Celery Microclimate Experiment
2. Display some of the materials (celery and colored water) to the class. Ask how these items could be used to study the effects different microclimates might have on plants. List ideas on overhead or board. Help direct students to the concept of liquid uptake in the celery stalk. Together design an experiment or set of experiments to explore how colored liquids can be used to teach us about how plants adjust to microclimates. Read further for more ideas, or design your own experiment.
3. Locate microclimates in your classroom/school. Where are the coldest and the warmest places? Brainstorm a
list of places you could test the temperatures. Find 4 locations if you can.
4. Choose the microclimates where you will carry out your experiments.
5. Create a chart to record your data. Across the top of the chart, head columns with the numbered site and the temperature you recorded at each site. Label the rows something like, "Height of red column at time intervals." Decide on the time interval to check the height of the colored column in the celery stalk. Give the chart a title.
6. Set up your experiment: Mix a dark solution of cool water and food coloring. Place some of the colored solution
into each of 4 jars that are labeled 1-4. Make a clean cut on the base of the celery stalk. Experiment with a potato
peeler to create a window to better see the "strings" or vascular bundles. Insert the stalk of celery,
large end down, into each jar of solution. Place each jar into the site you have chosen for it.
2. Can you make a statement about this phenomenon?
3. If temperature can influence the uptake of a liquid, can you think of other factors that might also influence plants? Make a list of the factors. How would each of them influence plants?
4. How could different microclimates outside affect the plants in them? Could you design an experiment that could test your ideas?
5. Can you graph the results of this experiment?