In Search of Solutions: can you test the performance of a home-made flower preservative against the commercial alternative? Linking to topics on chemical preservatives.
If you teach primary science, see the headings below to find out how to use this resource:
Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:
- Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated based on their data and observations.
- Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their methods and findings.
- Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary, including:
- Carrying out comparative and fair tests.
- Observing changes over time.
- Investigate the way in which water is transported within plants.
- Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (including nutrients) and how they vary from plant to plant.
Children will learn:
- How water is transported in plants.
- How to carry out a fair test, including controlling variables and deciding what to measure.
Suggested activity use
This activity can be carried out as a whole class investigation, with children working in groups to discover which solutions or ratio of ingredients make the best plant preservative. Children could research why the preservatives work in helping keep the plant alive for longer.
You will need plants and other materials to carry out the experiment.
Children may need help creating the preservative solutions. An adult should dilute the bleach in advance of preparation of the solutions.
The full investigation could take several weeks to complete, depending on the effectiveness of the preservatives.
Please take into account any health and safety considerations – particularly as children handling or being around bleach could potentially be hazardous.
Carrying out the activity in the suggested way provides strong possible links to the maths curriculum, for example ratios. However, children may need some prior knowledge in order to make the most of these links.