This activity will take place over a few weeks. Students will plant seeds, build a shoebox maze, and observe how plants grow toward the light.
Two weeks before full activity - plant seeds and allow them to sprout above soil:
For each group (3-4 students):
Their roots grow down (or laterally) and the aerial parts grow towards natural or artificial light. The process of photosynthesis uses light energy to turn carbon dioxide and water into sugars, which the plant uses. Essentially, the plant needs to find light to get food.
Although plants will grow under artificial light, studies have shown that they prefer natural light which has a perfect balance of wavelengths necessary for plant growth. Use of artificial light (greenhouses and in underground spaces) is a growing industry. Benefits include the ability to grow local food throughout the year, however, there are impacts on energy, and light pollution.
Natural light can benefit our health and save energy.
Keep blinds or curtains open to let in natural light during the day instead of turning on the lights.
LED light bulbs have a long lifetime and use 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs. There is also a range of colours available for LED bulbs, ranging from a soft yellow to a bright daylight, which can provide an alternate to natural light. Go to bchydro.com for more information on LED lighting.
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