Pinto bean experiment for science project

Written by kay whittenhauer | 13/05/2017
Pinto bean experiment for science project
Many variables effect the growth rate of pinto beans. (BEc Parsons/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Pinto bean experiments are good science projects for students in grades 4-12. The difficulty of experiments can vary depending on the variables examined.

When conducting a pinto bean science experiment, start by clearly stating the objective or question the project will answer. Also state the hypothesis, which is an educated guess at the outcome. Plan the steps of the experiment, keep accurate records, and analyse the results to form a conclusion.


An interesting aspect of pinto beans is that they don't need soil to grow. Pinto bean seeds can germinate in wet paper towels and on cotton. A good experiment is to compare growth rates of pinto beans in soil, on paper towels and in cotton to see which beans grow fastest. Another science project experiment idea is to compare growth rates of pinto beans in clay soil versus sandy soil. This experiment is geared toward students in grades 4-8.


One science project experiment idea is to compare a pinto bean germinating at room temperature versus in the refrigerator. Another idea is to compare the growth rate of a pinto beans at room temperature and under a heat lamp.

Comparing just one variable is a good science project for students in grades 4-8, while students in grades 9-12 can set heat lamps to subtle changes in temperature to find the optimal growing temperature.


An interesting science project experiment idea is to see if differences in the amount of time the pinto bean plant is exposed to light result in proportionate differences in growth. For instance, will a plant receiving 12 hours of light grow twice as tall as a plant getting only six hours? The pinto bean plants can be kept in a dark closet during their hours of darkness. This experiment is good for students in grades 7-12.


Younger students in grades 4-8 can simply compare the results of using fertiliser to using none. Students in grades 9-12 can compare several types of fertiliser, with non-fertilised pinto bean plants as the control group, and analyse the results based on the composition of the fertiliser. Possible experiments for older students include comparing organic fertiliser to chemical fertiliser or noting the effect of one fertilising element, such as nitrogen.

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