That's a really interesting question!
Let's start with the first part of the
question: why did the celery stick change color
when you put it in colored water? A celery stick
is full of water! As part of a plant, it has a
series of tubes that run throughout it that
transport water. When you put the celery stick in
the water, some of the water in the celery left
and went into the cup and some of the water in the
cup moved into the celery. This is called
diffusion, and it is when particles, like
water and the dye, move around and become evenly
spaced. So, that's how the colored water got into
The second part of the question is: why
could you see the celery change color? Well,
celery has very thin cell walls, and when the
colored water got into the celery, you could see
through the celery walls and see the colored
water. One reason you could see this so well is
because celery is mostly water!
The third part of the question is: why
didn't the same experiment work for plants?
There are several possible reasons why this might
be so. First, you guys seem to have watered a
living plant. This means that the water was taken
up through the roots, which are very fine. It is
possible that the color didn't make it all the way
up to the flower portion! It is also possible that
you needed to add more dye to see an effect. Try
it again, but with more coloring! However, a more
likely explanation lies in the flower choice. The
reason you could see the colored water in the
celery is because the celery cells are very thin
and celery is mostly water. It is possible the
flower has thicker cells and so you couldn't see
the water through them. When students try to
color flowers, they usually use carnations, since
those flowers have very thin cells and you can see
the color through the petals.
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