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Our Favourite Experiments With Flowers

Experiments are a fun way to get children interested in science. In celebration of British Science Week we've found some experiments involving flowers that are both educational and entertaining

 

All around the world there is a focus on something called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The interest lies in the lack of candidates for jobs in these fields, especially female candidates. While STEM subjects may not appeal to every child, the general consensus is that not enough children are exposed to STEM subjects, and even fewer are encouraged to pursue careers in the fields.

March 11-20th is British Science Week, a week to celebrate all things science related, and a chance for you to get your children more involved. There are lots of free activities around the country so take a look and see what's happening near you.

If you're looking for something a little closer to home, why not try a few simple experiments with flowers. Some of these are classics, but we promise - they never get old.

Changing colours

Changing colours flower experiment The set up is simple and the results are visually stunning with this experiment. The idea is to see how effectively a flower draws in the coloured water, and how long it takes. This is easy enough for a preschooler to understand and makes a great introduction to practical science investigations as your child gets older.

You might want to do a little homework before you start so that you can explain the process. In a nutshell, the plants transports water up the stem, via the xylem, to reach the leaves and petals and hydrate them. The brightly coloured water changes the white flowers in a short space of time and that again makes it perfect for little ones who don't have too much patience for drawn out experiments!

In order to do this you will need:

  • A few stems of bright, white flowers such as chrysanthemums, gerberas or carnations
  • Jars filled with water and various shades of liquid or gel food colouring.

Visit the Imagination Tree to find out how to carry out this experiment.

Longer lasting

In this experiment, you're trying to determine the optimal concoction to keep flowers alive the longest. This experiment can last longer than others and needs parental supervision because of some of the liquids involved. You'll be testing sugary vs acidic environments and observing the effect they have on the longevity of the flowers.

In order to do this you will need:

  • Flower experiment6 flowers
  • 6 small flower containers or vases
  • Scissors
  • Sugar
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Measuring spoon
  • Sticky labels
  • Marker
  • Notebook
  • Pencil

To find out how to do this experiment, visit Education.com.

Paint by flower

This experiment takes into consideration pigments, and looks at which colours are stronger and which ones last longer. If you have your own garden this is an easy one to do, if not a small bunch of flowers from the shop will suffice. Remember to read through the entire blog before starting this experiment so that you can learn from the mistakes made the first time around.

What you will need:

  • Vibrantly coloured flowers
  • A jar per flower
  • Hot water
  • White paper
  • Paint Brushes

To learn more about how to carry out this experiment visit Learn Play Imagine.

Flower pigments

We know that no two snowflakes are the same but is that true of flowers? This will take a little help from an adult as it is more difficult than some of the experiments above, but it will be worth the effort. It will help to have access to a number of different types of flowers as well as colours.

What you'll need:

  • Petals from different flowers
  • Tall glass jar
  • 1 inch strips of paper towels the same height as the jar
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol in a cup (or mug)
  • Toy car

To find out how to complete this experiment visit coffeecupsandcrayons.

Dissection

Flower pigments

Understanding how a flower is made up is a fun experiment and makes kids feel like real scientists. They get to muck in and in the end they have something to show for their work. This is an entry level dissection project, and one that even the most squeamish should be able to handle.

What you'll need for this:

  • Sharp knife
  • A selection of flowers
  • Tape
  • Card

To find out more about this experiment visit Gift of Curiosity.

 
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