|#4: The Celery Experiment|
you make cups of colored water...
and put the celery in them.
You can even split one stalk in the middle and put the two ends into cups of colored water.
In a few days, have them draw what they see.
That they understand that the plant draws the colored water up through these tubes is all that is necessary for Pre-K-2nd grade students.
For older students, when you show them the holes at the bottom of the celery stalk, you can have them imagine these holes running through the stalk and have them sketch what they imagine. In a few days, when they see the coloring in the celery stalks, you can talk about how the "veins" in plants are called xylem, and that the xylem takes water and minerals from the roots to other parts of the plant. You can also tell them that there are other tubes in plants called Phloem, which take the sugars (the plant's "food") created during the process of photosynthesis to other parts of the plant. Using this information, your child can add to their original sketch, adding color and labels. (This information is in Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany, for 3-6 grade students.)For even older students, use a wilted celery stalk. When they see that the wilted stalk stands up again, you can talk about how plant and animal cells are different. Animal cells are round and the nucleus, which contains the DNA, are in the center. Plant cells are more square in shape and have a cell wall. The nucleus is not in the center, but have something called the central vacuole in the center. This vacuole is like a water balloon and when the cells have plenty of water, this vacuole fills up and presses against the cell wall, causing rigidity in the cell. This rigidity in the cells makes the plant in general stand up straight. It is the water leaving the cells that make plants wilt. They can sketch what they have learned in their lab reports. (This is an experiment done in Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science, a book for 6-8th grade students.)
One experiment; three levels of learning.
See how Homeschool Creations has made the celery experiment more exciting and complex by adding sugar, baking soda and salt to the water.
This demonstration can also be done with carnations.