How to Grow Beans With Different Liquids for a Science Fair

Updated April 17, 2017

Many of the most basic biology science fair projects require growing beans under different conditions and comparing their rates of growth. This version of the experiment shows you how to grow beans with different liquids, such as milk, water, salt water and sugar water, to determine which one helps the beans to sprout most effectively. Although older students can use this science fair project, younger students will be able to tackle it as well.

Fill three cups with 1/2 cup of water, and the last cup with 1/2 cup of milk.

Add the sugar to one of the two cups that contains water, and add the salt to one of the other cups that contains water.

Soak one paper towel in each cup for one minute until saturated.

Label the four plates with the following phrases: "water," "milk," "salt water" and "sugar water."

Place five beans on each plastic plate, and cover each plate loosely with the corresponding paper towel.

Observe the growth of the beans each day for several weeks. Write down the number of plants that have sprouted on each plate, as well as the length of the sprouts.

Compare the growth on each plate to determine which liquid was most successful in causing the beans to sprout.


Make sure to place the plates in an area that gets some sunlight. You can also use different liquids, such as soda or juice, to see whether they increase the chances of the beans sprouting or not.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 cups
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 paper towels
  • 20 beans
  • 4 plastic plates
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About the Author

Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.