Spring SAVY 2017, Day 4- Environmental Explorations: Dig It!
We began our morning, reading from one of my classroom favorites: 11 Experiments That Failed. Then, we discussed how failure carves a good pathway to success. We then re-visited our erosion experiment from last weekend, but we added a new twist of placing plants into the soil to predict how this might change the outcome, and help Queen Anne’s Island solve their problems. Students were so excited to see the results! I heard exclamations such as: “The plants are soaking up the water.”, and “The soil moves less with the plants.” We discussed what seemed to be happening, and then we created meaning out of what we observed.
Next, we read a book on-line called, Brother Eagle/Sister Sky, and we also read Garbage, which led to a discussion about how we can preserve the resources of our earth. From there, we began brainstorming how we could help Queen Anne’s Island. The beginning thoughts were amazing, including using solar panels, worms eating garbage, asking meteorologists what the weather will be so they can prepare, using landfill, recycling, etc.
Then we began discussing how plants can help the soil from eroding. Students set up their next lab in their science journal, and then we prepared an experiment where students planted seeds into a cup with only trash in it, and a cup with soil in it. We also planted a few seeds in rocky soil and also beach soil. When we return next week, we will evaluate which environments the seeds did best in and this will help us put the finishing touches on how to help the residents of Queen Anne’s Island solve their pollution and erosion problems.
Finally, we took a second, closer look at our black and white bottles with balloons attached to the tops, while sitting under a more intense heat lamp, and students were surprised to see that the bottles that were painted black, actually inflated more than the bottles painted white. I told students that black absorbs light energy waves, and white reflects light energy waves. We then had a great discussion about what types of colors to wear in hot and cold temperatures.
Next week, we will use what we have learned to create ways that our friends from Queen Anne’s Island to solve their problems. This will be a great week!
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:
- What kind of soil do you think Queen Anne’s Island will need for their Preservation Park and gardens?
- If possible, help your student walk around their neighborhood or nearby park to identify examples of naturally occurring erosion and erosion caused by human actions. I hiked at Burgess Falls and took lots of pictures of erosion and erosion control methods to show students next weekend!
Dig It Instructor