Plant Science Projects
This article has information and ideas for plant and botany science projects designed for grades 1 through 12. These science projects may be modified or extended to meet particular classroom needs and/or science fair regulations.
Science Projects: Plants and Botany
Science projects can help students to study and learn about many aspects of science, and this set focuses on plants and botany. Parents (and older students) may find it useful to modify projects to better fit their curriculum or their interests. In addition, projects from an age band other than the band the student is in may be adapted. Also consider whether repeating a project - perhaps with added or changed outcomes that reflect the student’s greater understanding and skills.
1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Grade
Tips: Beginning science projects often focus on helping a student to practice observation skills and the use of simple measuring devices. Assist students as necessary in the recording of their observations and measurements and to keep track of the project so they don’t forget to make observations. A calendar that is checked off after each observation can help in this regard.
- Choose a type of plant to grow. Change food, water, air, light, location and observe effects.
- Identify plants that you’ve collected or on a walk by categories. Categories can be chosen as appropriate, but might include: tree/shrub/flower, biennial/perennial/annual, deciduous/evergreen, edible/inedible, flowering/non-flowering.
- Observe a given area to discover the most common wild flower (i.e., not cultivated).
- Identify the effects of day/night and seasonal changes on plants.
- Observe a carnivorous plant. Compare and contrast it to other plants.
- Analyze how plants fit into the food chain for your family and pets (if any).
- Investigate plants that can be used to identify different environments.
- Make a poster to illustrate the life cycle of a several plants. Include an annual, a perennial, a biennial, and a tree.
5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade
Tips: Whether intermediate level students will require support will depend on the student and the project that is being pursued.
- Make a model showing plant parts.
- Use a plant you’ve found to demonstrate plant parts.
- Compare and contrast the reproductive cycle of a fruit tree and a fern.
- Create a model that demonstrates photosynthesis.
- Make a leaf collection from trees in your area and on any trips you take. Use a wildlife tree guide to help you identify them. Press and mount them.
- Explain and demonstrate dormancy and forcing a plant to blossom.
- Make models to show the similarities and differences in plant and animal cells.
- Make up your own classification system for plants. Try it out. Compare it to the standard system and explain the benefits of each.
- Make a poster demonstrating the role of plants, including phytoplankton, in the health and cycles of the ocean environment.
- Identify the types of plants that are found in fossils. Compare and contrast your findings with artistic renderings of the time from which the fossils date.
- Analyze the role of plants in conservation.
9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade
Tips: High school students, for the most part, will be able to manage their own projects independently. Scheduling intermediate check-in times for longish projects, as well as an end date, is probably a good idea.
- Design an experiment to demonstrate phototropism.
- Collect any data that show measurable effects from deforestation. What conclusions can be drawn?
- Compare and contrast animals and plants in terms of a) their needs and b) their interactions with their environments.
- Choose a plant that is important to people for some reason and predict the effects of its disappearance. Sample choices are pine trees, apple trees, grass.
- Using as many kinds of data you can find analyze the effects of Dutch Elm disease in the United States.
- Write the history of an invasion or introduction of an alien plant species and its long-term effects on a particular area.
- Analyze how thoughts about evolution, mutation, and natural selection apply to plants.
- Identify and research a protected plant, explaining the process that led to it needing protection and the process that led to it being protected.
- Identify a toxic plant that either grows in your area or is used as a houseplant. Find out about effects and antidotes. Decide whether an alert is appropriate, and if so how and in what form you should deliver it.