For those of you who enjoyed reading our comic strip “How do plants drink?” here is a real life example of what Katy did in Africa to learn about water transport in plants.
Well done to Mrs. Reynolds her Mom, for making science fun for kids!
For our new readers:
ScienceWithMe!® brings you another simple science experiment from our Science With Africa! series.
ScienceWithMe!® is trying to spread science and scientific thinking around the globe. To this end, we have sponsored an expat in a rural community in Africa to get African kids doing ScienceWithMe!® We hope you in the Americas, Australia, Europe and Asia follow suit! Enjoy this experiment! And be sure and leave Katy a comment below!
Do you want to know how plants get water from the soil to their leaves? Do you want to do this activity with Mrs. Reynolds?
Here’s what you need:
- A glass with water
- A glass with water
- Food coloring
Katy puts the food coloring in the water.
Put the stalk of celery in the water just like Katy!
Leave your celery in the water over night.
Describe what you see.
What does that tell you?
Should Katy water the leaves or the soil around her spinach plants?
Plants, like animals, have circulatory systems that move things around. Water and other nutrients needed by the plant are absorbed by the roots and carried around the plant by vessels similar to our blood vessels. The vessels that carry water from the roots are called xylem.
In this experiment, the red food coloring is carried along with the water as it is pulled up to the leaves and dyes the vessels to allow us to see them clearly. This concept is difficult for children to accept, but this activity shows them clearly that the plant is moving the water from the soil to its leaves. Try to get very fresh celery as then it is more likely that the red color will even show in the leaves as well as in the stem.
Plants, unlike us, do not have a heart to pump things around their bodies. Instead, there is a continuous chain of water molecules from the roots, through these vessels, into the leaves. As water evaporates at the leaf’s surface, water is pulled in at the roots and the chain moves upward.