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Soil Biology and Respiration

Soil Biology and Respiration

Description:  Using quantification and observation skills, students learn about soil microbes, their function, and why they are important for ecosystem regulation.  Using Vernier LabQuest scientific handhelds and O2 and CO2 sensors, students explore soil biological activity by calculating changes in microbial respiration over time.  By measuring soil temperature, moisture, pH, soil texture and infiltration rates, students will be able to investigate other soil properties that have an impact on microbial activity.   Collected data is analyzed and conclusions are drawn about the overall productivity of the soil at their school site.

Length of Program:  This program is available in a 1-day or 2-day format. The 3-day format is an option, but not recommended.
For each available format, the program is conducted within the following time considerations:
1-day format:  Day One:  2.5 - 3 hour period.
2-day format:  Day One:  Traditional class period.  Day Two:  Double class period.
3-day format:  Day One, Two, Three:  Traditional class periods each day.

Site Requirements: Access to soil.  Program can be done on most school sites. For better results, wetland and woodland sites are best.  

Cost:  None.  All equipment, teaching materials, and technology are provide free of charge.

Full program description, learning objectives, 2010 Indiana Academic Standards for Science and Math and Excellence in Environmental Education - Guidelines for Learning (Pre K - 12)