Homeschool Creations

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Coloring Celery ~ Science Sunday

Science Sunday

I am SO excited to be starting back up with Science Sunday. This really has been a favorite post for our whole family ~ the kids enjoy the experiments we’re doing very much, and I enjoy sharing them!! Besides, an excuse to take pictures {or use the cute new Science Sunday button} is always good!

This week’s experiment is pretty basic, but we had to do the celery stalk at SOME point, didn’t we? That’s just one of those standard science experiments that is begging to be done!! We did mix it up a little bit, but here’s a look at what we did.

Question of the Week…What will happen to a stalk of celery after three hours if it is put in a cup of water {one with sugar, one with salt, one with baking soda, and one with just water}?

Items we used for this experiment:

~ celery

~ 4 cups half filled with water

~ baking soda, salt, and sugar

~ food coloring

~ water


Each of the kids made a prediction about the 4 different stalks of celery and types of water ~ would the additions to the water make a difference in the coloring of the celery stalk after 3 hours or would they all be the same? Would they wilt, grow leaves, change colors, or do nothing?

The Experiment and Results…

Although the experiment didn’t call for all the extra ingredients {sugar, baking soda, and salt}, we wanted to see if there would be any difference in how fast the coloring would travel up the stalk of celery…or if it would even travel up if those ingredients were even added.


We added one tablespoon of each of the ingredients to a different glass of water, labeled them, stuck the celery in the jars and then realized we needed to chop off a bit of the top and bottom to make sure it was ‘fresh’ and the water could travel if needed.

After three hours of {not-so} patiently waiting, here is how each of our celery stalks looked {pictures are before and after}:

Celery in baking soda water w/coloring

IMG_7573  IMG_7575

Celery in salt water w/coloring

IMG_7572  IMG_7576

Celery in sugar water w/coloring

IMG_7571  IMG_7577

Celery in plain water w/coloring

IMG_7574  IMG_7579

The baking soda celery stalk had only ONE tube that showed the red food coloring. The salt celery stalk had NO tubes showing the coloring. The sugar celery stalk was the most permeated with color and the water celery stalk was also very color permeated.

The Nutshell Reason…

Plants use capillary action to pull water and nutrients from their roots up through the plant.  Capillary action is the movement of water up narrow tubes {like those in celery plants}. The water travels up through the tubes via cohesion and adhesion. The adhesion is between the water molecules and the sides of the celery’s tubes. The cohesion is between the water molecules and the water molecules themselves. When the force of adhesion is greater than the force of the cohesion, fluids will rise ~ so the liquid will then rise up into the tubes of the celery.

How to Do Science Experiments with Children Resource: How to Do Science Experiments with Children is available from Amazon and you can also check it out {and do some of the experiments} using Google Docs! The experiments use easy-to-find objects and also include record sheets for kids to fill out with their predictions and experiment results. Each experiment also includes teaching tips and explanations…which are rather handy! :)

Don't forget to check out some other great science ideas at Science Sunday hosted by Ticia at Adventures in Mommydom.

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