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Early Childhood Learning Center Kirksville R-III Schools

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1 Early Childhood Learning Center Kirksville R-III Schools
Northeast Missouri Solid Waste Management District – Region “C” Department of Natural Resources Grant Project: Earth Friendly Outdoor Classroom Recycling Grant Early Childhood Learning Center Kirksville R-III Schools Waste Management District - Region C

2 Missouri Goals on Waste Management
Missouri’s goal is to maximize waste reduction and reduce the amount of waste, consider the types of waste we are producing and if the waste materials are hazardous and what impact they have on the environment. You as a consumer can help by recycling, reducing, and reusing. This will protect our water, air, land, energy, and cultural resources. REASONS: 1. Protect the health and the environment of people 2. Create local jobs 3. Support Your Community 4. Conserve our Natural Resources Printed on Recycled Paper

3 Printed on Recycled Paper
Why Recycle? Solid Waste Management Program The Three R's: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Tips on reducing waste and conserving resources. The three R's - reduce, reuse and recycle - all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. They conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy. Plus, the three R's save land and money communities must use to dispose of waste in landfills. Starting a new landfill has become difficult and more expensive due to environmental regulations and public opposition. Missouri has a goal of reducing the amount of waste going into landfills by 40 percent. Everyone can help meet this goal and save natural resources, energy, and money by following the three R's. Printed on Recycled Paper REDUCE The best way to manage waste is to not produce it. This can be done by shopping carefully and being aware of a few guidelines: Buy products in bulk. Larger, economy-size products or ones in concentrated form use less packaging and usually cost less per ounce. Avoid over-packaged goods, especially ones packed with several materials such as foil, paper, and plastic. They are difficult to recycle, plus you pay more for the package. Avoid disposable goods, such as paper plates, cups, napkins, razors, and lighters. Throwaways contribute to the problem, and cost more because they must be replaced again and again. Buy durable goods - ones that are well-built or that carry good warranties. They will last longer, save money in the long run and save landfill space. At work, make two-sided copies when ever possible. Maintain central files rather than using several files for individuals. Use electronic mail or main bulletin board. Remove your name from the mailing lists of materials you no longer want to receive: write to Mail Preference Service, c/o Direct Marketing Assoc., P.O. Box 90008, Farmingdale, NY Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. Use a dish cloth instead of paper towels. REUSE It makes economic and environmental sense to reuse products. Sometimes it takes creativity: Reuse products for the same purpose. Save paper and plastic bags, and repair broken appliances, furniture and toys. Reuse products in different ways. Use a coffee can to pack a lunch; use plastic microwave dinner trays as picnic dishes. Sell old clothes, appliances, toys, and furniture in garage sales or ads, or donate them to charities. Use resalable containers rather than plastic wrap. Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of paper cups. Reuse grocery bags or bring your own cloth bags to the store. Do not take a bag from the store unless you need one. RECYCLE Recycling is a series of steps that takes a used material and processes, remanufactures, and sells it as a new product. Begin recycling at home and at work: Buy products made from recycled material. Look for the recycling symbol or ask store managers or salesmen. The recycling symbol means one of two things - either the product is made of recycled material, or the item can be recycled. For instance, many plastic containers have a recycling symbol with a numbered code the identifies what type of plastic resin it is made from. However, just because the container has this code does not mean it can be easily recycled locally. Check collection centers and curbside pickup services to see what they accept, and begin collecting those materials. These can include metal cans, newspapers, paper products, glass, plastics and oil. Consider purchasing recycled materials at work when purchasing material for office supply, office equipment or manufacturing. Speak to store managers and ask for products and packaging that help cut down on waste, such as recycled products and products that are not over packaged. Buy products made from material that is collected for recycling in your community. Use recycled paper for letterhead, copier paper and newsletters. For more information on reducing, reusing, or recycling, contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Solid Waste Management Program. Call toll-free number and ask for the solid waste management program at or

