GLOBE Connections

Observing Plant Growth Patterns: GLOBE Student Projects Spotlight

Student Project

Are you looking for examples of student research to inspire you and your students? Check out these Middle and High School research projects on phenology.  Don't miss the student's presentation, as well as read over a research report capturing the various steps of the investigation.

Project Title: Long-Term Phenology: Green Up & Green Down 2001-2016 Data Literacy Cube Data Icon 

Palmer High School

Grades 9-12

Project Overview: It’s a common belief that climate change has a direct correlation to the length of the


growing season. Our objective was to find out if there were any significant changes in the growing seasons over the years, using green up and green down data. Our group used GLOBE data from both Palmer and Wasilla High School. The schools are located ten miles apart. The data was collected by students between the years 2000 and 2017 and over the years there was no apparent increase or decrease for the date of green up. Our data found that there was a decrease in the date of green down meaning that green down was occurring earlier in the year. Climate is a complicated system with many fluctuations. Even seventeen years of data is not enough to see overall changes in climate. Our group recommends that green up and green down data continue to be collected and climate changes can be reevaluated in twenty years. 

Full Research Report

Project Title: Why Do Leaves Change Colors in the Fall? 

St. Francis Xavier Catholic School

Grades 6-8

Project Overview: This experiment’s purpose was to determine when a tree’s leaves change color when the temperatures start to drop in fall. The hypothesis stated that the leaves would change early fall, but instead most changed late fall. The independent variable (the changing leaves) and the dependent variable (when the leaves changed) were helped by the controlled variables (infrared thermometer, a basic Celsius thermometer, Globe Plant Color Guide, and Cloud Field Guide). The air temperature and color change were recorded to see when temperatures affected the process of the leaves changing colors. Since this project focused on leaf change, it showed that the Sassafras changed its full color first. If this experiment was to be changed, this project would focus more on comparing on which trees changed its color first. 


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