Create a Self-Watering Plant System


In this hands-on lab, you will design and build a self-watering system for plants that can monitor soil moisture and provide water when needed. Through this project, you will learn about resource management and problem-solving using simple mechanisms.


  • Small plant or potted seedling
  • Plastic bottle (with cap)
  • Thin string or cotton thread
  • Potting soil
  • Watering can
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Small container or tray
  • Procedure:

1. Research and Background:

Begin by understanding the needs of plants in terms of water. Research how plants absorb water from the soil and how over-watering or under-watering can affect their growth.

2. Design Phase:

  • Think about how you can create a system that mimics the way plants absorb water naturally.
  • Consider how the string or thread can be used to transfer water from the bottle to the soil.

3. Create the Self-Watering System:

  • Fill the plastic bottle with water using a watering can.
  • Place the cap on the bottle.
  • Use the scissors to make a small hole in the cap.
  • Insert one end of the string or thread through the hole in the cap. This will act as a wick to transfer water from the bottle to the soil.

4. Plant Preparation:

  • Fill a small container or tray with potting soil.
  • Plant the small plant or seedling in the potting soil.
  • Make sure the soil is evenly moist before proceeding.

5. Set Up the Self-Watering System:

  • Place the plastic bottle upside down into the soil next to the plant.
  • Insert the other end of the string or thread into the soil, making sure it touches the soil where the plant's roots are.

6. Testing:

  • Observe the plant's growth over the next few days.
  • Check the water level in the plastic bottle. Is it decreasing? Is the soil staying evenly moist?

7. Reflection:

  • After observing the plant for a while, reflect on how well the self-watering system worked.
  • Did the plant show signs of over-watering or under-watering?
  • How effective was the simple mechanism of the string as a wick in transferring water?


Through this lab, you've successfully created a self-watering system for plants using a simple mechanism. This project highlights the importance of resource management and problem-solving without relying on technology. By mimicking natural processes, you've provided a practical solution for maintaining plant health and growth. This experience demonstrates that even simple inventions can have a positive impact on our daily lives and the environment.

Asynchronous, self-paced high school science curriculum


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