4 Printed on Recycled Paper
REDUCE REDUCE The best way to manage waste is to not produce it. This can be done by shopping carefully and being aware of a few guidelines: Buy products in bulk. Larger, economy-size products or ones in concentrated form use less packaging and usually cost less per ounce. Avoid over-packaged goods, especially ones packed with several materials such as foil, paper, and plastic. They are difficult to recycle, plus you pay more for the package. Avoid disposable goods, such as paper plates, cups, napkins, razors, and lighters. Throwaways contribute to the problem, and cost more because they must be replaced again and again. Buy durable goods - ones that are well-built or that carry good warranties. They will last longer, save money in the long run and save landfill space. At work, make two-sided copies when ever possible. Maintain central files rather than using several files for individuals. Use electronic mail or main bulletin board. Remove your name from the mailing lists of materials you no longer want to receive: write to Mail Preference Service, c/o Direct Marketing Assoc., P.O. Box 90008, Farmingdale, NY Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. Use a dish cloth instead of paper towels. (http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/pubs-reports/threers.htm) Printed on Recycled Paper

5 Printed on Recycled Paper
REUSE REUSE It makes economic and environmental sense to reuse products. Sometimes it takes creativity: Reuse products for the same purpose. Save paper and plastic bags, and repair broken appliances, furniture and toys. Reuse products in different ways. Use a coffee can to pack a lunch; use plastic microwave dinner trays as picnic dishes. Sell old clothes, appliances, toys, and furniture in garage sales or ads, or donate them to charities. Use resalable containers rather than plastic wrap. Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of paper cups. Reuse grocery bags or bring your own cloth bags to the store. Do not take a bag from the store unless you need one. (http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/pubs-reports/threers.htm) Printed on Recycled Paper

6 RECYCLE RECYCLE Recycling is a series of steps that takes a used material and processes, remanufactures, and sells it as a new product. Begin recycling at home and at work: Buy products made from recycled material. Look for the recycling symbol or ask store managers or salesmen. The recycling symbol means one of two things - either the product is made of recycled material, or the item can be recycled. For instance, many plastic containers have a recycling symbol with a numbered code the identifies what type of plastic resin it is made from. However, just because the container has this code does not mean it can be easily recycled locally. Check collection centers and curbside pickup services to see what they accept, and begin collecting those materials. These can include metal cans, newspapers, paper products, glass, plastics and oil. Consider purchasing recycled materials at work when purchasing material for office supply, office equipment or manufacturing. Speak to store managers and ask for products and packaging that help cut down on waste, such as recycled products and products that are not over packaged. Buy products made from material that is collected for recycling in your community. Use recycled paper for letterhead, copier paper and newsletters. For more information on reducing, reusing, or recycling, contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Solid Waste Management Program. Call toll-free number and ask for the solid waste management program at or (http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/pubs-reports/threers.htm) Printed on Recycled Paper

7 Managing Recovered Materials
DNR strongly supports resource conservation. Recovering materials that would be disposed of as waste is not way to conserve resources and it benefits our environment, conserves raw materials and reduces energy consumption, waste and pollution. Recovery operation s must be well planned and follow the state laws. The steps to managing recovered materials are as follows: 1. Planning—what types of materials, how to collect them, where you will collect them, how you will transport, process, manage, store and market them. 2. Economics—consider the cost of managing and marketing recovered including processing equipment costs; research how much recovered material is available to ensure there is enough to collect, recycle, and market. 3. Things to Consider how health and environmental issues may affect your business: a. What types of materials are you planning to recover? b. How are they regulated? c. Could they be hazardous to human health or the environment? d. Could they be a fire hazard? By-products of human activity range from clean fill to regulated solid wastes to hazardous wastes. 1. Clean Fill—uncontaminated soil, rock, sand, gravel, concrete, asphaltic concrete, cinder blocks, brick, minimal amounts of wood and metal and inert (nonreactive) solids. One example is concrete containing wire mesh or reinforcing rods (rebar) may be used for clean fill if you remove the rebar. Another example is concrete may be used only in locations where they will not contact ground water or surface water. Shingles, sheet rock or wood wastes are not clean fill.

