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Air Pollution Science Fair Project

Acid Rain's Effect on Sunflower Growth

Acid Rain's Effect on Sunflower Growth | Science Fair Projects | STEM Projects
Let's explore how acid rain affects the growth of sunflowers. We'll measure the average height of the plants in each group and compare the results.


The hypothesis is that sunflower plants will grow best at pH levels between 5.5-7.5.

Method & Materials

You will prepare 5 pots with the same amount of soil, place sunflower seeds in each pot, and label them A, B, C, D, and E. You will fill 5 beakers with 200 ml of rain water and add sulfuric acid to each beaker until the pH levels are 6.0, 5.0, 4.0, 3.0, and 2.0. You will water the sunflower plants twice a day with the water from each beaker and measure the average height of the plants every 2 days.
You will need 1 packet of sunflower seeds, 5 pots, soil, 1 bottle of sulfuric acid, 1 bucket of rain water, 5 beakers, pH/litmus paper, and a ruler.


The results showed that the sunflower plants in pots A (pH 6) and B (pH 5) demonstrated normal growth. The sunflower plants in pot C (pH 4) demonstrated stunted growth. The seeds in pots D (pH 3) and E (pH 2) did not germinate.

Why do this project?

This science project is interesting because it shows how acid rain can have a negative effect on the growth of plants. It also demonstrates how acid rain can travel long distances and affect areas far away from the source of the pollution.

Also Consider

Variations of this experiment could include testing different acids like hydrochloric or nitric acid, or comparing the growth of different types of plants which may be more tolerant or less tolerant towards lower pH levels.

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!

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