Lets do a “green” science project
As we are all aware, we have to care for our planet if we want to prevent all kinds of catastrophes to happen. Using a wide variety of easy experiments we can learn about the earth around us and what we can do to preserve it.
Today we are going to look at soil erosion.
It is an alarming thing to hear of the rapid pace that rainforests are being cut down. Many of those rainforests contain valuable hardwoods that are used for building and making furniture. And even more alarming is the pace at which trees and other valuable vegetation are cut out for the making of roads, pastures and for agriculture. We do have to eat, but we will have to be more careful of how we cultivate our food.
The roots of the trees and the other vegetation hold the soil firm and prevent it from being washed away by water during heavy rain falls. We are going to look at soil erosion and build ourselves a little-jungle.
This is what you’ll need:
- 2 Plastic, see-through cups
- A plant pot
- A potted plant
- Some soil
- 2 Watering cans
This is what you have to do:
1. Take the potted plant and fit it into the neck of one of your cups.
2. Now you have to fill the empty plant pot with the soil.
3. Place this pot in the neck of your other plastic cup.
4. Now to imitate the rain, you have to pour water into the potted plant and onto the plant pot that only has soil in it.
5. What do you see? Make a note and try to think why it is happening.
Think of the introduction above and try to give an explanation.
Remember when you are doing an experiment you have to start with an hypothesis, that is what you think is going to happen, then you have to do your experiment and make careful note of everything you do. When you are finished with your experiment you have to write down your findings and explain why it has happened. Now you will know if your hypothesis was correct. It does not matter whether you were right or wrong, what is important is the way you arrived at your finding.
Now for our little-jungle
This is what you’ll need:
- One large, see-through plastic container
- Garden gloves.
- Enough small rocks to cover the bottom of your container.
- Some gravel.
- Charcoal (fine).
- Potting soil or compost.
- A trowel.
- Small tropical plants.
- A watering can with a sprinkling nozzle.
Here’s what you have to do:
1. Make sure your jar is completely clean.
2. Cover the bottom of your container with your small rocks.
3. Place enough of the gravel at the bottom of your jar, covering your small rocks, to form a layer that will represent the bottom layer of your little-jungle.
4. Now you have to mix the charcoal with the potting soil or compost.
5. Add a nice deep layer of this mixture to your jar a smooth it over.
6. Now you are ready to plant your plants in your jar.
7. You have to gently lift them out of their pots and carefully plant them in your jar.
8. Make sure you firm the soil around your plants so that they are planted secure and the roots are firm in your soil.
9. Thoroughly mist your soil and your plants with the watering can, take care not to wash the plants open and loose from your soil. You mist wet it with a spray nozzle to represent misty forest rain.
10. Now you have to put the lid on your jar and observe what happens.
11. What happens with the water you sprayed onto your soil and plants?
12. Write down all your findings over quite a few days.
13. How do you think it represents what happens in a rainforest?
14. If you did it right you’ll find that the water condenses on the jar and drips back onto the plants and soil. This is how the water is being recycled.
Can you now understand why cutting down the rainforests has such devastating effects on nature?
We must all try to do our bit of preserving nature where ever we can.