Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Measuring Acid Rain

Today in Science, we learned about acid precipitation and the bad effects it can have on our crops, soil, and structures. To apply our new knowledge, we tested the pH of rainwater compared to distilled water and tap water to find out if acid precipitation is coming down on us!

Before we began, we made hypotheses - is there acid rain in our town? Most of the students, sadly, were convinced that our rain is harmful. After they labeled and filled their three cups, they inserted the pH papers and waited patiently for the colors to change. Once they did, they used the guide to check the numbers.
Luckily for us, our rain water tested at a pH of 6 - the cutoff for acid rain (according to our book) is 5.6, so we just made it. What a relief!! Our tap water also tested at 6, and our distilled water tested at 7.

Yesterday we did a jigsaw activity to learn about a few alternatives to fossil fuels. Afterwards, the students wrote letters to their state senator or congressperson to encourage him or her to support legislation that encourages the use of fossil fuels. Most of the letters turned out really well after we brainstormed ideas of what we could tell them. They wrote with a lot of passion and knowledge of the alternatives!
Here is a little sampling of our letters. As soon as I get them all, I'm sending them away! Hopefully they will write back to us. :)

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