multiple phases. Primary xylem is one of the tissues left behind by the apical meristem. Secondary xylem is laid down by vascular cambium on the outside of the xylem column.

Contents


The xylem sap consists mainly of water and inorganic ions, such as nitrate, although it can contain a number of organic chemicals as well.

Mechanism


Xylem sap always moves from the roots to the leaves. It travels by bulk flow, like water in a series of pipes, rather than by diffusion through cells. Two phenomena cause xylem sap to flow:

  • The soil solution (see soil) is more dilute than the cytosol of the root cells. Thus, water moves osmotically into the cells, creating root pressure. Even under optimal conditions, root pressure can only lift water a couple of feet.
  • By far the most important cause of xylem sap flow is transpirational pull. This is the reverse of root pressure, caused by the transpiration of water from leaves. In larger plants such as trees, the root pressure and transpirational pull work together as a pump that pulls sap from the soil up to the leaves where it is transpired.

 

 


 


Transportation of Liquid and Food in Vascular Plants

Plant cells must receive water, nutrients, oxygen, and food and have wastes (such as carbon dioxide) removed. In vascular plants, xylem and phloem, miniature tube-like tissues, transport materials throughout the parts of the plants.

In this project, you will demonstrate how liquids move through vascular plants that have fibrovascular bundles consisting of xylem, phloem, and supportive fibers. You will also determine factors affecting the rate of translocation, such as the presence of leaves, light, and humidity.

Purpose: To demonstrate the transportation of liquid through a plant's vascular system.

Materials


  • one clear drinking glass
  • water
  • red food coloring
  • knife
  • 2 fresh stalks of celery with leaves (preferably the pale innermost stalks)

Procedure


  1. Fill the glass about one-fourth full with water.
  2. Add enough food coloring to make the water in the glass a deep red color.
  3. Use the knife to cut across the bottom end of each celery stalk.
  4. Stand the cut end of the stalks in the glass of colored water.
  5. Observe and record the appearance of the stalks every hour for the first three hours. Make as many additional observations as often as possible during the first 12 hours. Be sure to record the time of each observation, starting with zero and indicating the amount of time that passes between each of the observations described. Include diagrams as part of the descriptions (see


 

  1. the sample data table in Figure 10.1).After 12 hours, remove one stalk of celery from the glass.
  2. Observe and record the appearance of the outside of this stalk.
  3. Use the knife to cut slices across the stalk. Remove sections 1 inch (2.5 cm) long from the bottom, middle, and top of the stalk. Observe and record the appearance of the slices.
  4. After 24 hours, observe the outside of the stalk still standing in the colored water.
  5. Cut three sections from this stalk as before (step 8). Observe and record their appearance.

Results


During the first three hours, a faint red color can be seen rising up the stalks. After 12 hours, the leaves are reddish in color, and slices taken from the stalk reveal tiny red dots spaced around the outside edges. After 24 hours, the leaves show more of a red hue, but the stalk slices appear the same.

Why?


Vascular plants are plants that have special tissues for transporting food, minerals, and water (a system called translocation). These vascular tissues are made up of bundles of tubes. Phloem tubes transport food manufactured in the leaves to other parts of the plant The movement of water from the roots to the leaves is accomplished by xylem tubes. This upward movement of water against the downward pull of gravity is the result of capillary action and transpiration.

Capillary action is the rising of a liquid in small tubes because of adhesive and cohesive forces. Adhesion is the attraction between dissimilar molecules such as the attraction that water molecules have for the molecules that make up the sides of the xylem tubes. Cohesion is the attraction between similar molecules such as the attraction that water molecules have for one another. The adhesive attraction of the water molecules to the sides of the tubes moves the water up the sides of the tubes. The water molecules clinging to the tubes then pull the water below up the center of the tubes.

Transpiration is the evaporation of water through leaf pores called stomata. As the water evaporates from the plant, more water molecules are pulled in at the roots; thus, a continuous flow of water enters the roots and rises in the xylem, bringing necessary nutrients dissolved in the water to the plant This movement is evident by the intensifying of the red color in the leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


Spotted: How is Water Transported Through Plants?


