This rainbow carnations experiment was a great visual way to teach my bugs how water travels up through the stems of flowers and plants. We actually conducted this experiment back in March, when the boys were learning about rainbows, which is why you may notice that some of the pictures have SNOW in the background!
Rainbow Carnations Science Experiment
I started by giving each of my bugs a carnation to explore. I explained to them that all plants need sunlight, and water to grow. I asked them how they thought the carnations soak up the water so they don’t wither and dry up. M hypothesized that the water was soaked up through the bottom of the stem.
Next, I set out 7 jars of water and had the boys drop in food colouring to make all 7 colours of the rainbow. This turned out to be a great lesson in colour mixing! You will need quite a few drops of food colouring in order to see quick results.
When the colours were all mixed, the boys dropped in the carnations, which I had already pre-cut.
We set the flowers on the window sill where they would get lots of sunlight!
M recorded his observations by drawing a picture in his science journal, while I scribed his procedure and hypothesis for him.
It only took a few hours for the carnations to drink up the coloured water, and for the boys to observe a noticeable change in the flower petals.
After a couple weeks of enjoying our lovely rainbow of carnations, I gave M a pair of scissors so he could dissect the flowers and get a closer look. Due to the food colouring, M could see clearly how the stem acts as a straw, by drawing the water up and into the veins and petals of the flowers, to keep the flowers hydrated and healthy.
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