Hooked on Science: Make dandelions curl in water

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Use a dandelion to learn a little about biology with a few materials from around the house.

Materials

* Dandelion

* Scissors

* Transparent glass

* Cold water

Instructions

STEP 1: Using the scissors slit the stem of the dandelion into long strips.

STEP 2: Place the dandelion into a glass of cold water and observe.

Explanation

After a few minutes, the long strips will roll up. The reason, the cells inside the stem expand as they absorb the cold water. If you take the curled-up stems and place them into a transparent glass of salt water, the opposite will occur.

Jason Lindsey is a science outreach educator with Hooked on Science. Check out his website www.hookedonscience.org for webcasts and experiments that might get you hooked on science.

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