Sent in by:
Anastasia of TX
It's a tiny environment!
- 2 liter soda bottle, cut in half
- gallon-size resealable storage bag
- potting soil
- seeds - grass, beans, or whatever you have available
- Check with a grown-up before you begin this.
- A biome is an ecological community, like a rainforest, desert, or prairie.
- Here's a way that you can experiment with how plants grow in different environments. It's a biome in a baggie. Here's how to make one.
- First, pour pebbles into the bottom half of the soda bottle. The pebbles should be about a half an inch deep.
- Then, pour some potting soil over the pebbles. Your biome should have about twice as much soil as pebbles.
- Now, to plant the seeds. Make a trench down the center of the soil that's as deep as your fingernails.
- Then sprinkle a pinch of seeds in the trench.
- Cover it up with the soil.
- Water the soil just until you see the water collect at the bottom of the pebbles.
- Put the biome in a plastic bag and seal it.
- Now, you've created an environment for your plants. You won't need to water your seeds again because the water will recycle itself. The roots of the plant absorb the water and the water travels up the stem to all the parts of the plant. When the water gets to the leaves, some of it evaporates. Some water also evaporates from the soil. The evaporated water forms drops on the bag. This is called condensation. The condensation then falls back down to the ground, like rain. This is called precipitation. This is the water cycle-evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.
- Put your biome in a sunny place and in about three to four days your plants should start growing. The cool thing about a biome in a baggie is that everything your plants need is there. It's got water, nutrients from the soil, air from the bag, and it makes food from the sun.
Now, here's how you can experiment with your biome in a baggie. Make a few different biomes and change the amount of light and water they get. This way you can see how your plants grow in different environments. A rainforest is a hot, wet climate but doesn't have a lot of light. A desert is hot and dry and doesn't have much water. A prairie has medium amounts of light and water. Eventually your plants are going to run out of carbon dioxide. Do some research and find out what you would need to keep your biome in a baggie going for a long time. Visit your local library or ask your parent or teacher for help. Then, send your discoveries to ZOOM.
Sunshine, age 12 of Miramar Beach wrote:
I planted mine on 11/6/10 so I hope it will grow by the time my science fair project is due.
Tre, age 14 of Jefferson City, MO wrote:
We followed the instructions, but the seed barely got out of the dirt. I think we used too much water.
Roslyn, age 13 of Jefferson City, MO wrote:
Well I used kool-aid instead of water and nothing happened. Plus we must of put to much in the bottle.
Nicki, age 11 of Jefferson City, MO wrote:
When I did this project we filled the bottle up with kool-aid but only to the top of the rocks. Its been about a week and nothing has happened. Except it looks like someone filled the bottle up to the very top with water.
Lindsey, Billy, Wes, Jaleah of NJ wrote:
First we planted our lima beans. The second day of our procedure there was a lot of precipitation and condensation, and there was a sprout. Our biome was a deciduous forest. After two weeks our sprout grew to be seven inches tall.
Dalt, Mag, Alb, Tj of Quinton, NJ wrote:
The first day the grass sprouted and we were happy. The flowers sprouted next. They were about 7 inches tall. We had morning glories, marigolds, and grass. Our biome was the Taiga. We think that our Biome in a Baggie worked. Thanks for the great idea!
E.H, A.C, J.F, M.C, V.E. of NJ wrote:
Our biome was the rainforest. We planted grass and flowers, but only a couple pieces of grass grew. We moved it to the window and then farther away from the window. When we had it near the window we got condensation. When we put it far away from the window mold grew. Other then that nothing happened.
K.S. R.G. J.L. M.D. K.B. of Quinton wrote:
We did a desert biome. In thirteen days Asters and Cosmos started to sprout. The Cosmos grew about three inches tall. There was ten small Aster plants. We were hoping that they would bloom, but we were happy with our results.
Z.B. D.L. J.S. J.R. of Quinton, NJ wrote:
The biome we did was the grassland/prairie. We did this project for over two weeks and nothing happened. We were very upset that nothing grew, but the only thing was that we grew lichen. We were very upset that nothing grew. It didn't work out that great.
Marcus, age 8 of NM wrote:
i did it and it worked.
Stephanie of Santa Clarita, CA wrote:
Nothing happened. I did this project last tuesday and it is thursday in the next week.
Makayla, age 12 of Whittier, CA wrote:
i used grass seeds and it worked very well. it took about 3-4 days for my seeds to get germinated and then it started to grow!! this was a science project and I had fun doing it.