8 Managing Recovered Materials Continued
Recovered Materials—are materials removed from the waste stream for reuse or to be made into a new product. Recovered materials include clean fill as well as metals, paper, cardboard, asphalt shingles, sheet rock, concrete, lumber and other wood waste, glass, electrical wire, plastics, organics, etc. Recovered materials must be used in some way to remain exempt from being a solid waste. Recovered materials stored indefinitely with no use or market do not retain their exempt status and will be regulated as solid waste. Regulated solid wastes includes everything except materials being properly recovered or used for clean fill. Regulated solid waste may be disposed only at a solid waste landfill or transfer station. It is illegal for open-burning, to dump, to bury. Dumping regulated solid wastes on public or private property is illegal even with a landowner’s permission. Everyone is responsible: contractor, subcontractor, hauler, and the landowner. Hazardous Wastes—Improper managed hazardous wastes are dangerous to our human health and the environment. Hazardous wastes include paint, stain, shellac, varnish, solvents, many chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, products used for building and vehicle maintenance, lawn care, cleaning, polishing etc. There are state and federal regulations for hazardous waste regulations. You have to show that the materials are recyclable with a feasible means of being recycled; and the amount of material recycled or transferred to a different site for recycling equals at least 75 percent by weight or volume of the material accumulated on site at the beginning of that period. You must also report any material you have recovered may be hazardous to DNR regional office to discuss management options. Also demolition materials may contain asbestos which is harmful to humans. Asbestos is often found in older building in ceiling or floor tiles, sound proofing insulation, pipes, duct work, boilers or transit siding or shingles. A certified Missouri asbestos inspector must inspect the building or materials. The Air Pollution Control Program’s Asbestos Unit ( ) is a good contact and they can also send you a fact sheet about managing construction and demolition wastes.

9 Managing Recovered Materials Continued
What do you do with materials that cannot be reused or recycled? Some of these items might be cans, bottles, old shoes, plastic dinner ware found in yard waste or paper and cardboard in a load of roofing shingles. These are managed by solid waste and are sent to a solid waste landfill or a transfer station. Garbage and other wastes decompose and are stored in covered containers and removed within 24 hours and other wastes should never be stored longer than one week. Recovered materials should be moved within six months of receipt. Records must be kept when the materials arrive and when they are removed or used, and where they are taken. How will you store recovered materials until you can market them or process them? Inside storage is safer, cleaner, and usually has fewer complaints, and helps to retain the market value of the recovered material. Some local ordinances may require inside storage. Recovered materials may loose their value from being stored too long. Outside storage concerns might be a problem and attract rodents, provide breeding grounds for insects, attract scavengers or pose a fire hazard. Also processing recovered materials outside may require a storm water permit. State and Local Environmental Permits and Approvals: Missouri solid waste law allows most source-separated materials to be recovered or processed without a solid waste permit as long as the activity does not create a public nuisance, harm public health, or pollute the environment. Recovered materials are kept separate or removed from regulated solid wastes. When recovered materials are mixed with solid waste the facility must have a permit exemption from Solid waste Management Program. Sorting or separating mixed recovered materials is a permit-exempt activity. Example are newspapers, milk jugs and aluminum cans. If your facility produces any emissions such as dust or odors you may need an Air Pollution Control permit. You may also need a Storm Water permit from Water Pollution Control Branch. Also sometimes local permits or approvals are required and you would contact your local code enforcement, planning and zoning or public works departments.

10 Printed on Recycled Paper
FACTS Missouri Waste Management 2010 Tonnage Report: Waste Tonnage: 5,285,861 tons Alternative Daily Cover Tonnage (substance other than soil used to cover waste in a landfill : 19,648 tons Missouri has legislation for scrap tire fee and provides for a management system. In the law expired and during an 18 month period a half million tires were illegally dumped. Time to Decompose It can take up to 700 years for plastic to decompose in a landfill About 5.5 million empty toner cartridges fill the landfill sites every year in the United Kingdom Glass takes over 1,000,000 years to decompose in a landfill Amount of waste 60% of the rubbish in land fills could be recycled Each person creates about 4.7 pounds of waste every day Landfills in the US are decreasing in number but increasing in size Amount of waste Recycled In % of lead acid batteries were recycled, 54% of paper and paperboard were recycled, 64% of yard trimmings are recycled and 35% of metals were recycled In 2007 I n the US 85 million tons of 254 million tons of municipal solid waste was recycled (Recycling Facts. Org) In ,500 aluminum cans were recycled every minute in California Recycled Savings In 2007 the amount of recycling saved energy equal to 10.7 billion galloons of gasoline and prevented the release of carbon dioxide of approximately 35 million cars Each ton of mixed paper that is recycled can save the energy equivalent to 185 gallons of gasoline Recycling 1 ton of aluminum cans conserves the equivalent of 1,665 gallons of gasoline Recycling 1 ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space Wheat and Who recycles? Approximately 8,660 curbside recycling programs exist in the US About 3,510 communities have composting programs Printed on Recycled Paper

