Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's Science!

I'm taking a summer class for science teachers at the local university. One of my assignments involves setting up an experiment and then doing a display board (kind of like a science fair project). The idea is that at the end of the class I walk away with a display board that I can use as an example for my students.

We did ten experiments throughout the course of the 4-week class, which we were supposed to choose from for our board. I really liked the baggie garden experiment, but I didn't want to use the class data. I wanted to do the experiment again, this time changing a different variable.

I'm interested in the idea of using untreated gray-water to water plants, as a way of conserving energy (since all of our waste-water is currently treated so that it meets potable water standards). So I poked around my house and decided to try three different cleaners that I currently use in the bathroom: Seventh Generation multi-surface concentrated cleaner, Method Le Scrub gently abrasive cleaner, and Target's Up&Up all-purpose cleaner with bleach.

I don't have lab-glassware at home to measure and mix the water and cleaner, so I improvised. See Mom, those shot-glasses come in handy!

I set up my baggie gardens with lentil seeds (from my kitchen) and tried to keep all variables the same, except for the added cleaner. Then I attached them to the wall using push-pins, and I'll check on them daily.

We'll see in a couple of days how my garden grows. Which cleaner do you think will allow the most seeds to germinate?

1 comment:

  1. One would hope the seventh generation one does. But are you using a food-bearing plant? I thought grey water was only suitable for use on plants you weren't planning to eat?