Lollie of MS wrote:
This project is great with bean plants. Try simulating the different biomes, it's a great science fair project! Just make sure you give the plants a while to grow.
Gayathri of Coimbatore, India wrote:
It was cool. I loved it very much. I will try it again.
Deacon, age 8 of Lubbock, TX wrote:
I did this experiment with my mom at our science museum. We used aquapod water bottles (the ones that are shaped like a rain drop). We did the rocks and the dirt, then we used popsicle sticks to put pincussion plants in. They grew and covered the whole dirt. You could see the water on the bottle and tap the bottle to make it rain. It was GREAT. I love stuff like this. I will keep watching for more.
Justin, age 12 of New York, NY wrote:
it worked my plant grew perfect and all I had to do was water it once
Krithika, age 12 of London wrote:
My sunflower seed grew so quickly.
Michaela, age 10 of Greenville, PA wrote:
this worked out great! I did one bag with flowers and one bag with string beans. the flowers came up first, however the beans grew fastest and bloomed first. I did this with my friend for our fourth grade science fair project
Daisy, age 11 of Post Falls, ID wrote:
it worked really well, we had to do a forest biome and this was a big halp we had to do an activity with the class and this is the one I chose, it was really fun too my class also.
Vanessa, age 12 of Ridgewood, NY wrote:
Well when I first tried it the first day nothing happen. But the next day my deciuos plant grew. 2cm in. Its a very fun project.
I did this as a science fair project. I made the biomes with different amounts of water to symbolize the different biomes I chose (tundra, deciduous forest, rainforest, grassland). I gave them each different amounts of sunlight and heat, too. The project was a lot of fun to do, and everyone loved it.
Alysia, age 11 of Ridgewood, NY wrote:
I did a rainforest biome and after 3 days my grass grew about 2 inches!
Zoe, age 14 of Summerton, SC wrote:
When I made the biome in a baggie, my plant lived. This project is great.
Taylor, age 9 of Brunswick, OH wrote:
I put crickets in the bag and everything is still living. The crickets are loud.
Angie, age 12 of Vancouver, BC wrote:
I did this project with my class, and my and partner and I were assigned to tundra, so we usually kept it in the fridge. After two weeks, grass started to sprout high and tall, but the kidney bean died.
Tanisha, age 10 of Flushing, NY wrote:
Well I got the biome in the baggie and now I'm just waiting for them to sprout. I did a few different beans and my dad made them germinate even before I put them in the baggie. I made this my science project. I hope it grows fast!
Danny, age 15 of Port Charlotte, FL wrote:
When I finished planting the seeds, it started sprouting in about 1 day! The plant was actually growing pretty fast. It was about 4 inches high by the 5th day!
I did biome in a baggie. I waited two days and nothing really happened so I'm just going to wait and see what happens.
Clifford, age 11 of Killeen, TX wrote:
I tried this with with marygolds and it worked really well. By the seventh day it had 11 sprouts. I had tons of fun.
Kayla & Jessica of Randolph, NJ wrote:
It grew alot when we put it in sun, but when we put it with less sun, it took a longer peiriod of time.
Our planet supports an astounding variety of plant and animal life. The earliest European explorers and naturalists traveling beyond the confines of their home continent discovered scores of new species and witnessed diversity beyond their wildest imaginations. They also observed something we take for granted today: plants and animals are not randomly scattered around the planet, but are distributed in distinct patterns. If you travel from one continent to another, change latitude by 10 or 20 degrees, or ascend or descend 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) in elevation, you're likely to encounter plants and animals that are dramatically different from those living where your journey began.
Plants and animals that live in extreme environments often exhibit highly specialized structures and physiologies that enable them to survive where most other organisms cannot. Not surprisingly, the patterns of plant and animal distribution on Earth are closely tied to precipitation and temperature patterns.
Ecologists group distinct communities of plants and animals living together under the same environmental conditions into categories called biomes. This interactive feature highlights seven commonly recognized biomes: coniferous forests, temperate deciduous forests, deserts, grasslands, rainforests, shrublands, and tundra. As the names of some biomes imply, each is typically defined by one or more of the main plant types that grow there, and these reflect the biome's climate.
Interestingly, although the characteristics of biomes are tied closely to geographic location, their distribution has little to do with country and continental borders. Deserts, after all, are found all over the world. So, too, are temperate deciduous forests, grasslands, and shrublands.