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Materials Needed

clear plastic cup

plastic wrap
paper towel, water
package of radish seeds

metric ruler
microwave oven

Total possible points 65

Step 1: Questions

  • What is the effect of increasing exposure times of microwave radiation on radish seed germination?
  • What is the effect of increasing exposure times of microwave radiation on radish seed sprout length?

Consider the questions above.

1) Write a hypothesis (prediction) for each question, in the below space. Make sure they are clear and testable! When writing a hypothesis use the If (statement about observations)…then (prediction of results of experiment)… format.

For example, If I drop a pencil, then it will fall.


  • Observe the radish seeds in your plastic dish for a “sprout” or leaflets coming out of the seed. Note: there may also be fine, white hair like rootlets-ignore those.
  • After a week COUNT the number of seeds that you can see the “sprout” coming out of the seed–even if the sprout is very small. Don’t count them if the outside coat of the seed has broken open but there is no “sprout.
  • RECORD the number of seeds germinated for each group. CALCULATE the average percent of seeds that germinated by the sixth day for each exposure time.
  • COUNT the number of the sprouts that germinated for each sprouted seed for each group on the sixth day. CALCULATE average germination percentage for each time exposure. You can do this by the following formula:

% Germination = Number of sprouts/Number of seeds tested x 100

  1. PRODUCE a table with the percentage data of the germination rate for each group. (10 points)
  2. MEASURE the length of the sprouts, in millimeters (mm), for each sprouted seed for each group after the 2nd week CALCULATE average sprout length for each time exposure. Make sure you identify the mm marks on the ruler- there are 25 mm in an inch and an mm is about the width of a period (.)
    1. PRODUCE a table with the average sprout length for each group. (10 points)Conclusion:
      1. Using your graphed data, discuss your conclusions concerning the effect of microwave exposure on germination rates and sprout lengths. Did the data support both of your hypotheses? If not, discuss why not! (20 points)
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