How the environment changes the way plants grow: With environmental issues growing, it is becoming more important than ever to teach students how important the environment is and why they need to do their best to help preserve it. Science labs are great for demonstrating this and easily create visual examples for students. This lab can help students see the effects of small changes in the environment by using flowers, water, and food coloring.
For this lab, you will need clear cups, food coloring, water, and fresh white flowers. Dirt is an optional material that can be used to show what happens when flowers only have dirty water to drink.
Fill the cups with water. Leave one cup of water alone and mix a few drops of food coloring into the others. If you want to use dirty water as well, mix some dirt into one cup. Place one flower in each cup and let them sit for a few days. Gradually, the flowers will change colors to reflect the water they’re sitting in and the flower left in dirty water will start wilt much faster than the others. As the flowers change, the kids can see how something as small as changing the color of the water changes how things grow and how a dirty environment causes things to die more quickly.
In classrooms with younger students, it’s probably best to have them watching most of the lab prep and only interacting with small parts, such as mixing the water or placing the flowers in the cups. With older students, it may be possible to split them into groups and have each group set up one of the cups.