10 Jun Stem Challenge: Exploring Leaves Challenge
Next week you are going to learn about photosynthesis and plants! To prepare you, in this week’s #CMMSSTEMChallenge will be exploring how water travels through leaves. We’ll be observing how liquids travel through leaves over a period of three days.
Visit our blog every Thursday to see our latest STEM challenge and share your creations on social media using #CMMSSTEMChallenge or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to submit your photos to us by Monday, June 14th!
- Clear cup
- Red food coloring
- Magnifying glass (optional)
- Observation Sheet
- First take a quick walk outside and collect a few different leaves. They should be green, and have a stem for best results.
- Cut off a small part of the bottom of each leaf stem. Then place each leaf in a glass or cup filled about a third of the way with water.
- Add red food coloring to the water. (You should make your water a very dark shade of red to increase the chances of seeing changes in the leaves.)
- Observe the leaves closely. (You can use a magnifying glass if you have one.) Record your observations of how they look on Day 1 of the experiment on the observation sheet.
- Then, observe your leaves for the next two days. Be sure to record your observations in the correct area on your observation sheet.
You should be able to see the red food coloring move through the “veins” of the leaf. These veins are called the xylem tubes. The xylem tubes of plants are what transport water and minerals up from the roots through the entire plant, similar to veins. Their thick walls also provide support for the plant.