Film Canister Farming

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In this hands-on botany activity, learners sprout vegetables in film canisters. Learners grow nine seeds each of cabbage, radish, and parsley, experimenting with changing one variable (light, water, or temperature) to explore differences in the germination preferences of the plants. If film canisters aren't available, other small, opaque containers with lids can be substituted.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 4 weeks

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • 3 black 35-mm film canisters, with lids
  • water
  • a paper towel cut into 1-cm x 4-cm strips
  • 9 seeds each of cabbage, radish, and parsley


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • , Exploratorium,