Problem


How is water transported through plants?

Materials


  • 2 drinking glasses
  • tap water
  • red food coloring
  • celery bunch with leaves
  • adult helper
  • paper towels
  • magnifying lens

Procedure


  1. Fill each glass one-fourth full with water.
  2. In one glass, add enough red food coloring to turn the water bright red.
  3. Select two stalks from the innermost part of the celery bunch. They should have leaves and a pale green color.
  4. Ask an adult helper to cut across the bottom of each celery stalk.
  5. Stand the cut end of one celery stalk in the glass of red water, and the other in the clear water.

 
  1. Leave the celery stalks in the glasses overnight.
  2. Remove the stalks of celery from the glasses, and dry each stalk with a paper towel.
  3. Use the magnifying lens to study the entire outer surface of each celery stalk.
  4. Ask your adult helper to cut a 2-inch (5-cm) section from the bottom of each stalk.
  5. Use the magnifying lens to study the cut surfaces of each section.
  6. Ask your adult helper to cut a 2-inch (5-cm) section from each stalk at the end nearest the leaves.
  7. Again, use the magnifying lens to study the cut surfaces of the celery sections.

Results


The leaves and stalk of the celery standing in the clear water are green. The stalk taken from the red water has reddish-colored leaves, and tiny red stripes can be seen running down its entire length beneath the surface. Sections cut from both stalks have a single row of tiny dots near one outer edge. These dots are red in the section cut from the stalk that was in the red water. The surfaces of the cross sections cut at the top and bottom of the same stalk are similar.

Why?


The cross sections of the celery stalk revealed that the colored water rose from the bottom of the stalk through tiny tube like structures to the top of the stalk. These water-carrying vessels in plants are called xylem tubes. The red food coloring stains the thick walls of the xylem tubes, so they appear as red circles on the cross sections. In nature, xylem tubes transport a liquid mixture of water, sugars, and minerals up to the leaves of the plant. This watery mixture is called sap.

Try It With A Microscope


Microscope Procedure


  1. Ask your adult helper to cut a very thin slice from each stalk of celery.
  2. Place the slices on separate microscope slides.
  3. Observe and make a drawing of each slide as seen through the microscope.

Microscope Results


Small, colorless cells crowd together around the outer edge of the celery slices, surrounding larger cells, which are side by side in the center. Large, dark-looking masses appear near one edge of each slice and are red on one of the slices.

Let's Explore


Do flower stems contain xylem tubes? Repeat the original experiment using a white carnation. Science Fair Hint: Make colored diagrams of the results of the experiment and use them as part of a project display.



 

Science Projects on the Vascular Tissue of Plants



Studying vascular tissue helps students understand how plants receive nutrients.

1.Transferring liquid and food

·         Vascular plants have tube-like tissues called xylem and phloem. These are small tissues that are responsible for moving food and nutrients throughout the plant. In this science project, students will use using celery and food coloring to demonstrate and observe how the nutrients move. When celery is left in the food coloring, it absorbs the food coloring through these small tissues. The tissues and the path the nutrients follow then becomes visible.

2.The Effects of Foreign Substance on Food Growth


·         This project shows that substances such as sugar and salt can affect the growth of plants. Radish seeds and soil that has had either sugar or salt added are used to show the negative effects of these substances.

·         The purpose behind this experiment is to help farmers and environmentalists understand how to optimize the growth of plants and vegetables.

3.Temperature and Plants


·         This science project determines whether the temperature of soil effects the rate of plant growth. The experiment uses soil that is heated to various temperatures and tracks the difference in plant growth in these soils. Understanding how heat and cold effects plants is useful for farmers who grow food and companies that store vegetables and fruit.

4.Photosynthesis


·         Plants produce oxygen through photosynthesis. It is possible to see the oxygen that plants produce if you put a plant underwater. The oxygen from the plant forms bubbles. One variation of this project proves that the plant has produced oxygen: the experimenter uses a test tube to collect the oxygen and sets fire to a piece of wood which uses the oxygen to be able to burn. A variation on this experiment could be to test the rate of oxygen creations when the plant is placed in different temperatures of water.

