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Science Rocks!

Potato Maze


your results

Sent in by:
Kerri of Smithville, TX

Build a maze for your a-maze-ing spud!

Materials Needed

  • small pot filled with damp potting soil
  • shoebox
  • blocks and spools for your maze
  • sprouting potato (To sprout a potato, leave it out at room temperature. It might take as long as six weeks for it to sprout, depending on where your potato is and the temperature in the room.)



  1. Plant the potato in the pot filled with damp potting soil with most of the sprouts facing up.
  2. Make a small, round, quarter-sized hole in the short side of the shoebox.
  3. Put the potato plant in the shoebox opposite the hole.
  4. Now put the blocks and spools in front of the potato to make an obstacle course.
  5. Then put the box on a sunny windowsill with the hole facing the light.
  6. Check your box after three or four days to observe the growth. After a while, you'll see that the sprouts find their way to the light by going around the blocks and the spools. Because the plant needs light to produce food, it will always grow towards the light.

Once you've built a potato plant maze, try experimenting with other plants. Think of a question that you'd like answered. Like, "Do all plants grow the same way? How about a dried lima bean?" (Don't try this with the kind of lima beans that come frozen or in a can.) Make a prediction and then test it. Write down your results and send them to the ZOOMsci feedback section.

Some of your Results

Adrienne, age 12 of Clinton, IN wrote:
when I put all of the potos up it was impasable to do

Angelica, age 12 of Porterville, CA wrote:
well the potato didnt really reach it just cut through the sides.

Mitchell, age 11 of Ottawa, ON wrote:
What happened was that it kinda split and then... I noticed that the roots broke the hole and made it biggerI thought it would do the same as what it did with yours but I guess I was wrong!

Chelsea, age 10 of Brampton, ON wrote:
The potato grew through the maze and went out through the hole at the short side of the box.

Simon, age 13 of Singapore wrote:
It really worked! The spud grew its shoot towards the hole! I tried using an onion with similar but faster and better results!!! Try it!!!

November, age 9 of Atlanta, GA wrote:
This is really cool!! In the end you see all the roots reaching toward the life and it looks awsome!!!

Mallisa of New Mexico wrote:
It was amazing when it went through the maze I thought it would'int but it did!

Adriana, age 11 of New York, NY wrote:
It went threw the maze which I didnt think it would, but it did it.

Kade, age 12 of Burley, ID wrote:
That was such a cool experiment! I can't believe that the potaoe sprouts made it throuh all of those obsticles.

Amani, age 12 of Hartford, CT wrote:
When it was the 4 week the shoot came out of the hole!

Zoe, age 11 of Trevor, WI wrote:
It was awsome!!! It took about 5 weeks to get to the end. I had loads of fun with it.

Zhila(Zheylo), age 12 of Toronto, ON wrote:
WOW.. this was the most fun experiment EVER! The potato had sprouted in about 4 and a half and reached the end of my maze!!! I LOVE THIS EXPERIMENT! IT WAS AWSOME!

Arianna, age 11 of Duluth, MN wrote:
It has been almost a month now and they aren't growing very well. They keep growing up to the top of the box even though there isn't any light coming in the top. I did everything that the other Zoomers did on the show-even though that was a long time ago-but it does'nt work. I finally just put them in the obstacles but they just get stuck. I tried making the whole bigger, but that didn't work. It should be getting enough light, I think it is. Oh well.

Cassandra, age 13 of Barnum, MN wrote:
The potato had already started to sprout when I started and it reached the end of the maze in 4 weeks. I think that this idea is awesome.

Alexandra of Lawrencville, GA wrote:
After 7 weeks and 10 days, my potato found its way out of the maze, it was amazing!!!

Katie, age 13 of Cincinnati, OH wrote:
My brother did it for a science fair project and it grew to the light so well he got second place.

Nino, age 12 of Jersey City, NJ wrote:
It grew long stems that where about 1 foot and a half. The stems went through holes in wooden blocks, curled around the pencils, broke some stacks of wooden blocks, and went through the hole in the box to get light. Know I have a potato plant in my room.

Danielle, age 12 of Stockholm, NJ wrote:
I did it three weeks ago, its awsome. And I made the maze really hard for the potato and it found its way to the light. You would be surprized how smart living things are beside us.

Joe, age 5 of N.S. wrote:
It grew strait through the little hole and throgh the maze!!.

Jeyda & Natalie of Arcata, CA wrote:
My friend Jeyda and I (natalie) think the potato will reach the light in about five weeks. We will write back when we get the results.

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