NC Science Olympiad
Bottle Biome
To remove a label cleanly, try filling the inside of the bottle with warm water to soften the glue before peeling, then remove any excess glue and label with lighter fuel, goo-gone, or a similar product.
**PARENTAL SUPERVISION REQUIRED** Cut the bottle in half with scissors, a knife, or similar instrument. This bottle was cut with a band saw to give an even cut without denting the bottle in.
**PARENTAL SUPERVISION REQUIRED** If you can't get the top to fit down into the bottom, roll it gently in a pan of hot water until the heat shrinks it in just a bit. Rolling helps to evenly distribute the shrinkage.
Now fill the biome with whatever materials you want to try. This one is using small pebbles in the bottom to aid in water drainage.
You can use whatever kind of dirt/ sand/growing medium you'd like. You can dig it out of the back yard, use potting soil, or make your own mixture of sand, dirt, etc. Be sure to record exactly what you use and where it came from!
Select your plants! Choose wisely based on the kind of materials you already put in your biome. Think about how big your adult plant will be. Will it still fit in the bottle when fully grown? Also think about where you will keep your biome. Do the plants need full sun, partial shade, complete shade, etc?
Add water. Too little? Too much? You decide.
Replace the lid, and your bottle biome is complete!
After sitting in the sun for a bit, this biome has already started condensing on the lid. It will 'rain' soon inside!
Be sure to make observations about your biome, and write down what you see. Does it look like you have too much water? Too little? What is the temperature inside? How about the pH of the soil? Do all the plants inside continue to thrive, or are some getting too much or too little sun? There are many many many more factors you can observe than what are mentioned here. Pay attention to what is asked in the summary in the official rules.
There are many types of biomes you can build. Here you can see several semi-arid biomes along with a desert and 2 aquatic ones
Example of a bog
Example of wetlands
Note the thermometer inside for monitoring the temperature
Planted with Angelina Stonecrop, a fast-growing plant that stays short (ca. 6") and quickly spreads to form a mat, making it an easy-to-grow groundcover. Note the report that corresponds to the biome.
This biome is using 2 bottom bottle halves to form the biome. While this is acceptable, many prefer to have the bottle cap on top to allow for ease of relieving humidity if too much water is present, or adding water if not enough was initially given.
These biomes are made from green bottles. Be sure to consider what having a colored bottle may do to the amount of sunlight your plants receive.
How much dirt? Research the root structure of your plants to decide.
You should choose plants that would grow in the biome you have decided upon.
This biome was made extra tall by using 2 bottles, the bottom bottle was cut as tall as possible, while the top bottle only had the very bottom removed, allowing for the height of almost 2 complete bottles
It is important to take notes on the condition of your biome periodically. Is it getting enough sun? Enough water?
If you are going to plant a biome that uses cactus, please be careful of the spikes! Wear gloves and get an adult to help.
Note the biome containing the leafy green herb has considerably more water inside condensing on the bottle than the cactus biome does.
This biome has begun to rain. It is beneficial to have the top lip squeezed inside the bottom rather than fitting over it, so that water will not leak out of the seam as it runs down the inside walls.
Adding sand to a desert biome
Sand allows for good water drainage around a plant, but the plant still needs some soil for nutrients.
You can make more than one biome! Take notes on several, and turn in your favorite on competition day.


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