High schoolers acquire more information and skills related to soil
science and perfect the proper techniques for soil sample collection
and soil preparation. They test for levels of three major soil elements
and the soil's pH value. The experiment leads to a soil analysis in
which students answer questions about optimum growing conditions with
their soil including preferred fertilizer and plants. This enables
them to pass on valuable information to the young gardeners they mentor.
For more about Special #3 from
Techno Gardening, e-mail
Aida Quinones, author and
AT&T Teacher Disseminator.
Research, analyze and evaluate environmental challenges through
Research and apply the unifying concepts of science.
Use technologies to obtain, utilize and present information.
Students engage in a lab, testing for levels of the three major elements
that plants absorb in large quantities during growth: nitrogen, phosphorous,
and potassium. Soil pH is also included because the pH value directly
affects the availability of a soil's mineral nutrients. With these
understand how plants depend on soil for nutrition:
With accumulating knowledge on soil, high schoolers can "dish the
dirt" to the community. As they help out with school gardens in the
neighborhood, they provide helpful information on fertilizers and
Students visit a nursery to observe and
interview horticulturists who help them
plan the best plants and fertilizers
for their garden.
Applications in Biology/Chemistry, 1994: Center for Occupational
Research and Development, Waco, Texas; LaMotte Soil Handbook,
Chestertown, MD; soil test kit to test for nitrogen, phosphorous,
potassium, and pH: LaMotte Soil Test Kit, Sudbury Soil Test
Kit, or any available kit; for lab materials, see soil test kit.
Students document work with PowerPoint
and continue their e-mail correspondence
with a university soil scientist about
Soil Test Results on Soil Analysis
form on going assessment.