11 Printed on Recycled Paper
More Facts Plastic Recycling Facts : 1.6 gallons of bottled water was consumed in 1976 and in 2006 the amount was 28.3 gallons 2. In million pounds of wide-mouth plastic containers were recovered for recycling 3. In 2008 the recycling rate of plastic was only 27% . In the 2008 Great American Cleanup volunteers recovered and recycled 189,000,000 PET (plastic) bottles from highways, waterways, and parks In trillion pounds of plastic bottles were recycled. The PET bottles recycled in 2006 increased more than million pounds as compared to HDPE bottle recycling increase in 2005 to 928 million pounds. : 30 million tons of plastic waste were generated in 2009, representing 12.3% of the total MSW : In 2009 the US generated 13 million tons of plastics as containers and packaging, almost 11 million tons as durable goods (appliances) and 7 million tons as nondurable goods (plates and cups) : Only 7% of the total plastic waste generated in 2009 was recovered for recycling 7. In 2009 the category of plastics (bags, sacks and wraps) was recycled at 9% (http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/plastics.htm 8. Plastic Recycling business has tripled and there are 1,600 businesses involved in recycling post consumer plastics. Some of those businesses are for playground equipment. (Kaplan, Miracle, Playworld Systems, Playmore, PlayMart, Foresite). 9. Recycling 1 ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space 10.. Plastic Recycling lags behind other items such as newspaper (80%) and fiberboard (70%). Plastic bottles a rate of 24% 11. Plastic polymers require greater processing to be recycled. Plastics have a low entropy of mixing which is due to the high molecular weight of their large polymer chains. Heating alone is not enough to dissolve such large molecules and the plastics must often be of nearly identical composition in order for them to mix efficiently. When the plastics are not compatible they set in layers like oil and water. 12. Another barrier to recycling plastic is the use of dyes, fillers, and other additives. It can be expensive to remove the fillers. Also another concern is that some plastics do not have the universal triangle recycling symbol and number so one would know which kind of plastic was in the item. An example is plastic utensils. If biodegradable plastics are mixed with other plastics for recycling the reclaimed plastic is not recyclable because the variance in properties and melt temperatures. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_recycling) Printed on Recycled Paper

12 AND More Facts on Plastics
13. Types of plastics: PET-post-consumer polyethylenes or the plastic bottle is sorted by color, cleaned, crushed, shopped into flakes, pressed into bales, and then are sold. Uses of PET is to create fabrics used for clothes such as jackets, coats, shoes, bags, etc. Also the PET fabric is being blended with other fabrics and are producing Billabong’s Eco-Supreme Suede, Livity’s Pip-Tide III, Wellman Inc’s Eco-fi, and Reware’s Rewoven, Crazy Shirts, and Playback. PVC or Vinyl Recycling uses HDPE or number 2 plastic for recycling by down cycling the plastic into lumber, tables, roadside curbs, benches, truck cargo liners, trash receptacles, and rulers. Other plastics: White plastic foam peanuts are being reused by shipping stores. Plastic films are used in Israel to produce household products such as buckets Agricultural plastics such as mulch film, drip tape, and silage bags are recycled into larger products for industrial applications such as plastic composite railroad ties. India has formulated a road surfaces that includes recycled plastic by blending bitumen (asphalt) with plastic that has been shredded and melted at a temperature below 220 degrees C (428 degree F) to avoid pollution 14. Plastic Recycling lags behind other items such as newspaper (80%) and fiberboard (70%). Plastic bottles are around a rate of 24% Printed on Recycled Paper

13 More and More FACTS on Plastics
15. Plastic polymers require greater processing to be recycled. Plastics have a low entropy of mixing which is due to the high molecular weight of their large polymer chains. Heating alone is not enough to dissolve such large molecules and the plastics must often be of nearly identical composition in order for them to mix efficiently. When the plastics are not compatible they set in layers like oil and water. 16. Another barrier to recycling plastic is the use of dyes, fillers, and other additives. It can be expensive to remove the fillers. Also another concern is that some plastics do not have the universal triangle recycling symbol and number so one would know which kind of plastic was in the item. An example is plastic utensils. If biodegradable plastics are mixed with other plastics for recycling the reclaimed plastic is not recyclable because the variance in properties and melt temperatures. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_recycling) 17. Recycling Symbols are called resin identification code and is stamped or printed on the bottom of containers and surrounded by triangle of arrows. These symbols are to help make recycling of plastics easier. Printed on Recycled Paper

