Before we do things with silverbeet leaves (see my last post) I want to do a popular experiment to learn about how water moves through plants.
Have you ever had a vase of flowers? What happens if the flowers aren’t in water? They droop and wither pretty quickly.
Why is that?
Plants need water to live, in fact they are mostly made of water. Plants are always losing some of that water into the air. They need to suck up more water through the stem to replace the water they’ve lost or they droop, and eventually die.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Celery with leaves
- Sharp knife or scissors
- a grown-up to help if you’re not allowed to use the knife on your own
- Glass or jar of water
- Food coloring
- Food colouring can stain things so make sure you protect yourself and your stuff from spills and splashes. You could put newspaper on the table. You could wear a raincoat, art smock or old clothes.
WHAT TO DO
First read through these instructions and try and guess what will happen.
- Add a few drops of food colouring to the water and mix them together
- Get a grown-up to help if you’re not allowed to use a sharp knife – yes now
- Cut the celery stalk straight off the bunch if you can, or cut the end off the stalk if it’s already been cut off the bunch
- Put the cut end of the celery in the colored water
- Wait and watch
- When you’ve finished, cut the stem and see what the end looks like. Cut some slices. Break the celery stick and have a look at the structure inside.
FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS!
And more importantly – I want you to think about why that happens.
You could use the websites below to find out what happened when other people did it, but I guarantee you’ll have more fun if you do it yourself.
I’m going to give you a chance to do that before I talk about what happened to mine!
SOME WEBSITES WITH CELERY AND FOOD DYE ACTIVITIES
“Céleri”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:C%C3%A9leri.jpg#/media/File:C%C3%A9leri.jp
This is cross-posted to Real Science and Other Adventures.