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Old 10-04-2012, 07:09 PM   #16
GaSleepingBeautyFan
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My DD will be starting her science fair project soon. The teacher said they should have duplicates of everything.

My DD is also doing something with plants. I can't remember exactly what it involves but I'll be finding out soon when I have to go buy the stuff with her. LOL

I agree with most everyone else that she should keep going with it. And try to do some research into why the plants might be dying. That would look really good even if all the plants don't make it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:50 PM   #17
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After a trip to Disney, my DD decided to do a hydroponics science project as well.
Hers did not turn out very well either, but her plants did grow a little. I can't remember all the details, but she did as pp mentioned and wrote up her results and included information about why the plants didn't grow. She actually wone first place in her school for her division and went to the regional science fair
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:30 AM   #18
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I spent 25 years in scientific research. ALL results are valuable; "failures" are just information you use to better-design the next experiment! If your child can come up with some explanations as to why the plants didn't grow, that's as good as having a positive outcome. Since neither plant flourished, the problem isn't in the liquid vs. soil medium; there's something else that is adversely effecting the plants' growth. (If it was the growth medium, one would grow and the other wouldn't grow as well). She should come up with a list of variables that would effect the growth of lettuce (temperature, moisture, sunlight exposure, pestilence, etc) and then see if something's been happening with one of these that would effect lettuce growth (is it too hot for the plants to be in their ultimate growth range? Is she watering them too much, or is there something in your water that might be detrimental to the plant?). She can still make a nice display with a chart listing possibilities, growth conditions, etc. Good luck! (I always hated when DD had to do a science project!)
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:30 AM   #19
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I agree with the others, keep going! Behind any good idea/project/experiment there is a LOOOONG line of failures. As a matter of fact I think that you can gain a lot of knowledge from a failed project. Have her take detailed notes and then come up with some working ideas on what went wrong and how the experiment could be improved upon in the future. Out of curiosity are the plants wilting, stunting, or kind of rotting?
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:40 AM   #20
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3 weeks is enough time to get another plant to start growing. If she's already worked on this for 3 weeks, start with a new plant on the opposite side of the house, with different light conditions. Then she can do a comparison to how well plants grew on the south side vs the north side (or however your house may be set up).
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:07 AM   #21
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If she sticks with the project I would bring some of the soil and water to a garden center/ aquatics store to see if they can check the soil and water for pH, nutrients etc. this way she can discuss more variables that may have contributed to the negative results. You can even purchase your own litmus paper and do pH testing at home (not sure about other at home tests as I don't garden but I know the testing is available at garden centers).

Good Luck!! I am currently a laboratory manager and have worked in scientific research for my career and most experiments fail in science or at least need a lot of optimization, but you learn a lot from those less successful ventures.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:27 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebee View Post
I spent 25 years in scientific research. ALL results are valuable; "failures" are just information you use to better-design the next experiment! If your child can come up with some explanations as to why the plants didn't grow, that's as good as having a positive outcome. Since neither plant flourished, the problem isn't in the liquid vs. soil medium; there's something else that is adversely effecting the plants' growth. (If it was the growth medium, one would grow and the other wouldn't grow as well). She should come up with a list of variables that would effect the growth of lettuce (temperature, moisture, sunlight exposure, pestilence, etc) and then see if something's been happening with one of these that would effect lettuce growth (is it too hot for the plants to be in their ultimate growth range? Is she watering them too much, or is there something in your water that might be detrimental to the plant?). She can still make a nice display with a chart listing possibilities, growth conditions, etc. Good luck! (I always hated when DD had to do a science project!)
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:46 AM   #23
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Thank you everyone! DD read this thread and she is pretty encouraged now to keep on going and with your tips has a better idea of how she can present what happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clm10308 View Post
After a trip to Disney, my DD decided to do a hydroponics science project as well.
Hers did not turn out very well either, but her plants did grow a little. I can't remember all the details, but she did as pp mentioned and wrote up her results and included information about why the plants didn't grow. She actually wone first place in her school for her division and went to the regional science fair
I also found out after reading clm10308's post that she was freaking out because last year she did really well at her district science fair and she was not aware that it was possible to do well with a "failed" experiment too. She puts a lot of pressure on herself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungle View Post
I agree with the others, keep going! Behind any good idea/project/experiment there is a LOOOONG line of failures. As a matter of fact I think that you can gain a lot of knowledge from a failed project. Have her take detailed notes and then come up with some working ideas on what went wrong and how the experiment could be improved upon in the future. Out of curiosity are the plants wilting, stunting, or kind of rotting?
I would say that they are more "wilting" than anything else. They grew some, now they are just flopping over.
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