Causes of Colour – The Starch Test for School Gardens

Over the last few weeks our Youth Gardeners from Scoil an sTeachtar Laoch have been busy planting potatoes in the Glás Community Garden.

If your school needs some tips on planting potatoes in your school garden, our Community Gardener Sharon has shared some expert tips with us:

The Irish Spud – Growing Potatoes

 

BRINGING SCIENCE INTO THE SCHOOL GARDEN

Students tested a range of foods (potatoes, cucumber, mushrooms and bread) to see if they contained starch (long chains of sugars). Starch is the sugar molecules that plants use as their store of energy to use when they aren’t photosynthesising.

This test was carried out by the students first predicting if the food contained starch or not. Then they added 3 drops of iodine solution to the food. If the iodine turned from orange to black starch was present.

The scientific method of prediction, experimentation and result gathering was implemented by the students. They also learned the science and history behind the potato plant and planted a small crop of potatoes that they will harvest themselves in September.

DID YOU KNOW: The potato is not native to Ireland. It was introduced from South America in the 16th century.