Soil Properties Experiments For Kids

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In this series of Soil Properties Experiments For Kids explain the different soil properties, I hope you find it useful to these home experiments.

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1. WATER CAPACITY retension

 Materials: 

  • Containers equal (as many as soil types to be tested)
  • Funnels equal (as many as soil types to be tested)
  • Filter paper (which is used in coffee)
  • To be tested substrates (vermiculite, sand, clay, garden soil, gravel)
  • Water
  • Jar

Procedure: 

1. Place the filter in each of the funnels.

2. On the filter place a portion of soil to be tested (the amount of soil in all cases should be similar)

3. Place the funnel with soil at the mouth of each of the containers.

4. Add a known amount of water (a cup or extent of) trying to wet the entire surface of fine soil.

5. Wait a few minutes and when I leave to drain water through the funnel, collecting the filtered water and pour it back on the floor.

6. Repeat two or three times the operation.

7. Determine the amount of water filtered and remained at the bottom of the container.

8. Record results and compare them.

2. QUALITATIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SOIL 1 

Materials 

  • A soil sample
  • A flat glass
  • Newsprint

Procedure 
1. Observe the most obvious characteristics of the soil, odor, color, textuta, components (pebbles, gravel, organic matter …)

2. Separate the components identified.

3. Write down all your observations.

3. QUALITATIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF SOIL 2

Materials:

  • A soil sample
  • Newsprint
  • A flat glass
  • A magnifying glass
  • A magnet
  • A brush
  • Water

Procedure 

1. Place a soil sample on a sheet of newspaper and let dry in the sun.

2. Identify and list the most obvious characteristics of the sample (odor, color, texture …)

3. With a brush, to separate the components identified in the sample.

4.Complementar observations using a magnifying glass.

5. Place a portion of the soil sample in a glass and, by passing a magnet through the bottom of the glass, look at the same time, with what happens to magnifying glass dust particles.

6. Add a few drops of water to the sample and repeat the previous operation.

7. Record all observations.

4. POROSITY 

Materials 

  • A cylinder or other container graduated, 100 mL
  • 50-60 g of dry soil
  • A container with water
  • Newsprint

Procedure

1. Spread the soil sample on the newspaper and put the sun to dry

2. Empty the soil in the cylinder to reach the milestone of 50 mL

3. Slowly add 50 mL of water on the soil sample.

4. Measure the volume reached by the end of emptying.

5. Determine the volume that corresponds to the soil pores.

6. Explain the results.

Tracks:

Total volume V = V solid + water = 50 mL

Total volume V = V solid + water

The added water V = 50 mL, and assuming that the total V is 80 mL:

V air = porosity = 50 mL-30 mL = 20 mL

% Porosity = 20 mL (100) / 50 mL = 2000/50 = 40

5. BULK DENSITY 

Materials 

  • A 50 mL specimen container or other graduate
  • A balance
  • A container with a soil sample
  • A container with water

Procedure 

1. Weigh the specimen

2. Empty soil in the cylinder to the mark of 30 mL

3. Reweighed

4. Determine the mass of soil (weight of the cylinder with ground-empty weight of the specimen)

5. Explain the results

Tracks:

Soil porosity is an important factor. To quantify the density using the expression:

density = mass / volume.

6. REAL DENSITY 

Materials

  • A 50 mL test tube
  • A balance granataria
  • A container with a soil sample
  • A container with water

Procedure 

1. Weigh the specimen

2. Empty soil in the cylinder to the mark of 30 mL

3. Reweighed

4. Determine the mass of soil (weight of the cylinder with ground-empty weight of the specimen)

5. Determine the volume of soil without air (remember the measurement of solids in the determination of porosity)

6. Determine the actual density of soil (density = actual weight / volume)

Hint: 

Remember that the porosity is a factor in the soil. To quantify the density using the expression:

density = mass / volume.

7. 1 IDENTIFICATION OF CARBONATES 

Materials 

  • Dry soil sample
  • A flat glass
  • The juice of a lemon or a little vinegar

Procedure 

1. Place some soil on the glass

2. Add a few drops of vinegar

3. Watch for release of gas as bubbles.

Tracks:

The formation of bubbles is indicative of the presence of carbonates as these acids decompose, releasing CO2.

8. 2 IDENTIFICATION OF CARBONATES 

Materials 

  • A clear bottle with cork
  • Baking soda (sodium or calcium)
  • Vinegar

Procedure

1. Place vinegar to two thirds the capacity of the bottle.

2. Add a baking dish.

3. Cover

4. Observe what happens.

5. Explain why this activity serves to confirm the presence of carbonates from the previous activity

Hint: 

the reaction forms CO2.