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4 IB Biology
Topic 14: Coordination and response
Plant maze project

Name: Ng Tin Wing, Martin

Introduction

In this fun, entertaining project, you will learn about how plants always follow the sun and grow
towards light. You can build mazes and race friends to see whose plant exits the maze first! This
project is very cheap and takes about 5 minutes to build.

Objective:
To demonstrate phototropism (the growth response towards light) in plants

Apparatus and Materials provided:


Shoe box (with cover) 1 Cardboard 3-4
Cutter / scissor 1 Adhesive tape 1
Fast-growing plant (mung beans) 1 Plastic cup 1
Cotton wool 1 Distilled water

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Procedure:
1. Cut a 8cm x 8cm hole on one side of the shoe box.
2. Create a few “obstacles” for plant growth using cut cardboards in the shoe box.
3. Immerse cotton wool in distilled water.
(Ensure the cotton wool is wet without dripping water)
4. Put the wet cotton wool to the bottom of the plastic cup.
5. Add 5 mung beans to the cotton wool.
6. Place the plastic cup at the bottom of the shoe box.
(The plastic cup should be horizontally placed)
An example of the setup has been shown below:

7. Cover the shoe box.


8. Take it back home (one of your groupmates), and place the shoe box near a window / under light.
(Ensure light can enter the shoe box through the hole on the top)
9. Add distilled water when necessary (e.g. every 2 days) to ensure the cotton wool is wet.
10. Record the growing pattern of the plant every day or 2 days (it may take a total of 10-15 days).

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Result:
Record the growing pattern in the following space, e.g. attach photos.
My set up:

The seeds start germinating

The end results

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Discussion:
1. Can your plant complete the maze? Did your plant die? When?
Yes, my plant completed the maze and my plant is still growing even though some seed that I’ve
planted died. But the ones that completed the maze is still growing healthily

2. How do you describe the growing pattern of your plant?


It bends away from the barrier that I’ve set up, more like S shape, it all grows towards the only
light source.

3. Explain the growing pattern of your plant.


The plant will grow towards the light because the auxin will go to the side that the light cannot
shine through and stimulate the plant to grow towards the light source. I’ve set up two barrier and
only one light source. So, the plant will bend two times because the auxin will change position
since the light direction changed direction two times. Hence, the plant forms an S shape.

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