This Month's Experiment

3 May · SciGenius · No Comments

As we approach Spring our simple science experiment is an great opportunity for our little SciGenius to change flowers to a different color.  This is a fun kitchen science and its super easy to set up and is perfect for home or classroom science fun.

 

What You Need

  • White flowers
  • Vases or mason jars
  • Food coloring

The Process

 

1. Fill the jars

Have your child fill all jars or vases to the same point.

 

2. Add food coloring

Choose one jar for each color for best results and add at least 25 drops of food coloring to each jar. If you want to mix it up and create new colors, feel free! It’s a great way for little ones to see what happens when you mix colors. You can also have vary the amount of food coloring you add to each jar to see if there is a difference.

 

3. Add flowers

Trim the stems of your flowers and add them to the water. Another way to mix up the experiment is to cut a few stems shorter than the others and see if it affects the results.

 

Once the flowers have been added, put the jars somewhere safe and wait.Science is all about recording your observations, so encourage your little SciGenius to create a journal or log to track progress! When we performed our experiment, we started to see changing colors within 24 hours.

 

The Science

How does it work? Water travels up the stem of the plant and into the leaves and petals. Since the water contains color, the petals soak up that color.

 

Two processes occur in a plant to help it absorb water: capillary action and transpiration. Flowers absorb water through the xylem, a tissue of thin tubes found on the outer stem of plants. Its job is to transport water and nutrients from the roots to all areas of the plant. The water moves up the xylem like soda moving up a straw when you suck on it. This process is called capillary action. The water molecules are attracted to the molecules in the xylem, helping to pull the water upward.

 

Solar energy also pulls the water up through the plant. Sunlight evaporates the water from the surface. This transportation process of water is called transpiration. The top of the xylem tubes become empty from the loss of water, creating a vacuum, so the water rises to fill the empty space.

 

We’d love to hear what you thought of this experiment! Please post your pictures of your experiment to Instagram and Facebook and tell us how it went.

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