Corn Germination Necklace

Materials

  1. Small jewelry bags
  2. Water beads*
  3. String
  4. Corn seeds

*Place water beads in water at least 6 hours prior to the activity so they will have enough time to absorb the water.

Instructions

  1. Place 2-3 water beads in the bag.
  2. Place 1 corn seed in the bag and close bag.
  3. Thread the string through the bag and tie end of string to make a necklace.
  4. Corn germination can take anywhere from 5-7 days.
  5. Depending on the group and the amount of time for instruction check out the experiment options.
  6. Refer to the activity discussion points to help with conversation while creating the necklaces.

Resources for creating the necklaces

Discussion Points

A seed needs three factors to be able to germinate, start to grow.

  1. Seed needs the right temperature.  Having the necklace around your neck and close to your body would be an ideal temperature and will allow the seed to germinate faster.
  2. Seed needs the right moisture.  The inside of the jewelry bag when moistened with water beads  will be close to 100% relative humidity.
  3. Seeds need the right amount of air (oxygen).  Corn seed needs oxygen from the air to germinate.  As it takes in oxygen it then releases CO2. Humans cannot breathe under water because we cannot get oxygen and the CO2 has no place to go.  The corn seed is just like us.  The water beads will keep the seedling moist but not under water where it cannot breathe.

Note: People wonder if the seed needs light to germinate, almost all seeds do not need light to germinate. Once germinated and the first leaf is growing the new plant needs light to continue to grow healthy.  Plants that do not get enough light are very spindly and do not grow in a normal manner.

Experiment Ideas

  1. Compare temperature when germinating.  Have some students wear their necklaces close to their body and compare with necklaces that are put in the fridge. Check in three days if there is a difference in germination.
  2. Compare moisture and air when germinating.  Have some students put seed in bag without water beads and compare in three days to ones with water beads added.  Also have some bags where water is poured in the bag and then place the seeds submerged in the water.
  3. Compare light  Place some necklaces in the dark and leave some in the light and see if there are any differences