Science project: magnetic field and plant growth

Steve Segal segals-2 at
Sun Dec 14 14:51:19 EST 1997

Hi, thanks for visiting, the following was the abstract to my sci fair
project last year in tenth grade.  I won numerous awards and want to
continue with it this year.  I find the results very interesting.  I
would like suggestions as to how I could improvise the project so it
won't be exactly the same as last year.  Is there anything interesting
that I could do besides making the magnetic field stronger?  Perhaps
changing the species of plant?  Any ideas as to new conditions for the
plants... etc...  Any suggestions as to a new "twist" for the project?
	Or, any other ideas for cool plant projects would be appreciated,
although I am most interested in continuing my prior research if I can
make it somewhat different from last year.  Anyway, read the abstract
and tell me what you think.  I really appreciate your help and look
forward to reading the responses.  Thanks from a grateful student!

Effect of a Magnetic Field on the Growth of Spinach


	This project in its present form is the result of magnetic field
experimentation on
the growth of the spinach plant(Avon Hybrid).  The problem of this
project was to
determine if a magnetic field would have any affect on plant growth.
	To test the hypothesis, thirty spinach plants were exposed to a
southern magnetic
field, thirty were exposed to a northern magnetic field, and thirty
plants were used as the
control.  Ferrite based permanent magnets were placed 8 cm away from
the plants.  All the
plants were placed in the same room and were exposed to ten hours of
fluorescent lighting
per day.  Records of the heights of the plants were taken every five
days until
experimentation concluded after twenty-five days.
	At the conclusion of experimentation, the south group ended up having
the greatest
average height per plant of 4.8 cm.  The control group followed with
an average of 3.9 cm
per plant, and finally, the north group with an average growth per
plant of 2.3 cm.
	In summation, therefore, the magnetic field did affect plant growth to
extremes.  The northern field arrested life, while the southern field
encouraged or increased
life.  The magnets might have in some way affected the production of
hormones(auxin and cytokinin) within the plant.  The north pole could
have limited the
production, and the south pole could have increased production.  In
the future, scientists
may be able to increase crop yields by subjecting their plants to a
southern magnetic field.

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