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MAKING A SEED TESTER Many different kinds of information can be gained by testing. We test meat for doneness by poking it with a fork. We test the weather by using a thermometer to see how warm or cold it is. We also test the weather by going outside, and if we get wet, we decide that it must be raining! Our teacher tests us to see if we have learned that which has been taught. We are going to make a seed tester which will tell us what percentage of seeds germinate. We each have a long piece of paper toweling, folded lengthwise. If it's folded properly, it will be long and skinny. Open it up, and on one side, draw squares of equal size. Number the squares, and make a list of the numbers. Sprinkle a little water onto the sidewith the squares on it so the seeds will stay where they are put. We have ten seeds each of several different kinds of seeds. Put the seeds onto the squares in such a way that each square has ten of the same kind of seeds. On your list, beside the square numbers, write the kind of seeds you put into the squares, so you will know what kinds of seeds you are testing. Be careful that you don't mix the seeds, because our test won't work if you have two or more kinds of seed in the same square. Fold the other side of the toweling onto the side with seeds, and roll it up. Tie it so it stays rolled, and set the roll into a saucer of water. (Instead ofplacing the roll into a saucer of water, the roll could be rolled up inside of several sheets of wet news paper.) Put the seed tester in a warm place and watch it carefully to make sure it doesn't get too dry. In three days, we'll unroll our testers, and count how many of each kind of seed germinated. Write down your results. Roll up your tester again, and put it back into the saucer of water for another three days. We'll unroll the testers again, and count the number of seeds that germinated. Write the results on your lists, by the square number and kind of seed, just as you did after the first threeday test. Now we can make a histogram. We could do the experiment a little differently by putting some of the testers in sunny places, some in shady places, some in warm places, and some could be in cool places. Then we could see if there is any difference in the rate of ger mination, and decide what kind of place is best. One tester could be different from the others. We could draw 100 squares on a paper towel, and place one seed in each square, all the seeds being of the same kind. Roll it up like the other, and when we unroll it, count the seeds that have germinated. From that number, we would know what the per centage of germination is. That is, if 60 seeds germinated in three days, we would know that 60% of them germinated in three days; if another 20 seeds germinated after three more days, we would know that 80% of the seeds germinated in six days time. Any problems with this page? Send URL to
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