14 Plastic Identification Code
Polypropylene Strength, toughness, resistance to heat, chemicals, grease and oil, versatile, barrier to moisture Microwaveable ware, yogurt containers, margarine tubs, disposable cups, plates Polystyrene (PS) Versatility, clarity, easily formed Egg cartons, packing peanuts, disposable cups, plates, trays , take away cont. cutlery Other (often polycarbonate or ABS) Dependent on polymers or combination of polymers Beverage bottles, baby milk bottles. Non packaging uses for polycarbonate: compact discs; unbreakable glazing, electronic apparatus housing, lenses, headlamps, riot shields, instrument panels Polyethylene Terephthalate (Pet, Pete) Clarity, strength, toughness, barrier to gas and moisture Soft drink, water and salad dressing bottles; peanut butter and jam jars High-density (HDPE) Stiffness, strength, toughness, resistance to moisture permeability to gas Water pipes, hula hoop s, five gallon buckets, milk, juice and water bottles, the occasional shampoo bottle Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Versatility, ease of blending, strength, toughness Blister packaging for non-food items, cling films for non-food use, non packaging uses are electrical cable insulation, rigid piping, and vinyl records Low-density (LDPE) Ease of processing, strength, toughness, flexibility, ease of sealing, barrier to moisture Frozen food bags: squeezable bottles, e.g. honey, mustard; cling films; flexible container Printed on Recycled Paper

15 Printed on Recycled Paper
So this ec Printed on Recycled Paper

16 Can be This Printed on Recycled Paper

17 To This

18 The Earth Friendly Outdoor Classroom Goals
Young children and their families will understand why recycling is important to our earth and what materials can be used for recycling The community and organizations will become more aware of recycling and the importance of recycling in our community, the state, and the nation The Kirksville R-III Schools will provide supports to the school for recycling The outdoor classroom will parallel the indoor classroom curriculum and recycling will be integrated into the different centers or areas of learning in the classroom The outdoor classroom will have the following areas: Science and Nature Math Literacy Dramatic Play Music and Movement Sensory Motor and Movement Art Printed on Recycled Paper

19 Grant Items and Matching Items
Playground Equipment Tonnage .Gazebo for Literacy area 12,768 milk jugs or 1682 pounds Dramatic Stage for drama area 7,148 milk jugs or 910 pounds Bridge for nature and science area 4,722 milk jugs or 787 pounds 4.Birdhouses for nature or science area milk jugs per house = 4176milk jugs or 352 lbs. Craft Table for art area 12,300 milk jugs or 1,757 pounds 4 Planters for nature and science area 1,128 milk jugs – 4,512 jugs or 560 lbs. Dino fossil head and tail for nature and science area lbs and 411 lbs   (recycled concrete) 2 Butterfly Tables for meals and projects 909 milk jugs per table = 1818 or 1000 pounds Recycle rock for sensory/motor area 2 tons 8 Child Size Benches throughout outdoor classroom 1,113 milk jugs per bench = 1,440 or 200 lbs 4 recycling containers milk jugs x 4 = 1,452 milk jugs  Toddler Clubhouse milk jugs Printed on Recycled Paper

