Science Fair Project: Germinating Apple Seeds

Sunday, February 10, 2013
Thursday was the DD's school science fair, and I am pleased to report that she placed 3rd in the 3rd grade class!  Her BFF placed first for a quite fun project in which she microwaved soap to see which brand expanded the most when heated (very dramatic!), so the girls were happy all around.  Here's her project:

Introduction:
I wanted to test whether the seeds needed water, or not. I also wanted to know if temperature mattered. I picked a handful of conditions to try.

Hypothesis:
My hypothesis is that fridge dry-moist (see Conditions) is going to be the best condition.

Background:
  • 2/5 websites say you should dry the seeds first.
    • 1 says you should dry them at room temperature.
    • 1 says you should dry them in the fridge.
  • 4/5 websites say you should germinate them to the sprouting point in the fridge. 
    • 1 of the videos says this is like re-creating nature because the fridge is cold and so is winter!
    • 1 of the websites says you should put them in the fridge for about 2 weeks and then put them in a hot place where you plant seedlings.
Materials:
  • Macintosh apples
  • Peeler & corer
  • Knife
  • Paper towels
  • Permanent marker   
Conditions:
  • Room temperature dry-wet
  • Fridge dry-wet
  • Freezer dry-wet
  • Room temperature wet
  • Fridge wet
  • Freezer wet
Methods:
  • Paired and cored apples to get 15 seeds.
  • Laid seeds on paper towels, 5 seeds per condition.
  • Put seeds in 3 different groups, fridge, freezer, and room temperature.
  • Left alone for 25 days.
  •  Paired and cored apples to get 15 more seeds.
  • Laid seeds on paper towels (moistened) 5 seeds per condition.
  • Put seeds in 3 different groups, fridge, freezer, and room temperature.
  • Checked seeds every day to see if any had germinated.
  • Recorded when seeds germinated.
Results:
  • On day 11, first seed germinated! 
    • Fridge wet had a seed germinate before any other seed germinated. 
  • Freezer seeds were lighter than any other seeds. 
    • The room temperature seeds were the darkest.
Conclusion:
  • In this experiment, I’ve learned that seeds don’t need to be dried in order to germinate.
  • I also learned that seeds in the fridge germinate faster.
  • Most of the seeds did not germinate. I think this is because they needed more time.
    • One of the videos said that you’d be lucky to get one out of every three seeds to sprout.  It could just be hard to get apples to sprout.
Further Research:
  • I want to do it again, but stick them straight in wet. 
  • I also will change the way we arranged our paper towels, instead of folding them, I’d scrunch them up and lay the seeds on top instead of folded inside. 
  • Also, I’d put 10  put 10 seeds in  seeds in each condition instead  each condition instead of 5.   
  • I would also use different kinds of apples, instead of just one.
  • I do think I’d keep the same temperature conditions though.
References:
  • http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-an-Apple-Tree-froma-Seed
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUgOCFDe0Nw&safe_search=on
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b3ynNADudQ&safe_search=on
  • http://www.mostlymaths.net/2008/07/apple-seedgermination.html
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=93V7Lkj2Bq8

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