For Studentsengineering Design in Oregon Science Classroomspage 1 of 3

For Studentsengineering Design in Oregon Science Classroomspage 1 of 3

For StudentsEngineering Design in Oregon Science ClassroomsPage 1 of 3

Name ______Period ______

Engineering Design Handout for Frankenplants

Scenario:You are home gardener who hasn’t had much luck growing tomatoes. For the last two years, you have lost all your plants to root rot.

Problem: Identify the problem(s) your tomato grafts should address.

Criteria: What should yourgraft be able to do? Be specific.

Priorities:Rank the criteria you identified above in order of importance. Be sure to explain you rankings.

Constraints: What might limit your ability to graft two tomato plants? What might limit the effectiveness of the graft you create?

Solutions: Using what you learned from the grafting exploration activity,sketch a design idea for the plants your teacher assigns.

Observe the rootstock and scions you are assigned. The characteristics of these plants will affect the grafting location and technique you choose

Be sure to label all the parts such as the cotyledons and indicate the type of cut you want to try.

You also need to think about and include in your design ideas how you plan to support the graft so that it does not fall over. In other words how will you stake it?

Solution One / Solution Two


  1. Chooseone of your solutions to try first and show that solution to your teacher. Once you have his or her approval, gather the materials you needand start grafting. If you make changes to your design, besure to make the same changes to your sketch above. Below are some tips to consider while grafting:
  1. Tomato stems tend to taper, so pay close attention to where you cut each stem. The biggest factor in grafting success that the two grafted stems are the same diameter.
  2. All surfaces and equipment should be cleaned and sterilized before grafting.
  3. Avoid directly touching the cut sections with your hands.
  4. There should be no air between the cut ends when put together as a graft. You may want to use a magnifying class to help you match up the cut stems.
  5. If your first cut attempts do not match up nicely, re-cut the stems to achieve a better match.
  6. Keep the graft line above the soil level. If the scion ever touches the soil line it will lose its resistance.
  1. Label your graft with your name and type of graft used.
  2. Stake your graft so that it stands upright and does not droop.
  3. Place your grafted plants on the tray of your assigned grafting chambers.
  4. Repeat steps 1 -3 for you second grafting solution.
  5. Your grafted plants should remain in the chamber undisturbed for 4 – 8 days

Day Two:

  1. Gently examine your grafts. They are very fragile so limit their movement as much as possible. Also keep them away from direct sunlight and do not remove the grafting clip.
  2. Write down your observations in the data table below. Also copy your observations on to the class results.
  3. If your graft failed, you may be able to try again by re-cutting either one or both of the stems. Be sure to check-in with your teacher about your options.
  4. If your graft succeeded but offshoot roots are growing from the stem, be sure to prune these with a box knife. Cut off the advantageous shoots as close to the stem as possible without cutting or scraping the stem itself.
  5. If your graft succeeded gently return it to its grafting chamber.

Data Table:

Graft / Description / Observations


On a separate sheet of paper, write two paragraphs which evaluate the effectiveness of your class’s grafts.

  1. Your first paragraph should address the following questions:
  1. Which of designs were the most effective in terms of criteria, priorities, and constraints?
  2. What were the more likely explanations for failed graphs?
  3. What is a trade-off associated with grafting and how did effective grafts deal with this trade-off ?
  1. You second paragraph should identify possible design improvements to grafting. For this paragraph you may think beyond the constraints that restricted you in this activity.