IN THE REAL WORLD

Capillary action is part of the reason that water rises in a plant stem and moves throughout the plant. The water enters the plant’s roots and moves to other parts of the plant through tiny tube-like structures called xylem. Xylem are part of the plants transpiration system, through which nutrients, including water, are transported throughout the plant.

The leaves of the celery take on a reddish color because the red water moves through xylem tubes of the celery. This movement is called capillary action, which is one part of the plants transpiration system.
 

Discover for Yourself

1. Fill a plastic cup about one-fourth full with water. Add about ten drops of red food coloring and stir.

2. Select an inner stalk of celery. You want one that has pale green leaves.

3. Use scissors to cut across the end of the celery stalk. Observe and make note of the color of the cut end of the celery stalk. Also make note of the color of the leaves on this stalk.

4. Stand the celery stalk, cut end down,  in the red water.

5. Observe the color of the color of the leaves on the celery stalk periodically for two or more days.

Results: The pale green leaves take on a reddish color.This is because the red coloring dissolved in the water and moved with the water through the xylem tubes in the celery stalk and leaves The red coloring was deposited in the leaves, but most of the water evaporated through tiny opening in the leaves. The evaporation of the water from plants is called transpiration. This evaporation of the surface water from the xylem tubes results in more water being pulled into the roots to keep the xylem tubes filled. Thus, there is a continued movement of water through the plant.

Note: Nutrients in the soil that dissolve in water are transported to the cells in plants in a similar way that the red coloring was transported to the leaves of the celery.

 

 

 


 


Transpiration


Transpiration is the loss of water from a plant’s surface, generally from the leaves. Transpiration rate is a measure of how much water is lost in a period of time. The transpiration rate of a large tree on a hot, dry day can be several hundred gallons of water. Most of this water exits the leaves as water vapor.

Discover for Yourself

You can discover the transpiration rate a few leaves. Do this by securing a plastic bag over leaves on a stem. After a period of time, at least 24 hours, remove the bag and pour the collected water into a measuring cup. Note that the water leaves the leaves as water vapor (gas) and changes to liquid water inside the bag. The two processes for this change are:

Evaporation: The change from a liquid to a gas.

Condensation: The change from a gas to a liquid.

More to Discover:

Variables are things that can change. When you experiment you should try to compare two variables. You will change one variable and observe any changes in the second variable. YIKES!! This probably is a clear as muddy water. Let me restate this using an example.

For the transpiration experiment, you can change the amount of time you collect the water. Your experimental problem could be:

How does time affect the amount of water a plant transpires? Or How does time affect transpiration rate?

What are some variables that might affect transpiration rate?

type of plant
 
wind
 
leaf size
 
air temperature
 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 



 

           

The xylem and phloem are the two kinds of tissues that transport water and other nutrients within plants. The xylem carries water up through the plant. The phloem transports nutrients, most notably glucose, down throughout the plant.

Xylem and Phloem: The Xylem


In Classical Greek, “xylem” translates to “wood.” This makes sense, as the most common xylem tissue is wood. The xylem supply all of the parts of a plant with water by transporting water up through the plant. Xylem are long tubes called vessels. They pump water from the roots up, replacing the water that plants lose to transpiration and photosynthesis.

Xylem and Phloem: How the Xylem Transport Water


Plants depend on xylem to replace the water that evaporates off of their leaves. The xylem can transport their sap through transpirational pull. In transpirational pull, water transpires, or evaporates, off of plant surfaces into the atmosphere. As transpiration pulls water out of the plant, the water tension within the plant pulls water from the plant’s roots and soil back into the leaves. This water tension is strong enough to lift water hundreds of meters above the ground into the highest branches of trees. However, for transpirational pull to work, the xylem vessels must be very compact in diameter, as this compactness maximizes pressure.

 


 


Xylem and Phloem: Other Ways That the Xylem Transport Water


The xylem can also pull water and nutrients up through the plant via root pressure. Through osmosis, plants absorb water into their roots. This osmosis then forces sap up the xylem and into the leaves. The xylem are also aided by capillary action, the force by which water adheres to the surface of xylem pipes. This capillary action balances gravity.

