Effect of sound (music) on plant germination and growth.

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Wed Jan 13 10:09:16 EST 1999


At 2:04 PM -0500 1/12/99, Thomas Bjorkman wrote:
>In an article on another newsgroup some kids wrote:
>
>> I have a science fair project, and I need to know if anybody knows how to
>> find information about any research or books about if (or how) sound and
>> music affects plant growth. I can't find anything at the library.
>
>I am also asked this fairly frequently during science fair season.
>Apparently it has made it into curricula for holding science fairs.
---snip---
>Has anyone put together an answer (or response) to this question? It would
>be handy to have when the kids follow suggestions to get in touch with a
>nearby botany professor.
>
>Does anyone have a perspective that could wrench me out of my cynicism on
>this question?

Hi Thomas!

I have answered this in just about the way you did
so many times, I have just about decided to give it
up.  Someday I will put a page on my website and
simply answer with the link to it.  So I'm mired in
the same cynicism that you are feeling.  There are
so many OTHER and REAL factors affecting plant growth,
it seems a shame to have so many kids pursuing
the pseudoscience or incredibly-difficult-to-control
projects on music and magnetism affecting plant growth.

I honestly think that teachers and students are not
reading real biology books...rather the "trade books"
that are inadequately reviewed. I am also cynically
convinced that many teachers have never given a thought
to control of extraneous variables or the replication
problem with science fair projects.  It is easy to turn
kids loose but far more difficult to teach them what
constitutes a good question, a testable hypothesis, and
a properly designed experiment.

Please excuse my "purging" here, but it sure does get
tiresome to have this same question almost daily on the
lists.  I wish teachers would get a copy of David
Hershey's book Plant Biology Science Projects (J. Wiley Pub).
It has a collection of good ideas for science fair projects
and a chapter on what ISN'T a good project!

ross

ross

________________________________________________________________
Ross Koning                 | koning at ecsu.ctstateu.edu
Biology Department          | http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479
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