Chia Seeds and Colored Water: What will happen?

For our first visit with Grades 5 and 6 this year, Science from Scientists instructors Dr. Maureen Griffin and Dr. Danielle Gutelius (“Dr. G.”) reviewed the scientific method and led the students through the set up of a practice science experiment wherein we will test the effect of colored water on the germination rate and growth of chia seeds. This experiment may sound familiar to those of you with 6h-graders, as last year we compared the growth of chia seeds watered with mineral water or distilled water. Everyone in the classes had a firm grasp of the scientific method, so we are all anxious to learn what the colored water will do to our seeds. You might like to know that we had a completely different experiment planned out where we would test whether it is a good idea to water seeds with salt water, but Mr. Crook had a couple of flasks of water dyed with food coloring on hand, and the students were way more interested in finding out what would happen if we used that!

So the seeds are set up and ready for data collection and next time, we’ll learn how to analyze and present the data.


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Dr. Maureen Griffin

Maureen earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. While at Penn, she developed a novel micro-mechanical technique called micropipette peeling to investigate the role of muscle cell adhesion in normal and diseased skeletal muscle cells. After graduating, Maureen worked full time as a post-doctoral researcher and then a staff scientist a SelectX Pharmaceuticals. She joined the teaching staff in 2008 and was excited to be made an executive staff member in 2009. Maureen also continued to consult part time for SelectX until her daughter's birth in 2009; now she is focused on Science from Scientists and, of course, her children. Maureen uses her spare time to read, blog, cook, and renovate her house.

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