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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 23 February, 2020

This is a really lovely science experiment you can do with your kids

A little food dye, a little water, a little patience – a rainbow-coloured surprise.

IT BEING SCIENCE Week and all, we’ve been setting the adults among us some brainteasers each evening.

But we think that when it comes to kids, practicals are more fun. This is something that has been brightening up office this week – a small experiment that demonstrates how plants transport water up their stems to reach and hydrate all parts of the plant.

All you need is some white flowers (carnations or chrysanthemums are good), four pots of food dye and small jam jars or holders.

(And possibly the ability to ignore a colleague who will scoff as you wrestle with food dye and say, ‘Pffft, I did that one in primary school.)

Source: Susan Daly/

1. Fill the holders three-quarters way with water.

2. Add two dessertspoons of gel or liquid dye to the water and mix it up.

Source: Susan Daly/

3. Make sure the ends of the stems are freshly cut, and pop them into each container.

4. And so the waiting begins…

The next day…

Day Three…

Even the stems are showing signs of the dye through the dark green…

Day Four…

The experiment shows how water travels up through the xylem to reach the leaves and petals of the flowers. And it makes for a nice decoration. QED.

Thanks to Science Week for the flowers & dye :)

Science Week brainteasers on>

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