Activity Introduction

snappy-science-heroQuick summary: Students experiment with planting a potato in a shoebox with a small hole cut in it, and over several weeks watch as potato shoots emerge from the hole.

mod logoThese Snappy Science resources have been created to boost science education in primary schools across Australia. Each lesson is designed to support teachers with the scientific knowledge, ideas and resources to stimulate a sense of wonder and curiosity in their students. Many of the big issues that Australian society will face in the future are around technology, energy, resources and climate change. All of these require students to engage with science – but most of all to enjoy science!

Science at Home: These Snappy Science resources can also be used to engage families in fun science and learning for life. You can download a student friendly version of this activity here and you can also check out the Snappy Science Digital Library.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum content description: This activity is relevant to Science Inquiry Skills across all primary year levels of the Australian Curriculum.

Year 1 Science

  • Living things have a variety of external features (ACSSU017)

Year 2 Science

  • Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (ACSSU030)

Year 3 Science

  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)

Year 4 Science

Syllabus OutcomesST1-10LW, ST2-10LW.

Time required: 10 – 15 minutes to set up experiment, observation time over the next several weeks.

Resources required: A shooting potato (one that has little white shoots growing out of it), shoe-box, scissors, potting mix, rocks.

Safety advice: Depending on student age and ability teacher may need to supervise students cutting holes in the shoebox.

Keywords: Potato, shoots, grow, dark, plants.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

snappy-science-heroBrief summary:

Students experiment with planting a potato in a shoebox with a small hole cut in it, and over several weeks watch as potato shoots emerge from the hole.

Students can use the Predict, Observe, Explain table on the Student Worksheet to describe and reflect upon this experiment.

You will need:

  • A shooting potato (one that has little white shoots growing out of it)
  • A shoe-box
  • Scissors
  • Potting mix
  • Rocks

What to do:

Step 1. Cut a small coin-size hole in the short end of the shoe-box.

Step 2. Put a handful of potting mix in the corner of the box at the opposite end from where you have made the hole.

Step 3. Lay the potato in the soil.

Step 4. Put the rocks in the box with the potato to create ‘obstacles’.

Step 5. Put the lid on the box and put it somewhere where there is plenty of light.

Step 6. After 4 weeks, open the box and you'll see that the potato shoot has made it’s way around and over the rocks to reach the hole where the sunlight is coming in.

How do...

 
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Student Worksheet

In this activity you will be planting a potato in a shoebox with a hole in it. What do you think will happen?

Predict

Explain what you think will happen:

Observe

Explain what happened:

Explain

Explain why you think this happened:

...
 
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