2006-04-22 00:17 - General
The other day, I found a new interesting thing through Digg. Later, I found it again with more detail, and yet again with yet more detail. The short version is: a young girl did an experiment for class, testing if microwaved water, used to water a plant, harmed it (or at least, didn't help it stay alive).
Where it gets interesting is that the answer was yes. The pictures provided show a healthy plant withering away within the span of about a week. Unfortunately, at that point, the interestingness ends, because that's all there is. There were just two plants. There were no controls. There was no explanation of much.
Now, this has to be said: It's not bad for a kid in science class. The last link above says that she was in 6th grade. Barring anything else, I think that just developing and testing a hypothesis is good for a 6th grader! She'll be in high school, and (hopefully) learning more about science before long.
But, I'm well past high school. And a bit of a nerd. And I just don't believe that microwaving water does anything to water to produce those results. It's spring now, and I need a project. So I'm reproducing the experiment. That's science for ya!
So, today on the way home from work, I stopped by Home Depot (it's right on the way). I picked up
a planter kit with separate compartments, and its own
Super Growing Pellets,
some seeds (something that seemed like it would grow in the confined space I had planned, and without complex instructions on the back),
some distilled water for a control, on the suggestion of a friend of mine. Though, truly, I'm not quite confident that this bottle of store-branded water is quite the sort you'd find in a laboratory. It will do though.
Now, I just have to plan out the logistics of the experiment, and then run it! I'm going to have 3 kinds of water: distilled, tap, and filtered tap. Each one will have three treatments: untreated, microwaved, and boiled. For each of those nine combinations, I'll plant three copies, in case of dud seeds or the like.