Dr. David Starrett c309scb at SEMOVM.SEMO.EDU
Thu Jan 25 16:36:07 EST 1996

>Ross wrote:
>I have no experience with this except in judging a science fair once.  The
>problem with EMF is that it penetrates many normal containers...thus a
>critical element of the design is to be sure that the control plants are kept
>sufficiently out of the
>EMF.  This poses problems in terms of equal lighting, temperature, watering,
>etc. between EMF treated plants and the controls.  In the case of the project
>I judged, the two sets of plants were displayed in adjacent plastic
>containers.  I asked the student if he thought the controls were sufficiently
>away from the huge alnico magnets in the adjacent bin, and was his fair
>display exactly the way it was at home.  He said it was.  I dropped my
>pocketknife into the control bin and it slammed up on the side wall.  The
>student understood the problem.  My thought (unexpressed) was, where is the
>mentor for this project?  Please understand I am not saying you would make
>this mistake, Diane, but it is an important part of setting up such a project
>that at least one high-school mentor in my past did fail to observe.
>What was the result--not that it is signigicant but just out of curiosity? I
>too saw a project involving electricity and plants. The student used a small
>battery to create a slight field in the tray in which the experimental plants
>grew. They did MUCH better than the controls. There were not many plants, as
>I remember, and I can't say much about what the actual circumstances of the
>'experiment' were but it made me wonder. I can't imagine that much of the
>small electromagnetic field generated by his apparatus escaped into the
>control tray. On the other hand, I can't see exactly how it could do any good
>to the experimentals either. My feeling at the time was that unless the
>student had cheated (deliberately stunted the controls) something must have
>gone on.
>Dave Williams
>Linneaus00 at aol.com
I have judged one with the battery set-up where it inhibited growth (beans
if I remember correctly).  Student had some background on the effect of e-,
data fit results... can't rememeber much more though.

Dave Starrett

*                                       *
*  Dr. David Starrett                   *
*  Biology Department, MS 6200          *
*  Southeast Missouri State University  *
*  Cape Girardeau, MO 63701             *
*  Ph: (573) 651-2382                   *
*  Fax: (573) 651-2223                  *
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