The Effects of Chemicals on Pea Germination

Student: Nico Downie
Table: 12
Experimentation location: School, Home
Regulated Research (Form 1c): No
Project continuation (Form 7): No

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Additional Project Information

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Project files

Research Plan:


Research Question:There are many different fertilizers on the market, however there is no way to understand which ratio of chemicals causes the plants to germinate in the quickest amount of time. If I were to test several popular organic fertilizers how would different vitamin supplements affect the growth speed of pea plants?




  1. Obtain materials.


  1. Fill the beakers with 40 ml of water and 7 ml of that beakers assigned chemical


  1. Wrap the peas in paper towels


  1. Put 2 peas in each plastic bag except for the 4 control peas which are put in a separate bag


  1. Give each bag a label


  1. For 4 days check each pea plant at 10:00, noon, and 9:00


  1. Record the germination time of all ten peas.


  1. Represent the data in a double bar graph.


  1. Take pictures.


Risk and Safety:

Hazardous chemicals were used in the experiment. In the wrong amount the chemicals could have caused serious bodily harm. I took safety precautions by using small non-lethal dosages of the chemicals that were potentially dangerous, and by taking measures not to breathe in airborne chemicals. The chemicals used were caffeine and potassium chloride. 













Questions and Answers

1. What was the major objective of your project and what was your plan to achieve it? 

Rationale: My intention was to see the effects of chemicals on peas in order to tell if the effects were potentially helpful. This could have given me a convenient home fertilizer that is easily accessible.

       a. Was that goal the result of any specific situation, experience, or problem you encountered?  

It is not the result of any specific situation, experience, or problem I encountered.

       b. Were you trying to solve a problem, answer a question, or test a hypothesis?

I was trying to test which chemical assists peas to grow the largest, my hypothesis was that if I supplement pea plants with different ratios of vitamins, that they will lower the development time and decrease the germination time of my pea plants whereas the control peas will grow at a normal rate. 


2. What were the major tasks you had to perform in order to complete your project?

In order to complete my project, the most major task was mixing and diluting the chemicals, and preparing the peas in their bags. The chemicals took a long time to mix, and at one point I mixed the wrong amount of caffeine into a mixture and had to start over. The pea bags required paper towels and water, and while not being difficult, they took a long time to prepare.

       a. For teams, describe what each member worked on.


3. What is new or novel about your project?

The new or novel aspects of my project were the chemicals that I used on the peas. The chemicals were fairly out of the ordinary for use on plants and were potassium chloride, sugar, and caffeine. 

       a. Is there some aspect of your project's objective, or how you achieved it that you haven't done before?

I have never once used a pea bag. Pea bags are an entirely new concept to me that I have only just learned about this year from a friend of mine in preparation for this project. I must say, pea bags, or plant bags in general, are incredibly useful in projects that require the observation of plants in a cheap and easily manageable manor.

       b. Is your project's objective, or the way you implemented it, different from anything you have seen?

The plant bag aspect and use of the certain chemicals I used are different than anything I have ever seen anyone use on plants. The plant bag was just introduced to me this year by a friend, and the chemicals I used are novel and odd to be used on plants.

       c. If you believe your work to be unique in some way, what research have you done to confirm that it is?

I believe that the chemicals I used on my plants make my work unique because they are not the sort of chemical someone would normally use on a plant.

4. What was the most challenging part of completing your project?

The most challenging part of this project was getting the idea for it. When I was originally brainstorming ideas for science projects, I was genuinely stumped and out of plausible, manageable, achievable goals and experiments.

      a. What problems did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?

After a long period of thinking I brainstormed my plant idea, did research, and wrote my procedure, affectively solving my idea dilemma.

      b. What did you learn from overcoming these problems?

By overcoming this problem, I learned to begin thinking of a science fair project early, do my research, and be set to go long before the deadline so that I have some slack to make edits.

5. If you were going to do this project again, are there any things you would you do differently the next time?

If I were to do this project again, I would most likely use different chemicals because my experiment shows that the chemicals I used killed my plants. I could not collect amazing information from a dead plant meant to stay alive, so in the future I will use plant healthy chemicals. 

6. Did working on this project give you any ideas for other projects? 

Working on this project gave me experience to better handle other projects in the future, and helped me think of the experiment execution process but did not give new ideas for experiments in the future.

7. How did COVID-19 affect the completion of your project?

COVID-19 did not affect the completion of my project because by the time I had begun my project, COVID-19 had been in full swing, allowing me to compensate for factors affected by it which even then were few and far between.