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Family Team STEAM Challenge: Starting Seeds

Your family will be good to GROW with this month’s Family STEAM Challenge! This activity invites families to inquire, predict, observe, and record the way in which a seed becomes a plant.

This Issue's STEAM Topic

Exploring a world that’s normally unseen, underneath a seed!

The Mission

Choose a variety of seeds, water them, and watch them sprout. Track changes daily and observe how roots and plants take shape.

The Apparatus

A homemade greenhouse.

The Challenge

Determine what seeds need to grow and how long it takes a seed to sprout.

Materials you could use (but are not limited to)

• clear jar 
• paper towel
• seeds of any variety!

Incorporating the Arts

STEAM is all about including the arts with the sciences. For this challenge, experiment with the design of the jar! Dress it up any way you’d like, just make sure the seeds can see the light.

Grab a digital camera or cellphone and document the changes you see in the seeds over a period of days.

Questions to Mull Over

• Predict which seed will sprout first.
• Do different seeds look different when they begin to sprout?
• What do seeds need to grow?
• Why does the sprout grow up and the root grow down? If you turned the seed upside down, what would change?
• Which seed took the longest to grow?
• Do you have any plants at home? If so, what do you observe about how they grow?

Thank you to Amie Winters with the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire for making this STEAM challenge possible.

The Family STEAM Challenge is all about experimenting with the ordinary to make the extraordinary! Chippewa Valley Family challenges your family to think and play together all in the name of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (that’s where the STEAM comes in).

Each challenge can be completed as a family or a group of friends in as little or as much time needed; however, most challenges can be completed within one sitting. The Family STEAM Challenge is also designed to get all ages involved through hands on experimenting. So get ready to put your collective thinking caps on to design a seriously cool apparatus made almost entirely out of reusable or recyclable materials laying around the house.

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