Graph the data in the excel spreadsheet by following by following directions in the word sheet.Seedling growth response to light level, an experiment
Introduction: Photosynthetic plants require light to make sugars in order to produce the energy to grow.
Yet, when we think about plants needing light to grow, we do not intuitively understand how light
affects the rate at which plants grow taller. Plants do exhibit positive phototropism, which means they
grow towards light. However, more light does not mean a taller plant. Instead, when there is a young,
recently sprouted tree in the forest growing under trees, it will grow taller in the same period of time as
the same tree growing in full sun. “What?” you may ask. Well, the plant in the spot with less sun is
“reaching up” to try to get to the light; the plant in full sun doesn’t have to do any “reaching”.
Given this introduction, write a hypothesis about which seedlings, “light” or “no light” will grow taller
one week after germination. Then go look up “etiolation” in a dictionary.
Materials needed: (Read the entire procedure
1.) one package of viable and fast germinating seeds (ex. some vegetables like radish, broccoli,
cauliflower, arugula, mustard greens, collard greens, corn, cucumber, watermelon, beans OR
flowers like Centaurea (bachelor’s buttons), Dianthus (sweet William), Rudbeckia (gloriosa
daisy), cosmos, sweet alyssum, zinnia, Mexican marigold)
2.) Ideally: small a couple cups of potting soil (but you could use some topsoil from outside, yes)
3.) Two containers to plant the seeds in. You can use small pots if you have them, or seed “sixpack” containers, but even a couple plastic cups with holes poked in the bottom would work
too.
4.) A spray bottle is helpful but not required if watering can be done gently.
5.) A tray to put the pots on to catch the water that comes out the bottoms.
6.) A warm indoor space to put your containers.
7.) A metric ruler, preferably small and easy to handle
What to do: You should be starting this experiment no less than two weeks before you need to submit
your assignment.
1.) Take your two containers and add the soil to fill them close to the top of the container. Plant your
seeds, about 6-7 per container, and cover with the amount of soil that the package recommends. A
good rule of thumb is to cover the seed with the amount of soil that corresponds with the size of the
seed, so a seed that is ½ cm should be covered with ½ cm of soil.
2.) Gently but thoroughly water your seeds and then put them on the tray and put them in a warm
location (no sun is needed at this point). Keep the surface of the soil moistened until the seeds sprout,
by daily gentle misting of the soil with water from a spray bottle.
3.) Once your seedlings sprout, print out the table in the excel file link to this week’s assignment, or
open the file to see what data you will be recording.
4.) Remove all but three seedlings from each of your containers; you should have 6 seedlings total, 3 in
each container.
5.) Label the seedlings as #1, 2 and 3 by labeling each container with arrows. Use tape to add something
to write on if your marker is not permanent. Label one container as “light” and the other as “no light”
6.) Measure each seedling from the base of the plant (the soil line) to the top of the plant, recording
each data point in your table.
7.) Put the “light” container in a sunny, warm (but not hot) space. Put the “no light” container, ideally,
in an area with no light (like a cupboard) but that is a similar temperature. OR, take another plastic cup
and put it upside down over the first cup, cover the whole thing with foil and put it next to the “light”
container.
8.) Repeat Step 6 for the next 6 days.
9.) Now use the “Excel 2010 Instructions 4 graphing” information to generate a graph plotting the
average seedling growth, for both types of seedlings, over time.
10.) Submit the file, which includes your table and graph, to be graded to the blackboard link in the Unit
2 folder via Assignment 3 – Hands on Laboratory. To do this, click on the title of the assignment and
attach your excel file as directed.
Making Charts in Excel 2010
I have provided some simple instructions for making graphs or “charts” using an Excel 2010 program.
This will save you a lot of time instead of graphing all the points by hand. Familiarize yourself with the
following instructions. If you still have any problems, please come see me or contact me and I can walk
you through this.
Copying the chart to a new spreadsheet
1) Open the Excel data file from Blackboard.
2) Save this on your computer (or disc, or thumbdrive, etc) as “Seedling growth assay data”, or
choose a name of your own. To save this sheet, click once on the icon in the upper left corner of
the page that looks like a computer disc and change the name of the file to “Seedling growth
assay data” or the name of your choosing. Choose the location where you want this file stored on
the pull down menu and then click in the lower right hand corner of the sheet. This can
also be done by clicking once on the symbol and choosing on the menu.
You are now ready to add data to your spreadsheet. You can print this out and fill in the printout each
day (and then enter all the data into the spreadsheet at once), or open your file each day and add the
numbers directly to the spreadsheet.
To continue with these instructions, you must have collected the data to fill in your chart and
calculated the averages.
3) To copy the chart, go to your spreadsheet with the data recorded and highlight all the data from
C5 to K 13. First click on the C5 block to high light it. The box containing “Time (day)” should
have a thick black outline around it. Now go to block K13, hold down the button on the
computer and then click on block K13. All blocks from C5 to K13 should now be highlighted in
grey. It is important that you hold down the before clicking on K13, or else you will need
to begin from the beginning by going back up and highlighting block C5.
