Problem Statement The effect of different levels of acidic solutions on tomato plant's growth in centimeters.
Background
Acid Rain if defined as a form of precipitation with higher than normal amounts of sulfuric and nitric acids. When these compounds interact with the atmosphere, they combine and mix with oxygen, water, and various chemicals to form acidic pollutants. Two forms of acid rain are as follows, wet and dry deposition. Wet deposition is the result of acid chemicals being blown into areas where the weather is wet. The result will precipitate in the form of acid rain, fog, or snow. Dry deposition is the same as Wet except, acidic chemicals are blown into areas where the weather is dry. The result will fall in the form of dusk or smoke. Usually when mixed with runoff water, the mixture becomes more acidic. Acid rain has a pH of approximately 5.0 to 5.5. The pH can be in the 4 range where there are lots of industries and cars. Although acid rain is formed from natural sources, like volcanoes and decaying vegetation, it is mainly caused by human activities in urban areas.
The different levels of acidic solutions, the independent variable used as a representation of acid rain, are solutions with pH levels less than seven. This includes the 5% vinegar solution, 2.5% vinegar solution, and 1.25% vinegar solution. Starting from 5% of vinegar found in a bottle, each solution will use half the amount of vinegar as the one before it by diluting it with water; therefore, 2.5% vinegar solution will use half of the 5% vinegar solution; the remaining half is water. 1.25% vinegar solution will use one-fourth of the 5% vinegar solution; the remaining three-fourth is water. The pH level of each solution will be determined via pH test strips. The control will be tap water, which has a pH of 7.
Tomato plants are plants powered by the sun, to produce fruits that are usually red in color. They double their size every twelve to fifteen days. The height of the tomato plants, the dependent variable, can be measured in centimeters by using a ruler vertically. Constants throughout this experiment, including measuring the plants in centimeters, having the same brand of vinegar, having the same brand of distilled water, having the same brand of tomato plants, and measuring the amount of solution to go into each tomato plant, help assure more accurate data. Therefore, the experiment would avoid bias data. The components in the soil of the tomato plants can affect the plant’s height. Tomato plants with acidic solutions closer to the pH of 7 will grow taller in centimeters. Acidic solutions, with pH level less than seven, will result in damaged leaves, limited nutrients available, and exposed toxic substances, like aluminum, from the soil; therefore, it will weaken the tomato plants. Tap water will cause the tomato plant to grow the tallest because it is a neutral solution. It does not hurt the tomato plant; therefore, it won’t weaken the plant. 5% vinegar solution, 2.5% vinegar solution, and 1.25% vinegar solution will cause the tomato plants to shrivel up and die because vinegar is an acid. The 5% vinegar solution will cause the most damage to the plant, and the 2.5% vinegar solution will cause the second-most damage because they have more traces of acids.

Hypothesis If different levels of acidic solutions were given to tomato plants, then the plant with the lowest level of acidic solution will grow the tallest in centimeters.
Material (per trial)
  • 4- tomato plants
  • 4- pH test strips
  • 350 mL of Sedano’s Brand vinegar
  • 450 mL of tap water
  • 1- ruler with centimeters measurements
  • 4- plastic bottles
  • 1- Sharpie permanent marker
  • 1- Measuring cup with mL measurements
  • 1- roll of Scotch tape
Procedures
  1. Gather all material.
  2. Label four bottles- Control, 5%, 2.5%, 1.25%- using a marker and four pieces of tape.
  3. Pour 200 mL of tap water into the bottle labeled Control.
  4. Pour 200 mL of vinegar into the bottle labeled 5%.
  5. Pour and mix 100 mL of vinegar and 100 mL of tap water into the bottle labeled 2.5%.
  6. Pour and mix 50 mL of vinegar and 150 mL of tap water into the bottle labeled 1.25%.
  7. Put a test strip in each solution and classify each pH level.
  8. Label each tomato plant- Control, 5%, 2.5%, 1.25%- using a marker and four pieces of tape.
  9. Measure and record the height of each tomato plant in centimeters.
  10. Feed each plant 50 mL of the solution matching their labels every three days for twelve days.
  11. Measure and record the plant’s height daily in centimeters.
  12. Repeat steps #1 through 11 two more times.
Safety Protocol
Do not inhale the fumes of the solutions. Place solutions away from eyes. If solutions contact eyes and/or causes irritation, rinse with water immediately and report it to an adult.
Bibliography:
  1. Ferrandino, Frank. "Pruning Tomatoes - Fine Gardening Article." Fine Gardening: Expert Garden Plant Advice, Tips, and Ideas from Fine Gardening Magazine, including Design, Care, and How-to Garden Techniques. The Taunton Home and Garden Network. Web. 6 Jan. 2012. <http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/pruning-tomatoes.aspx>.
  2. "Effects of Acid Rain - Forests | Acid Rain | US EPA." US Environmental Protection Agency. 8 June 2007. Web. 6 Jan. 2012. <http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/effects/forests.html>.
  3. "Acid Rain Facts, Acid Rain Information, Acid Rain Pictures, Acid Rain Effects - National Geographic." Environment Facts, Environment Science, Global Warming, Natural Disasters, Ecosystems, Green Living - National Geographic. Web. 7 Jan. 2012. <http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/acid-rain-overview>.
  4. Casiday, Rachel, and Regina Frey. "Acid Rain." Department of Chemistry | Washington University in St. Louis. Web. 12 Jan. 2012. <http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Water/FreshWater/acidrain.html>.