Xylem and Phloem: How the Phloem Work


Phloem is the second transporting tissue in vascular plants. The phloem carry nutrients, most notably glucose, down throughout the plant. Like “xylem,” “phloem” derives from Ancient Greek. “Phloem” translates to “bar,” which makes sense, as phloem is the innermost layer of bark in trees. Phloem transport the nutrients that plants produce in photosynthesis. The phloem’s transportation is called translocation. Translocation moves the phloem’s sugar-rich sap from sugar sources to sugar sinks. Plants generally store their sugars in their roots, and the phloem transports sugar from the roots to the growing areas in the plant, the sugar sink.

Differences Between the Xylem and Phloem


The xylem and phloem both transport vital commodities through plants. However, the xylem and phloem differ in several ways. While the xylem transport mostly water, the phloem transport nutrients, especially glucose. The xylem are made up of dead cells, while the phloem are made up of living cells. Xylem only transport sap upward, while the phloem are multidirectional—they move sugars wherever they’re needed. To work, the xylem rely on water tension, while the phloem rely on translocation.

 

 

 

       


DEFINATION


In vascular plants, the xylem is the tissue that carries water up the root and stem. In trees, it constitutes wood; the word is derived from Greek ξύλον xúlon, "wood, timber". Together with the phloem, the xylem is one of the two types of transport tissues in plants. The cell walls of xylem cells derive most of their strength from lignin, a chemical compound produced only by plants.


 


Structure


Xylem (in angiosperms) is composed of vessel elements and tracheids (gymnosperm xylem consists only of tracheids). Vessel elements are similar in structure to the sieve-tube members of the phloem, but they lack companion cells and do not have perforated sides as well as pores at the ends. Tracheids are much narrower cells, with tapered and perforated ends, constituting most of the volume of the xylem tissue. Both tracheids and vessel elements are dead at maturity.

A xylem vessel element is an elongated cell that dies once it has functionally matured. When the interior of a xylem vessel element disintegrates, the thickened cell wall remains, forming a nonliving passage for the flow of water. Vessel elements form in plant parts that no longer elongate. Vessel elements are usually wider, shorter, thinner walled, and less tapered than tracheids. They are aligned end to end, forming long micropipes, the vessels of xylem. The end walls of vessel elements are perforated, enabling water to flow through vessels.

Xylem cells are also known as tracheary elements . This name was applied by Marcello Malpighi after noticing similarities between the tracheae of insects and xylem cells.

In perennial plants, xylem is laid down in multiple phases. Primary xylem is one of the tissues left behind by the apical meristem. Secondary xylem is laid down by vascular cambium on the outside of the xylem column.

Contents


The xylem sap consists mainly of water and inorganic ions, such as nitrate, although it can contain a number of organic chemicals as well.

Mechanism


Xylem sap always moves from the roots to the leaves. It travels by bulk flow, like water in a series of pipes, rather than by diffusion through cells. Two phenomena cause xylem sap to flow:

  • The soil solution (see soil) is more dilute than the cytosol of the root cells. Thus, water moves osmotically into the cells, creating root pressure. Even under optimal conditions, root pressure can only lift water a couple of feet.
  • By far the most important cause of xylem sap flow is transpirational pull. This is the reverse of root pressure, caused by the transpiration of water from leaves. In larger plants such as trees, the root pressure and transpirational pull work together as a pump that pulls sap from the soil up to the leaves where it is transpired.


Problem

How does water move through a leaf?

Materials

  • juice glass
  • tap water
  • red food coloring
  • scissors
  • large tree leaf, such as an oak leaf
  • crayons or colored markers
  • 3 sheets of typing paper

Procedure

  1. Fill the glass about one-fourth full with water.
  2. Add enough food coloring to make the water a deep red color.
  3. Cut across the end of the leaf's stem.
  4. Stand the leaf in the glass of colored water.
  5. Observe the leaf and make a colored drawing of it. Label the drawing Day 1.
  6. Repeat step 5 at about the same time each day for the next 2 days. Label the drawings Day 2 and Day 3.

Results

The red color moves slowly through the leaf, first following the pattern made by the leaf's veins (conducting structures in leaves) and then throughout the rest of the leaf.

