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  Earth Science
  Life Science
  Physical Science

Hands-on Activity

I Don't Need You Soil

Fun Forces
Summary
In this activity, students learn that plants acquire their material for growth chiefly from air and water rather than from soil. Students learn about hydroponic gardening and how plants do not necessarily need soil to grow. During this activity students conduct an experimental investigation to determine if plants grow best using only sunlight and water, or if soil somehow plays a positive role in their growth and development.
Overview
Topic: Matter and Energy Flow in Plants
Real World Science Topics:
  • An explanation of hydroponic farming and the impact it has on food production in regions with limited space for production.
  • An exploration of how plants, especially plant cuttings from food scraps, can be 'recycled' and used to grow more plants rather than being thrown away.
Objective
After completing this activity, students will be able to explain that plants primarily get the materials needed to grow from the air and water. They will be able to recognize that in addition to these essential nutrients from the water and air, plants also need anchoring and support as well as certain types of mineral nutrients typically provided by the soil for longterm survival. They will see that there are alternative methods growers can use to support and anchor plants and provide plants with these mineral nutrients. Students will have an understanding of hydroponics and its advantages.

Activity Difficulty Rating: 1 Each hands-on science activity has been ranked based on difficulty of set up and how difficult they are to perform. The rating scale is from 1 to 5, with 1 being the easiest and 5 being the most complicated.

5-MINUTE REFRESHER

TAKE FIVE

Use these quick refreshers to prep for your next class.