We’re currently studying cells both plant & animal. This week we did a very simple experiment to illustrate the way water travels through a plant stem. All we needed was a celery stalk, water, a measuring cup & blue food coloring. Trim about 3 centimeters off the stalk.
Add 100ml of water to a clear jar or cup. Put in 2 droplets of the coloring. Place the stalk into the water. Set a kitchen timer for 30 minutes. Come back & what you should see is the blue traveling up throughout the stalk via the veins.
To add a bit more of a WOW factor, repeat the experiment but substitute any type of white flower instead of the celery. Make sure that you wait the 30 minutes. You should end up with a blue flower.
For fun, I mean, for the sake of science, we repeated it multiple times. Instead of celery, we used a carrot, a green pepper (cut in half) and we also tried various colors instead of the blue. I will say blue worked the best. Purple was attempted but, the colors didn’t mix like we’d assumed. Basically, we had a piece with some red & some blue.
Things I loved about this experiment included the easy clean up. No stains; no fuss. Happily, I had celery on hand. Food coloring would be the biggest expense, but, I had that too.
He enjoyed it. Celery was easy for him to work with as was the dropper for the food coloring. We were able to complete the experiment, fill out our observation worksheets, & clean up all within an hour.
We took pictures to document each step, too. He was able to re-create the event to his brothers by literally showing them what he’d done.
If we were to do it again, I would probably videotape it. Flowers would’ve been our focus versus the vegetables. We’d have gotten more white flowers of different varieties.
I’d also try to get more varieties of food coloring. I know they sell neon colors somewhere.
It’s a winner due to its simplicity, low cost, & that he had fun. If it’s not fun than why bother?