4) Now that the blocks are highlighted, you need to copy them. This can be done by pressing
or by clicking once on the small icon of two pages below the scissors in the upper left
corner of the page. A moving dashed line will appear around your data. Select “sheet two, at the
bottom left of your screen and, once open, paste the data using the icon (or )
in the C5 cell.
5) Widen each of the columns so you can view the titles completely in each cell. In the upper
header, the one containing the letters of each column, move the cursor over the line separating the
columns (a vertical line with two arrows pointing away from each other will appear) and double
click on the line. The column will automatically enlarge to show all the labels clearly. Do this
for each column.
6) Insert a column to the right of the ‘Average (no light)’ cell, by selecting the column heading (the
whole column will appear grey) and then right click “insert”. Copy the ‘Average (no light)’ data
cells and then paste the values them into the cells directly to the right. To do this, you cannot just
use , you must scroll down the menu and select “paste special” and then “paste values”
so that the numbers will appear. If you have trouble with this, you can just type the numbers that
you see in the average column and retype them in the new column). Cut and paste the title over
the cells that now have numbers in them. Repeat this procedure for the ‘Average (light)’ data.
7) Delete the data columns “no light” #1-3 and “light #1-3. Do this by selecting the column, making
it grey, then right click “delete”.
8) Click to save the data in this sheet.
Plotting Data using Excel
Plotting the height versus time data
1) Now we will plot Height vs. Time. Highlight the chart. Click on the first block in the upper left
corner (block C5 if you followed the instructions, the block should have a “1” in it). Scroll down
to E13, press and click on the E13 block. The can also be accomplished simply by
beginning at C5, left click and hold the clicker down and scroll down to E13, then release the left
click. All the data selected should be highlighted.
2) Go to the top of the page and click on the tab. Then click on the icon
that appears to the right. Finally click on the picture of the first “scatter graph” in the lower menu
that appears. A graph of height versus time should appear on the page.
Adding labels to the axes and a graph title
3) To add axes labels, once the graph is clicked on, Click on at the top of the page (in
the “chart tools”), then click on , then click on ,
then click on . An axis box saying “Axis Title” will appear on your graph.
Double click inside the box to highlight the entire text in the box and type in the name you want,
such as “Time (days)”. Do the same for the vertical axis.
4) To add Chart title, once the graph is clicked on, Click on at the top of the page (in
the “chart tools”), then click on , the click on . Insert a title that is
descriptive of what the results are, not just “Height versus time”.
Moving the graph to a separate sheet
5) To move the graph to its own sheet, right click on the white portion of the graph OUTSIDE OF
THE GRAPH ITSELF and select . Select and then . The
Graph will be placed in a new sheet labeled Chart 1. You can toggle back and forth between the
data and this sheet by clicking on the tabs at the bottom of the page. You can easily print this
page from this separate sheet.
6) Click to save your graph.
Final notes
7) Now you have mastered Excel 2010. If you have any questions, please contact me.
Summary (Plotting data using Excel)






Highlight the two data columns that you would like to plot
a plot from the top menu
Reverse the x- and y-axes using the , and tabs,
if needed
Reverse the vertical axes if necessary to present shallower depths at the top of the page
Add labels to the x- and y-axes using the tab
Move the graph to its own sheet by right clicking in the white area of the graph
“Time” starts when seedlings of both groups have sprouted through the soil.
Time (day)
no light #1
no light #2
no light #3
Height of seedlings (mm)
Average (no light)
light #1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
To calculate averages, add up the three numbers in the columns to the left and then divide by 3.
For example, put an = sign in the “Average (no light)” cell and then a (. The click on D7, type a + then click on E7 , type a + the
Your cell should look like this before you press enter: =(D7+E7+F7)/3
You can then copy and paste this cell to the other “average” cells.
light #2
light #3
Height of seedlings (mm)
Average (light)
n click on E7 , type a + then click on F7 add )/3 and then type enter.
“Time” starts when seedlings of both groups have sprouted through the soil.
Time (day)
no light #1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1
1.3
1.5
2.5
3
7
8
no light #2 no light #3
0.7
1.3
0.08
1.4
1
2.1
1.5
3.1
4
4.5
6
8.5
8.5
10
Height of seedlings (mm)
Average (no light)
light #1
1
0.3
0.926666667
0.7
1.533333333
1
2.366666667
1
3.833333333
1
7.166666667
1.4
8.833333333
2
To calculate averages, add up the three numbers in the columns to the left and then divide by 3.
For example, put an = sign in the “Average (no light)” cell and then a (. The click on D7, type a + then click on E7 , type a + the
Your cell should look like this before you press enter: =(D7+E7+F7)/3
You can then copy and paste this cell to the other “average” cells.
light #2
light #3
1
1.2
1.7
3
3.2
4.5
5
0.5
0.7
1
1.3
4
5
5
Height of seedlings (mm)
Average (light)
0.6
0.866666667
1.233333333
1.766666667
2.733333333
3.633333333
4
n click on E7 , type a + then click on F7 add )/3 and then type enter.

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