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Undergraduate Research Showcase

Undergraduate research is the exploration of a specific topic within a field by an undergraduate student that makes an original contribution to the discipline.

Comparing Growth of Brassica Oleracea Under Hydroponic and Soil Conditions


My name is Samantha Henry, and I am a second-year biology major at Valencia College. I decided to pursue research because I wanted to familiar with the research process and the scientific method.

Hydroponics has always been interesting to me because I did a science fair project on it when I was young, but it was just growing plants. I wanted to truly compare the growth of the same plants receiving the same nutrients in hydroponics vs. soil growth. As for my future academic goals, I  would like to go to either graduate school for animal studies or veterinary school.


ABSTRACT:  To test hydroponic benefits, one must compare the growth of Brassica Oleracea (Kale Dwarf Blue Curled Vates) in soil or a hydroponic system. Brassica Oleracea grown in the DWC (Deep Water Culture) hydroponics system was expected to grow a taller plant at a faster rate. Conversely, the Brassica Oleracea grown in soil with added nutrients was expected to grow shorter and take more time. The seeds were germinated then split evenly, then they were transferred into either the hydroponic system or soil. Over 40 days, the plant heights were measured every 4 days. To help maintain proper growth conditions, the soil-grown plants were being watered regularly and the water was changed often for the hydroponically grown Brassica Oleracea. Based on the measurements taken over time, the hydroponically grown Brassica Oleracea grew a bit shorter than the soil-grown Brassica Oleracea. However, all (100%) of the soil-grown plants either died or wilted by day 40, while only one of the six (≈16.67%) hydroponically grown Brassica Oleracea wilted. Based on results from this experiment, the out of season Brassica Oleracea grew more successfully in the hydroponic system than in the soil. Therefore, these data suggest the hydroponic system was more effectively suited to sustain the growth of the Brassica Oleracea.


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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Lynn Sims

Professor of Biology

West Campus

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