Why?

The leaf is part of a vascular plant. Like all vascular plants, the leaf has two main vascular tubes, xylem tubes and phloem tubes. Xylem tubes transport sap containing water and minerals upward from the roots through the plant. The xylem tubes also provide support for the plant because their walls are thick.

Phloem tubes transport sap containing water and food manufactured in the plant's leaves throughout the plant. In this activity, you saw the results of colored water moving through xylem tubes.


Scientists believe that transpiration (a process by which water vapor is lost through leaves) is responsible for the upward movement of water through xylem tubes against the pull of gravity (the force that pulls things toward the center of the earth). Xylem tubes from the roots to the leaves are believed to be filled with sap, which is mostly water. Some of the water in xylem tubes evaporates (changes from a liquid to a gas due to an addition of heat energy) during transpiration. As water is lost from the xylem tubes, the column of sap in the tube is pulled upward. This is because water molecules (the smallest particles of a substance that retain the properties of the substance) hold tightly to each other. As the water molecules in the xylem tubes move upward, water from the soil is pulled into the roots.



Xylem Experiment


Hypothesis 
 

The whole celery will turn blue after a few days.

Left for 5 days

Observation

 

 Only the xylem have turned blue.

Conclusion

Water/Liquid is carried throughout a plant only through the xylem. Thus, our hypothesis does not hold.

 


 


Colorful Celery

Purpose

To create stalks of colorful celery while demonstrating how plants need and draw water to survive.



 

Additional information

Boring celery. That green leafy vegetable that can be cut down to stalks is in itself boring and unappealing. In this experiment we'll spruce up celery so children don't avoid it like it's the pneumonic plague. By the time we're done, we'll have a colorful array of celery that can actually be eaten while at the same time having demonstrated an important lifecycle trait of plants. It's fun, easy, and will turn that boring celery into something colorful and fun!



 

Required materials

  • 6 Long stalks of celery
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • 6 drinking glasses
  • Water
  • Vegtable peeler
  • Pen or pencil (optional)
  • Journal to record observations (optional)



Estimated Experiment Time

From 1 hour to 48 hours



Step-By-Step Procedure

  • 1. Cut the pieces of celery to the same length, tall enough to fit into the glasses so they'll be completely submerged by water. Make sure to chop off the bottom and the top at the leafy part so you're left with the stalks.
  • 2. Fill each of your 6 glasses with an equal amount of water, about 3 inches from the top.
  • 3. Add 10 drops of red food coloring each to 3 of the cups.
  • 4. Add 10 drops of blue food coloring each to the remaining 3 cups.
  • 5. Place one piece of celery into each glass. After this step you'll have 6 cups, 3 with red coloring and 3 with blue coloring and each with a stalk of celery submerged in it.
  • 6. After 2 hours, take a stalk of celery out of a glass with blue food coloring. Has the color of the celery changed? Use your vegetable peeler to peel the stalk of celery and see how far the change has gone. Write the results in your journal.
  • 7. Remove a stalk of celery at the intervals of: 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours (you have 6 glasses, and thus 6 stalks of celery).
  • 8. After each interval has passed, remove a stalk and peel it, notating in your journal the changes to the celery after each interval.



Note

Be very careful cutting your celery! If you're young, you'll need an adult to help you with this experiment as handling sharp objects can be dangerous. Celery is soft enough to cut with a butter knife, so favor that when cutting the stalks.



Observation

As you peeled each stalk at each interval, what happened to the celery? What was the depth of color after each interval passed? What factors do you believe would influence the feeding process of the plants? What if you were to put the stalks in a darkened room or add sugar to the water?



Result

Just like people and animals, plants need water to survive. Plants get water from the dirt through their roots. Inside the plants are capillaries that allow the water to travel through the plant. These capillaries are hollow and function as a "straw" for the plants. You can witness from the celery that over an extended period of time the plant draws water through its capillaries all the way through its system. As the water is drawn up a vacuum is formed at the top and the colorful water is forced through the celery stalk, causing the celery to turn color.


 

 

 

 

 

                                


 

 


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