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The effect of gasoline fumes on plantsFeatured science projectScience project video


The materials required for this science fair project:
- 4 potted plants of the same size
- 4 transparent aquariums
- 4 ceramic bowls
- 1 liter of gasoline
- a thermometer
- 1 black marker pen


1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the environmental temperature and the length of exposure time. The dependent variable is the color of the leaves and the survivability of the plants. This is determined by observing the plants for 8 days. The constants (control variables) are the size of the bowls containing the gasoline, the type and amount of gasoline used and the size of the aquariums.

2.  Four potted plants are required for this experiment. They should be kept in a well lit, cool and airy spot in your garden or balcony for several weeks, allowing the plants to adjust and acclimatize to the surrounding environment. The pots are labeled A to D using  the marker pen. Gasoline is poured into the 4 ceramic bowls and placed beside the plants. The 4 aquariums are inverted and used to cover the potted plants and bowls.

3. The 4 plants will be tested under the following conditions :

a. Pot A – covered  with the aquarium and placed at room temperature  (24 °C) for 3 hours everyday

b. Pot B – covered  with the aquarium and placed at room temperature  (24 °C) for 6 hours everyday

c. Pot C – covered with  the aquarium and placed in the hot sun (34 °C) for 3 hours everyday

d. Pot D – covered with  the aquarium and placed in hot sun (34 °C) for 6 hours everyday

4. After procedure 3 is  completed, the aquariums and gasoline bowls are removed and the plants  returned to  their original environments until the next day.

5. The condition of the plants  is checked everyday and the observations  are recorded in the table given below.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 8 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Extreme care and caution required to ensure that the gasoline does not ignite and to prevent inhalation. The assistance of adults is required and the experiment must be conducted in a properly equipped laboratory which is well ventilated. Fire safety gear and equipment required.