Science class says nice things about talking to plants in lab

Alex Miller, Watertown Splash staff

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In Ms. Willoughby’s eighth-grade science class, a very interesting experiment was born: Does talking to plants in a nice voice help them grow?

This experiment was designed by Zoё Doyle, Giulia Salvucci, and Colin Simpson. Giulia and Colin explained the experiment:

“The first thing we did was that we planted the seed and each day would give the plants around 30-35 milliliters of water and we’d split the entire class up into four groups and each group wrote a script.

“Basically, to one plant we said nice words in a nice tone. To the next plant, we said nice words in a mean tone, to another plant we said mean words in a nice tone, and to the final one we said mean words in a mean tone.”

Most would think that an experiment like this wouldn’t work, but these results were the oppo-site of what some might think.

The only plant that grew was the plant that nice words were said to in a nice tone.

Can plants pick up on sound and words being spoken? Or the tone that you are saying them in? Most scientists don’t think so, but this experiment says otherwise.

The chances are this experiment was a coincidence. Plants can’t understand the English language and won’t be able to tell if you are saying words that we would interpret as “kind” or “mean.”

But, maybe, your tone of voice?

Zoe, Giulia, and Colin were originally going to do an experiment with Coke vs. Diet Coke, but they thought that this experiment would be “funny”. This experiment turned out being much more interesting than expected.

They say that if they were to redo the experiment they would have “used more plants and more people for more accurate data.”

When asked what inspired them to come up with the idea for the experiment, they said, “We basically thought it was a joke.
I don’t think we thought of it as anything serious. We didn’t think it would work but when it did, it kind of surprised us.”

–April 16, 2017–

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