Studying the effects of acid rain on plants, students observe the
growth of seeds and the health of plants for four weeks. They communicate
their findings to a neighboring community center and make rain gauges
that they contribute to their rooftop garden and a local community
For more about Special #2 from
Rooftop Garden ~ Planting Seeds of Service, e-mail
Sheung, author and AT&T Teacher Disseminator.
Conduct a scientific inquiry.
Employ equipment and tools to gather information.
Use evidence, inference, and models to construct a reasonable
Communicate investigations and explanations.
1. Plant 2 to 3 corn seeds in individual pots
or milk containers. Make a few holes on
the bottom of milk containers for drainage.
2. Label half the pots "Clean Water" and
the other half "Acid Rain".
3. Read about acid rain.
4. Understand adding vinegar to soil
simulates acid rain.
5. Throughout vinegar application, wear
protective eye shields.
6. Fill small squeeze dropper bottles
with white vinegar.
7. Use bottle to carefully apply 30 drops
of vinegar to the soil of "Acid Rain"
8. Predict the effect of acid rain on plants
and record in science journals.
9. Water seeds daily using spray bottles
with regular tap water.
10. As seeds germinate, keep track of
plants' growth using a double bar graph.
11. Make weekly drawings. Record
differences in plants' appearance on
Plant Observation Sheets.
12. Write up conclusions in science journals.
Students construct rain gauges from wooden boxes and coffee cans and
distribute them along with Plant Observation
Sheets to a community center and a community garden.
Students study science careers in environmental testing and protection.
Acid rain articles from science journals and newspapers; potting soil,
pots or milk containers, adhesive labels, corn seeds, dropper bottle,
white vinegar, safety goggles, tap water, metric rulers, two spray
bottles; materials for rain gauge
Students look up acid rain on the Internet and Microsoft Encarta 98
Teacher evaluates students' participation in the inquiry. Based on
Plant Observation Sheets, students answer
and illustrate key question on the cause and effect of acid rain.
Rain What Is It?