Healthy soil provides structure and nutrients for plant growth and is a vital component of the hydrologic (water) cycle. Explore how the physical and chemical properties of soil impact soil quality with this two-part investigation. In the first part, students determine soil texture-the relative amounts of sand, silt, and clay-by measuring the amount of each that settles out of a soil “solution” after definite time intervals. The texture of soil influence how coarse or fine the soil is, its porosity and permeability, and the capacity to bind and store nutrients. In the second part of the experiment, students analyze the chemical properties of soil by measuring the pH and testing for the presence of essential macronutrients, nitrate and phosphate ions. The nutrient levels are evaluated in terms of both soil fertility and their environmental impact on surface or groundwater contamination. A great well-rounded environmental science lab activity to understand why soil is an essential natural resource!
Kit includes reproducible student handouts, detailed background information, complete teacher notes with sample data and answers to all questions, and all chemicals and consumable supplies needed to perform the lab.
Complete for 30 students working in pairs.
Additional ResourcesNo Additional Resources at the time.
Flinn Catalog/Reference Manual Page 1026
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