The aim of Bay Zoltán Science Shop is to bring research closer to the community. This aim can be reached by working on solving problems proposed by the community; or by involving citizens in the research actions.
This latter case was carried out together with Galamb József Agricultural Secondary School in Makó, where students examined the effect of bacteria on the plants’ growth. The experiments were carried out with the supervision of researchers of Bay Zoltan Research Centre. The aim of the experiment was to study how the soil bacteria affect the germination of a well-known ornamental plant.
Researchers of the Biotechnology Division of Bay Zoltán Research Centre prepared a mixture of different soil bacteria in their laboratory. Pupils tested the effect of this suspension on the germination of French mariogold (Tagetes patula). Germination of seeds treated by the suspension was compared with the untreated control seeds. Setting the experiments, it was important to follow the methodology of a scientific test: treated and untreated seeds were under the same circumstances, there were independent repetitions and students had to prepare detailed minutes.
It was clearly shown by the students that the bacteria suspension had a strong positive effect on the germination of French marigold seeds. This positive effect was enhanced significantly in the latter phase of the experiment.
Results of the independent repetition showed similar pattern.
Why this experiment was important for us? First, because this simple work allowed us to bring the scientific field closer to students. Allowing them to carry out step of a complex procedure will make them interested in the whole progress. On the other hand, it could give a new direction for the implementation of our innovation: if it is so easy to use the suspension and its positive effect is so obvious in even a small quantity, why not to use it in community gardens or in balconies? It’s time to investigate this direction as well!