My Own Investigation: An Exemplar for Students to
Critique & to Whet Their Appetite for the Project
I decided to use bean seeds in my investigation and to have a control (seeds not exposed to sound waves) and two experimental
treatments: one where seeds were exposed to classical music
(Mozart), and one where seeds were exposed to Vedic chants.
While conducting the experiment, I had to consider numerous variables (e.g., uniformity in light conditions, since the seeds were
placed in different rooms, with different amounts of sunlight).
I decided to place the seed trays in cardboard boxes (Figure 1A).
The experimental seeds were exposed either to Mozart or to Vedic
Student Data: Student Posters Designed during the
chants for 24 hours per day (by using the “repeat” option on the
CD player). There was an increased rate of germination in the
two experimental treatments compared to the control.
Cooperative Learning Activity
A group of 32 life science students in an 11th-grade class, working in
groups of four, were asked to design a poster in which they planned
an experimental procedure to test whether music influences seed
germination. Two examples of the posters are shown in Figure 2.
In one poster (Figure 2B), students identified independent variables
Table 2. Continued
Key Feature How This Could Be Addressed in the Classroom
Student learning is scaffolded with
Encourage students to engage with literature available on the Internet on the influence
of sound waves on cell structure.
Students create an investigable
project that addresses the driving
Various options exist. You could arrange a class seminar, where all groups present their
findings. Alternatively, students can make posters for a class poster display. Students
could also be asked to write up their projects in the form of research papers.
Figure 1. The influence of Mozart and Vedic chants on seed germination. (A) Experimental setup: seed trays placed in boxes,
with openings facing the CD player. (B) Control seeds (no exposure to sound) and experimental seeds (exposed to Mozart or
Vedic chants). (C) Day 6: germination is seen in experimental seeds, with no germination in control seeds. (D) Day 8: only two of
the 10 control seeds have germinated, as compared to four seeds in each of the experimental treatments.