Life in Dark Places

  • Time Length
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    1-2 hours

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

  • Cost

    Materials or Fees

  • Difficulty
    Shape Created with Sketch.


Using a shoe box and some scrap pieces of cardboard, create a “maze” for a bean sprout to grow through. For step by step directions click here:

Question and Wonder:

  • Do all things need light to live? Why do you think that?
  • What do you think plants and animals that live in the dark look like?
  • What do you think a plant will a plant do if left in the dark? Do all plants do the same thing?
  • How can you test your thoughts?

Now you have your maze. Plant your beans in the cups, Set one in the bottom of the box with the maze and the other next to it outside the box. Make sure you put them in a sunny place and don’t forget to water them.

  • Once the beans starts growing out of the cup, what will they do?
  • How long will it take for the beans to sprout?
  • Will the maze will effect the way that bean grows? Why? How?
  • What about the one outside the maze? How will it’s life be different?
  • What would be a good way to keep track of what is happening? Don’t forget to record your predictions.

Test and Discuss:

  • What have you observed?
  • What does this tell you about a plant’s need for light?
  • How long did it take your bean sprouts to grow?
  • Compare one bean sprout to one the other. What do you you see?
  • How do the results compare to your predictions?
  • What are other types of plants you can use to do another test?

Did You Know?

Some creatures thrive in the dark. Explore some of them with the links below.

Explore what lives in dark places of Kentucky with the Mammoth Cave Junior Ranger program:


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