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Identify any differences that occurred, during the growth of hyacinths grown hydroponically, when different content of solutions were used.

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Abstract An experiment was carried out, to identify any differences that occurred, during the growth of hyacinths grown hydroponically, when different content of solutions were used. Over a period of eight weeks, data has been collated and analysed to find the most favourable solution for the best growth medium for hyacinths. Introduction It was required to research an area of environmental science, for this assignment, to develop independent scientific investigation. The aim was to collect relevant information, design an experiment, collect and record data. The data will then be analysed and conclusions will be drawn from this. As this is not an area that I am familiar with, I decided to opt for a simple experiment, with the intentions of progressing on to a more complex one in further investigations. After intensive background reading I decided to opt for something that I had some understanding of and thought that I would investigate the growth of plants. I felt this investigation could advance my subject knowledge and therefore improve my teaching in this area. Primarily, I needed to formulate a hypothesis. As a novice, I was unaware that plants could be grown in water alone, and was interested to investigate how well this could be carried out. Therefore my hypothesis is: The comparison of medium solutions, for growing hyacinths. Winterborne (1997) suggests "plants grown in a hydroponic system can be given very exact and specific doses of nutrients....will develop optimum levels of appearance, yield and flavour" (p4) I will endeavour to make predictions, and then discover the difference medium solutions make to the growing of hyacinths, by investigation and extensive reading. Primarily some background information is required before proceeding with the experiment. Background Information Harlen (1996) defines " scientific activity is characterised by developing theories which fit the evidence available but which may be disproved when further evidence comes to light"(p5) This definition appears appropriate to my research, as it is a small research, which could be disproved by a larger investigation; however, this research has been beneficial to my understanding and knowledge, of teaching science. ...read more.


Photosynthesis is a process by which green plants trap light energy and use it to drive a series of chemical reactions that lead to the formation of carbohydrates. Fosbery and Mclean (1996) state "the best conditions vary in different plants" (p77). For photosynthesis to occur, the plant must have chlorophyll (a green pigment) and must have a supply of carbon dioxide and water. The chemical reaction of photosynthesis occurs in two stages; light reaction and dark reaction. During the light reaction, sunlight is used to split water (H2 O) into oxygen (O2 ) protons (hydrogen ions, H+), and electrons, and oxygen is given off as a by product. In the dark reaction, sunlight is not required, the protons and electrons are used to convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates. Photosynthesis depends on the ability of chlorophyll to capture the energy of sunlight and use it to split water molecules. Other pigments, such as carotenoids, are also involved in capturing light energy and passing it on to chlorophyll. Plants respond slowly to changes in their environment by growing. During the early growth of a seedling it is important that it responds to gravity and to light. Roots and shoots can emerge from the seed pointing in any direction. The root must immediately grow downwards to find sources of water and minerals. The shoot must grow upwards to reach a source of light for photosynthesis. When the shoot comes out into the light, the seedling must adjust the position of its leaves so that they receive the maximum amount of light. The responses essential for the survival of the plan are called tropisms. Auxins can make plant cells grow faster. Phototropism occurs when a plant only receives the light from one side it will lean towards it. When the light source is above the plant the auxin is distributed evenly so that the shoot grows upwards. When the light source is only received from one side, auxin collects on the dark side of the shoot making it grow faster. ...read more.


The QCA (Qualification and Curriculum Authority) offers an optional teachers guide for a programme of study. It shows how science may be taught attaining at the level appropriate for their age. The scheme of work is underpinned by assumptions about the aims of the national curriculum by; knowledge and understanding, processes and skills, language and communication and values and attitudes. Year one. Pupils learn about growing plants. They learn about similarities and differences in plants. Children should be able to identify the leaf, root, stem and flower of a plant and recognise that plants are living and need water and light to grow. Year two Pupils will learn how plants reproduce, turn ideas into questions to be investigated, present results and draw conclusions. They also learn about the environment that plants grow in. They will be encouraged to suggest reasons why different plants are found in different environments. Year three Make careful measurements of height and volumes of water used to feed plants. Recognise that in experiments and investigations, a number of plants need to be used to provide reliable evidence. Programme of Study If the experiment that I have designed were to be used for year two pupils, a scheme of work would have to be devised. Week 1 Introduce plants Week 2 Plant bulbs in solutions and general outline of project Week 3 Plants need light to grow Week 4 Plants need water to grow Week 5 Results and conclusions The following lesson plans would be used to carry out this scheme of work. Conclusion and Recommendations The main points that were established through this research were: * More samples are needed to validate results; * The bulbs would have been more productive if they were planted in October; * Tap water produced more roots that the other solutions; * Evian water produced more leaves than the other solutions; * The solutions should be aerated more often; * Tap water produced more dried weight than the other samples. If I were to carry out this investigation further, these aspects would be borne in mind to validate the results. ...read more.

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