Spring SAVY 2017, Day 3- Environmental Explorations: Dig It!
We had a wonderful lab-filled morning this Saturday! Our day begin with a review of natural resources, and those that are renewable and non-renewable. We also reviewed energy sources (wind, solar, water, nuclear, etc.) Then I read a fun book called Ada Twist Scientist, and we reviewed the characteristics of a scientist. From that point, students got the opportunity to look at different types of soil, leaves, rocks, and sticks under a microscope. The “Ahas” were priceless! Next, we launched into some labs.
First, we asked ourselves whether we thought a bottle, painted white or black would absorb solar energy more. Students placed a balloon on the tip of a glass bottle, (painted white or black), and then placed those bottles under a heat lamp. We kept checking from time to time to see what was happening. Several students observed that the bottles that were painted black were “filling up” with air more than the white bottles. Since the data was not conclusive during our time together, we will continue to observe this lab next weekend.
Then, we explored the cause and effect of soil erosion. We asked ourselves which of the three layers of soil would be the most likely to have the greatest impact of erosion on them with the influences of wind and water energy applied. There were three trays, each with a different layer of soil represented; topsoil, middle soil, and bedrock. Students first applied wind energy to each specimen, (blowing with their mouths), and observed the outcomes. Next, each student applied water energy by pouring water into the soil pans (first dripping and then harder flows), and observing and evaluating the outcome. Students realized the importance of preserving the top soil for our Preservation Park project for Queen Anne’s Island.
We listened to the next geologist message, and this time our Queen Anne’s Island contact asked us to get going on designing solutions to soil erosion and pollution. The students are very excited to begin brainstorming solutions to the problems that the island is facing. We will begin brainstorming next week.
Students ended their morning by creating their own models of the three layers of soil. I believe the concepts of natural resources, renewable and non-renewable are taking hold. Next week we will explore conservation and preservation so we can prepare to solve pollution and erosion problems on Queen Anne’s Island.
Here are some suggested questions and discussion topics you can have this week if you have time, to enrich and extend our learning from this week:
- If possible, encourage your student to determine how deep they would need to dig to discover different layers of soil near where they live, and allow them to dig.
- Ask your student to identify ways in which your family could use solar energy at home.
- Ask your student to identify ways to conserve energy in your home.
Thank you parents. I look forward to our class next week! Have a wonderful week!
Dig It Instructor