Student Spotlight

WABC 7's Art McFarland spends day with SciTech Science Camp

Art McFarland of WABC 7 spends the day with SciTech Science Camp.

Two Plant Experiments


Elly KatzIn her first experiment, Elly wanted to look at the effects of microgravity on the fragrance of aromatic flowers. Previous spaceflight experiments had shown that the aromatic rose, Overnight Scentsation, produced less volatile oils—the essential oils that give flavor and fragrance—but a different, more pleasant aroma in space.  She wanted to see if similar results would be seen if two other types of aromatic plants, a miniature rose (Jerry-O) and a rice flower were used.  

spotlight roseHer second experiment examines if microgravity has an impact on gravitropism, the tendency for a plant part to grow in response to the pull of gravity. Normally, roots grow downward and the plant (shoots) grows upward in response to gravity.  In space, however, plants behave differently; their shoot grows upward while some roots also grow upward. It is believed that the plant hormone auxin, which is associated with roots growing downward, is affected. She proposed that the concentration of auxin may be altered in the roots, causing a difference in growth and the roots to bend differently.

Elly Katz is a high school student at Nightingale in New York City.