Grow a bean challenge – Micro gardening – Google Day and Others !

Rubbish Science is about taking rubbish from the environment, turning it into something useful and learning scientific principles. Our activities are all simple to do but have complex outcomes with many variables. Please can you help us to make this project big enough to be effective. The challenge is very simple. Can you grow a bean plant in a plastic bottle that will produce a crop of beans? In many parts of the World there is malnutrition and a water shortage. There is a real need to grow food efficiently – Can you help find the ‘best’ method because no one really knows what it is. You can do anything you want to. The biggest breakthroughs in science were ‘mistakes’ . The only equipment you can use is what anyone can access regardless of how rich or poor  (We are working on the seeds) :
  • Bean Seed(s)
  • Plastic Bottle(s)
  • Paper towel or cloth or cotton rope/string
  • Soil or compost
  • Any other item you can source from rubbish – ie discarded materials
You will need to think about and research what plants need in order to grow (light, warmth, nutrients, water and carbon dioxide)   and how to provide them with these as effectively as possible . Can you grow your bean through the Winter? This is a big challenge! You may want to plan your approach before you see some of the ideas below Some ideas you might want to start with – But you might have a better idea !
  1. Take a plastic coffee cup and lid.
  2. Turn the lid upside down and push a paper towel through it so it hangs down into the cup – This is going to be a ‘wick’ that allows water to move up to the seed.  You can use anything you like instead of the paper if you think it may work better
  3. Put the seed into the paper and water it (You could cover the seed in soil if you think it will work better)
  4. You may want to cover it with another lid or something else
img_3939img_3940img_3945img_3948 You may want to use a plastic bottle which is cut in half (ask a responsible adult if you are a child or an irresponsible adult yourself) The top part is then put down into the bottom like a funnel. img_2652img_2655 You may want to cut holes in the sides of the bottle and grow plants through these IMG_2845img_3908 You may want to stack your bottles up so that they water each other. Or can you grow your plant upside down? IMG_2844img_2656 How can we share our results as we go along and what we have learned? Remember there is no failure, only learning experiences. If your bean died we can learn why and do it differently next time. We could use the twitter hashtag #googlebeans and @rubbishscience  Or on Google + Or Facebook? Or leave a comment and a link to your bean in the comments section below. This activity is open to everyone. It is a challenge, but it is about collaboration and the sharing of ideas. If we can turn this into a massive project we can change the World for next to nothing cost and empower and connect communities. Extension: Use a Raspberry Pi to develop a watering system for bean growing Plea:  If anyone can help on this I’d be massively grateful as this really is only a concept in my head at the moment   [email protected]    
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