Do plants use some colors of light more than others in the processes of growing and making food? Students use radish seed, opaque film canisters, and white light filtered through red, green, and blue cellophane to test plants’ responses to these colors.
Developed by the NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training (NSCORT) at North Carolina State University.
Relevance to the International Space Station:
In the Veggie project led by Dr. Gioia Massa, scientists on the ground and astronauts in orbit are testing plant growth under various colors of LED light. The goal is to find the best “light recipes” that conserve energy while maximizing the growth and nutritional value of lettuce, cabbage, and other food plants.
The Veggie chamber appears pink or purple because the Veggie scientists typically use a combination of red and blue LEDs. Students can try variations on this experiment to test combinations of colors.