In this experiment, we'll take a closer look at how plants begin to grow from their seeds. This process, called germination, starts when good environmental conditions, such as plenty of sunlight and water, allow a seed to leave its dormant stage and begin sprouting.
First, we're going to prepare what's called a control, a part of our experiment we expect to stay the same. This way, we can have something to compare the results of our bean growth with. Because we want to see how a good environment helps beans to sprout, our control is going to be an environment that isn't quite ready for bean growth. To make our control, we're going to close 5 beans on top of a dry piece of paper towel in one of the bags.
For the next bag, start by moistening the paper towel with water, just enough so that the paper towel isn't dripping and is just barely damp. You can squeeze out the extra water if the towel is too wet.
Place the paper towel inside of the other bag and put another 5 beans on top so that it can be seen clearly through the side of the bag.
Place the second bag, bean-side-up, in a warm, sunny area. Make and record observations in your lab journal about the way your bean looks now. You'll use these observations later to tell what changes, if any have happened to your beans.
Continue to check your beans about once a day, again observing and recording any changes that've happened to your beans. It's okay to open the bag and feel the beans with your hands—just be careful, because they are fragile! Each time you observe your beans, check to make sure that the paper towel is still damp.
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