Back in April we sent off for the Bees n Beans free kit as part of a research project by Sussex University.
The kids dutifully planted their beans.
It was a slow start, but the broad bean plants grew a little like children do some slow and squat, and some skinny and tall. Finally, after a few days of hot weather last week, the plants have suddenly burst into flower. Not all are fully blooming yet, so we wont be able to do the hand pollination bit until later in the week. Bad timing considering half of us will be in Spain, so poor dh will be left with 'pollination' instructions along with a long list of dd's busy social schedule :)
A while back, when I had a chance to think of things other than IGCSE exams and robotics championships, we did some hands-on things.
One of them was to do with soil samples. It was inspired by an experiment from this old book that we picked up from the swap shop, along with other old textbooks.
The kids collected soil samples from different areas of a local nature reserve/woodland and followed the above instructions
Watching soil settle is a bit like...er...watching soil settle.
Three days later...
and we compared our bottles of the different soils
This is what they should have looked like:
Our results were, um, not quite so well defined...
We planned to do pH testing of the same samples, but the pH paper is still in its packet on the windowsill and the soil samples are bagged up and going slimy in the greenhouse. Perhaps that will be next month's project?