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Plant Growth Portfolio

Experimental Procedure:

Hypothesis: The plant(s) that are exposed to sunlight will grow better than the plants that are not.

Materials: 3 pinto beans, 3 clear plastic cups, 3 paper towels, a spray bottle filled with water


1. Each bean gets their own clear plastic cup, mark your cups with letters A, B, and C so
that you can tell them apart in the end.
2. Put a paper towel around the inside of each plastic cup.
3. Put the bean in between the cup and the paper towel, to where you can see the bean.
4. Squirt the paper towel until it is moist all around.
5. Set your cups in three different areas, one with no sunlight (a closet), one with minimal
sunlight (on the tv stand), and one with normal sunlight (a window sill).
6. Make sure the paper towel stays moist every day.

Data collection plan: A daily report on the growth

Plant height in cm
Day Plant A Plant B Plant C
1 0 0 0
2 0 0 0
3 0 0 0
4 0.5 0 0.5
5 1 0.5 1
6 1.5 1 1.5
7 2 1.5 2
8 3 2.5 3.5
9 4 4 5.5
10 5.5 6 8
11 6.5 8 9.5
12 8 9.5 11.5

The first few days there was no growth with any of the beans. The one in the dark closet and the one in
the normal sunlight sprouted the same day. It took the one with minimal sunlight an extra day to
sprout. This leads us to believe that sunlight is not the driving force for the bean to sprout. The
germination or sprouting of a bean can be done without soil or sunlight. After day six the beans began
to grow at a steady rate, the bean that was in the dark closet grew about one centimeter per day. The
one that had minimal sunlight grew at a steady rate of about two centimeters per day. The bean that
had full exposure to the sun had also began to grow about two centimeters at day. By day 12, I pulled
the beans out and placed them on the counter, to examine them closely to see differences. The bean
that had been completely exposed had opened the most and had the most leaves. The bean with
minimal exposure to the sunlight had not opened as much and the leaves were slightly smaller
compared to the bean with complete exposure. The bean in the dark closet had not opened as much as
either of the other beans, also the bean in the closet had fewer and smaller leaves.

1. What is/are the main factor(s) that determine(s) that your plants will grow into bean
plants (or other fast-growing plants that you used for your experiment) and not some
other type of plant (genetics, environment, or both)? Explain your answer.

Genetics is the main factor that determines that my bean plants grew into beans and
not some other plants. The environment is also a factor because bean plants need warm
temperature and moisture to germinate.

2. What is/are the main factor(s) that determine(s) the height of a plant (genetics,
environment, or both)? Explain your answer.

Environment is the main factor that determines the height of a plant. A plant needs
sunlight, water, temperature, and nutrients in order to grow. Changes in the factors can
impact the plants growth either positively or negatively.

3. Use specific data from your experiment to defend or refute the following statements:
Plants continue to grow throughout their lives by producing new plant material.
Photosynthesis is required for this process to occur.

Without sunlight, photosynthesis is stopped. Without photosynthesis, a plant cannot

feed itself. This shown in my experiment because the plant did not receive sunlight did
not grow as well as the plants that. All of the plants started the same, as the plants
continued to grow the plant that was out of sunlight was not getting as much nutrients,
so it was not growing as rapidly as the plants that were. The plant with direct sunlight
was the biggest with the most leaves, the plant that received sunlight but not a lot was
slightly smaller with fewer leaves, and lastly the plant received no sunlight was the
smallest with the least amount of leaves.