23 October 2011

blue celery

The kids and I watched something (I can't remember what now. . . Bill Nye the Science Guy, maybe) where someone split the stem of a carnation, put one half in clear water and one half in colored water. The flower absorbed the color on only half the flower. We all thought that was pretty cool.

I remember doing a similar test sticking a stalk of celery into water + food coloring when I was a kid. But I didn't split the stalk then. I wondered if half the celery leaves would change if we split a celery stalk the same way as the carnation. So we picked up some celery and decided to try it.

The blue water started moving up and making itself known in the leaves after an hour. But Sweetpea thought the blue was on all the leaves, not just the half in the colored water. We talked a bit about veins carrying fluid and how it was hard to tell which “veins” went to which leaves.

But after 24 hours, it was pretty clear that the blue was more heavily concentrated on the leaves atop the stalk portion in blue water. There was still some blue in the other leaves, which made me want to carefully slice open the stalk and track the color. (But then I got distracted. . . someone probably needed to be fed or wiped or driven somewhere.)

Any scientists or botanists out there want to help out with the scientific explanation?
Fun. Easy. Cheap.
Science is all around us.
Good lesson for today.