Horticulture Science

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Horticulture Science
This event is an event held in the current season.

Type Life Science
Category Study

Horticulture is a trial event that was run in Wisconsin during the 2019-2020 season for both division B and C. In the event teams will be tested on their knowledge of Horticulture, as well as being tasked with growing a bean plant from a seed. Teams must impound their beans prior to competing on competition day.

Event Parameters

Each team must bring writing utensils and may bring one 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper, which may be in a sheet protector sealed by tape or laminated, that may contain information on both sides in any form and from any source without any annotations or labels affixed along with two stand-alone non-programmable, non-graphing calculators.

Growing The Plant

  • Teams will attempt at least 3 different growing variables with a goal to grow the longest green bean with the largest bean distribution for a Contender green bean plant (bush bean variety). Example variables include, but are not limited to: varying the type of soil, fertilizer type/brand, frequency/amount of watering and exposure to light. Teams may need multiple plantings throughout the year.
  • Log Books should be used to document the progress of each type of growing variable. Information recorded must include: the growing variable, length of longest bean and bean distribution (# of beans on a single stem plant). Dates and times must be included for variables such as amount/frequency of watering or fertilizer utilization.


  • Teams may impound a live unmodified, naturally growing green bean plant and a Log Book. The Log Book and plant must be clearly labeled with team # and participant names. Teams must clearly label an unmodified, naturally attached bean they intend to have measured for the Length Score.
  • Participants must be able to answer questions from the Event Supervisor, either during impound or the written exam period, related to the growing of their green bean plant.

The Competition

  • Teams will be given approximately 50 minutes to complete a written exam consisting of multiple choice, matching, T/F, essay and/or short answer questions.
  • Exam content may include aspects of horticulture from three subset areas: pomology, olericulture, and ornamental horticulture. Topics may also include the importance/advantage of horticulture techniques, equipment and career opportunities. Participants should know which garden plants grow best in certain climates zones, which grow well together and which compete and should be avoided. Specialized propagation techniques such as budding, grafting and micropropagation along with genetic engineering will only be covered at the Division C level.
  • During the written exam, at least one team member will bring their plant to the Event Supervisor to measure the longest green bean and count the number of beans. Measurements are recorded to the nearest mm.


  • High Score Wins.
  • Final Score = Exam Percentage/2(max 50 points) + Length Score + Distribution Score + Log Book Score
i: Length Score: 0.1pts will be awarded for each mm of the bean length. (e.g., a bean length of 152 mm will receive 15.2 points for the Length Score)
ii: Distribution Score: 1 point will be awarded for each bean growing on the single stem plant. Beans must be >10mm to be counted as a bean.
iii: Log Book Score (max 12 points), calculated by 1 point per growth variable tested - max 3 points, 1 point for documenting longest bean – max 3 points, 1 point for documenting bean distribution – max 3 points, 1 point for each replanting attempt– max 3 points
iv:Scoring example: Exam Score was 80%, Length Score was 15.2, Distribution Score was 12, Log Book Score was 10. Final score = 80/2 + 15.2 + 12 + 10 = 77.2
  • Teams who do not impound a Log Book and/or plant or are unable to properly answer questions about their growing experiments from the Event Supervisor will not receive a Length, Distribution and Log Book Score.
  • Ties are broken by pre-selected exam questions chosen by the Event Supervisor.