For High School Teachers
  From DNA to Organism: A Study in DNA Function for the High School Biology Classroom

Premodule: Scientific Method and Plant Growth

Lab Letter

Date:   9/2/2003
To:       All Research Personnel
From:  Greenthumb Board of Directors
RE:       Plant Growth Project

           Recent information gathered by company spies has led the management of Greenthumb to doubt our plant growth procedures. It has come to the attention of the Greenthumb board of directors that rival companies are using new techniques to grow their plants from seed and are getting better results. As you know, Greenthumb has been an industry leader in plant growth for over 20 years and we would like it to stay that way. The sale of plant seedlings makes up a considerable portion of the company’s profits. It is obvious that if we could get better plant growth than we are currently getting, profit margins would increase.

            Two rival companies have been studied by our industrial spies. It has been documented that each is currently getting better results than Greenthumb. Unfortunately, we have been unable to determine what they are doing to increase production. Our two main goals are:

  1. Increased plant size; bigger plants are better for profits.
  2. Increased speed of plant germination and growth; growing plants faster means less overhead costs.

      Your job is to design and conduct a scientific study to find a way to accomplish one or both of the goals above and report you findings back to the board.
You will be sent the following items to conduct your research:

  1. Plant seeds
  2. Growth pots
  3. Potting soil

           Remember you will need to run as many trials as you can and collect extensive data from your experiment. We will be expecting a full report of your findings ASAP. Make sure to use the standard format when you type up your findings! Good luck!