Student & Teacher Science Projects:
Provided by Aeroponics International to promote student participation in learning alternative plant growth technologies and methods for a pesticide-free environment!

Experiments for the classroom and lab:
Demonstrate soil-less seed germination rate comparisons and propagation techniques:

Seed Treatment Test Plan
Page Contents

* Special Price for Students and Teachers only:
   ODC may be ordered directly from Aeroponics International (see order form)

Updated: 1/11/99

This science project is designed to determine the effectiveness of seed treatments and plant growth enhancers without using soil.  Students can observe, measure and gather data for plant emergence rates, root length and bio-mass growth under controlled conditions.  Students can also become familiar with the soil-less non-flow Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) for growing plants.

Figure 1 Test trays with treated seeds (click here for a larger view)

Test Plan
To eliminate the variability of growing conditions found when using pots and soil mix, it is suggested that the experiment be carried out in trays with paper towel, seeds and solutions. This keeps the experiment simple. The seeds are grown under moist conditions in darkness or under lights at room temperature.

Test Layout

To conduct a proper study scientists use a design of experiment matrix to layout the test plan.  Scientist use statistics to prove the results of the control group and the treatments. Each control and treatment group to be tested includes a specific number of replications (rep) and a specific number seeds per rep.  The data gathered from these reps helps scientists compute the mean and statistical deviations to prove the effectiveness of the treatments against the control group.

Test Variables
The variables being tested are the various treatments of solutions applied to the seeds. The control group seeds will have only water as their variable. The treatments will receive a test variable (i.e. ODC, nutrients, and combinations of both) mixed in water.

Test Matrix
Use the test matrix for comparison studies of the developing seeds and how the treatments  influence their growth.  To change the size of the study, simply add or eliminate a matrix component (i.e., row and/or column). Note: the more reps used the more reliable the test results..

Example of a test matrix:
Seed Treatments  A B C D
Description Control  (water only) ODC solution nutrients solution ODC & nutrients solution
Rep 1 5 seeds  5 seeds  5 seeds  5 seeds 
Rep 2 5 seeds  5 seeds  5 seeds  5 seeds 
Total Seeds 10 10 10 10

Test Conditions
The test conditions are controlled during the entire experiment. All trays and seeds should have the same growing conditions:

· Lights (make sure lights are far enough away - do not dry up the seeds or burn the growing plants)
· Darkness (if used)
· Moisture level
· Room temperature

Required equipment

· 4 ea. cookie trays,  approx. ½" deep – large enough to hold a piece of paper towel
· White Paper Towel (example: Bounty)
· 40 Seeds (example: dry soybeans or whole peas or beans or rice (from the your local grocery store)
· 4 ea. solution containers (approximately 16 oz. size)
· Notebook
· Colored Markers
· ODC Growth Enhancer & Promoter (not supplied - order now)
· Miracle Grower Liquid Nutrient (not supplied)
· Measuring cup
· Aluminum Foil
Test Procedures
Review the above photo and follow these steps to set up test equipment:
1. Mark each tray A thru D
2. Mark each solution container A thru D
3. Fill each container with the appropriate treatment solution, follow the mixing instructions on the manufacture’s bottle.
4. Make sure you fill one of the containers with water only for the control group
5. Draw 2 equally sized boxes on each piece paper towel, mark them 1  and 2
6. Place the paper towels into trays - one per tray

Follow these steps to set up the test conditions:

8. All seeds in the test should be of the same species and size
9. Place 5 seeds into each of  drawn boxes – 10 seeds per paper towel
10. Place a piece of aluminum foil over each tray to cover the seeds
11. Place all trays on a level surface as possible
12. All seed trays should have the same temperature and light conditions

Follow these steps to activate the test:

13. Using the measuring cup, pour just enough water or solution into the trays to soak both sheets of paper towel - note water or solution how much you use
14. All trays should receive the same amount of solution each time – making sure the paper towels are thoroughly soaked
15. Pour the fresh water into tray A
16. Pour the ODC solution  into tray B
17. Pour the nutrient solution into tray C
18. Pour the ODC/nutrient solution into tray D

Follow these steps to maintain the test:

19. Each day check the moisture of the paper towels - do not allow them to dry out
20. If needed, add solution to the tray
21. If solution is added to one tray, be sure to add the appropriate solution and amount to the other trays
22. Make sure the growing conditions are being maintained (i.e., equal levels of light and temperature)
23.  Make observations and measurements of the data types - be sure to write them in the notebook

List of Data Types
Here is a  list of data types the experimenter can measure on a daily or weekly basis. The measurements and observations of the data types will be used to determine the effectiveness of the seed treatments against the control group. Select several or more of these data types for the experiment:

Data Collection Steps
Make copies of the sample data collection sheet (see below). Use only one data sheet per each data type being measured. Follow these steps:

1. Fill in the plant date (the day the seeds are first watered)
2. Fill in the data sheet with one of the data types selected from the Data Type List (example: root length)
3. Fill in the Measurement Date (example: today's date)
4. Select the tray marked treatment A
5. Select Rep 1 and make measurement for each seed (1 thru 5) in the rep and enter measurement on the data sheet
6. Select Rep 2 and make measurement for each seed (1 thru 5) in the rep and enter measurement on the data sheet
7. Repeat step 6 and 7 for the other treatments (B thru D)
8. On the next measurement date just repeat steps 3 thru 7

Other observation and notes:

8. Make observations daily or weekly
9. Take photos whenever possible
10. Write down all observations, comments and notes
11. Send data sheets back to us and we will review them for you

Sample Data Collection Sheets

Test Data Sheet #1
Data Type:
Measurement Date:
Treatments: A B C D A B C D A B C D
Rep1 Totals
       Seed #1
       Seed #2
       Seed #3
       Seed #4
       Seed #5

Test Data Sheet #2
Data Type:
Measurement Date:
Treatments: A B C D A B C D A B C D
Rep2 Totals
       Seed #1
       Seed #2
       Seed #3
       Seed #4
       Seed #5

City, State, zip
Class :
Plant date:

Additional Resource links

Biocontrol info:

            Biocontrol Brochure

            BEYOND All Natural Plant Amendment™ Brochure

            Testimony Letters

            Purchase ODC / Beyond  Biocontrols and Aeroponic Units and Systems

Purchase ODC / Beyond  Biocontrols and Aeroponic Units and Systems


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