Middle School Acid Rain & Seed Germination Science Fair Project

Effects of Acid Rain on Seed Germination Middle School Science Fair Project

The objective if the middle school acid rain and seed germination science fair project experiment is to examine the effect of acid rain and its components on seed germination, and compare it with the effect of untreated water.

What is acid rain? Acid rain is a byproduct of air pollution.
Third Place


My hypotheses are: (1)Acid Rain will have a harmful effect on seed germination, and (2) SO2 and NO will be the most harmful parts of Acid Rain followed by the CO2


  1. Methods–# Put seeds of one kind in 5 Petri dishes filled with water.
  2. # Repeat this for all the other types of seed to form 5 sets of each kind.
  3. # Leave one set be as the control. Put 1ppm SO2 in one set, .2ppm NO in another, and the industrial carbonated water in another. In the last set, combine the Industrial Carbonated Water, with the NO, and SO2 solutions in a 1:1:1 ratio.
  4. # Put all the seeds in the incubator. Set the temperature at 10 o Celsius for the peas and beans. Put everything else at 181/3o Celsius.
  5. # Calculate the germination percent (GP=seeds germinated/total seeds * 100) and gather Qualitative data daily. Also replace the water.


  • Dishes: Silver Steel Caps,Capsules, Beakers, 60ml plastic syringes, 1ml syringe, Plastic bottle caps, Syringe needles (with lock) & Petri Dishes
  • Chemicals: NaNO3, Iron Sulphate, 25% Sulfuric Acid, NaOH, Silicone Oil Lubricant, Sodium Bicarbonate, Vinegar, Industrial Carbonated Water &Water
  • Seeds: Organic Lemon Cucumber, Organic Sweet Corn, Organic Lentil, Organic Salinas 88 Lettuce and Organic Radish
  • Other Equipment: Crimper, Digital Ph Meter,Magnetic Stirrer, Digital Weighing Scale, Lab Coat, Gloves and Goggles
  • Results

    Acid Rain was more harmful than the water in seed germination. However, NO was the most harmful component of Acid Rain followed by SO2 and CO2.

    Conclusions/Discussion of Acid Rain & Seed Germination Science Fair Project

    My first hypothesis is correct. Acid Rain is very lethal. In my experiment Acid Rain treated seeds had a 43% lower rate of germination and 53% lower rate of sprouting compared to ordinary water (control environment).

    However my second hypothesis is incorrect. NO is the most lethal component of acid rain. It lowered the germination rate by more than 50%. SO2 is the next worst component. CO2 did not greatly reduce germination or sprouting, and in one case (radish) actually caused a better germination rate than water.

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