20 Earth Friendly Outdoor Classroom

21 The Excuse: It is too expensive and too time consuming to recycle
The costs for curbside recycling program costs more than just regular trash pick up. The Environmental Service Company or know as Garage Disposal Company may have to pay for other companies to get the recycle materials such as plastics, glass, wood, concrete, paper, etc. However many local governments are paying fees to hauling companies, transfer stations, or landfills out of the local tax revenue. This reduces the residents cost for their trash pick up, however the resident is paying taxes for the local government to recycle and to maintain the landfills. Depletion Costs or costs associated with future disposal is avoided if we recycle. Landfills have limited space and when they are full another landfill must be started which is additional costs to operate and maintain. A new landfill includes costs of buying land, constructing the landfill, operational costs, long-term maintenance costs after the landfill is closed, and transportation costs. Recycling can save the expenses of a land fill, however the consumer does not think of the savings at the time of dumping garbage or recycling. Recycling requires less refining than raw material. It takes less energy to melt down an aluminum can than to process raw materials to make a new aluminum can. So by recycling we cut down on the environmental damage and conserve our natural resources. When you purchase a product that has not been recycled part of the cost of that product includes the cleaning up of wastes and limiting emissions. Often damage to our environment is not always realized until years later. One example is acid rain which pollutes the air and in turn the companies and government have to pay additional money to fix the problem. (http://www.dnr.mo/gov/env/swmp/pubs-reports/rececon.htm) Printed on Recycled Paper

22 More Excuses and More Reasons
Energy is saved from manufacturing products from recycled materials. Recycling one aluminum can is equal to the energy in the amount of gasoline to fill the can half full. Labor costs for recycling products are often higher than those used in manufacturing a virgin product because recyclables from curbside collections or drop off centers must be separated, cleaned, and processed. Also capital expenditures are required when a product is going to be recycled as either new machinery or retrofitted equipment is needed. Recycling saves energy and cuts down on pollution emitted by utilities and the companies. The pollution created by companies and the clean up costs are passed on to all energy consumers in their utility bills. Utility companies have to comply with tougher standards through the new clean air law. They are obligated to reduce pollutants they release while producing energy. Therefore, the cost of compliance is passed on to the consumer. Recycling creates less use of energy and less pollution. This also reduces the cost to the consumer and limits the damage to natural resources. When weighing the long-term costs and advantages recycling makes economic better for the consumer, the community, the state, and the nation. Also, the environment we live in and enjoy is better and safer for us and our children (DNR Solid Waste Management Program: ) WHERE DO YOU FIT INTO THE RECYCLING PROCESS? Printed on Recycled Paper

23 What can the Community and You do?

24 In Michigan cans and plastic are recycled in the stores where you purchased your products: Wal-Mart or Grocery Store

25 In Michigan a 12 pack of soda costs $2
In Michigan a 12 pack of soda costs $2.78 and when you return the empty cans you get 10 cents for each can or $1.20 per 12 pack so you actually paid $1.58 for the 12 pack. In Missouri you pay $ for a twelve pack.

26 And in Chicago they have trash and recycling
And in Chicago they have trash and recycling. This is supported by the promiseofpepsico. The money is used to support disabled veterans.

27 Chicago

28 Chicago, Illinois

29 The Field Museum and the Underground Connection Just for Families
Just for Families » | 10 Things to Improve Soil Now that you are interested, why not learn more and see how you can make a difference in soil quality? Recycle. Recycling yard waste reduces landfills and increases the amount of nutrients that could be returned to the soil. Start a worm compost bin. Earthworms are natural recyclers! Feed your organic kitchen scraps to them and watch them turn it into the perfect environment for your garden and the critters that love to live there. This increases the quality of soil in your backyard or school and, by separating organic garbage from trash, you reduce curbside trash and landfills. Start a regular compost pile. Let bacteria, fungus, and insects, as well as water, temperature, and chemistry turn your raked leaves and grass, organic kitchen scraps, and other decaying material into fertile soil. You'll need a special spot in the backyard or corner of the school yard, but you'll have fun checking the temperature and noticing the microscopic activity that goes on to make healthy soil! journeytoforever.org/compost.html Support farmers who grow crops organically, without the use of pesticides and herbicides that strip the soil of nutrients, and use low-tillage methods. Read and incorporate the principles of the International Earth Charter into your lifestyle. environet.policy.net/ Learn about your local area's special dumping, run-off, and hazardous waste disposal rules, as well as what toxic materials you may have in your home. environet.policy.net/health/cabcon_report.vtml Grow things. Start a backyard or windowsill garden or farm a small plot in a local community garden. You'll learn about what kinds of soil makes the best-tasting and healthiest plants. Have a No Trash Lunch Week. Try to bring your lunch to work or school for an entire week without using any non-recyclable materials. Things that are OK to include are organic material for the compost, recyclable plastic, glass, and aluminum—see if you can create a lunch habit in which nothing is put in the curbside trash can! Plant native species in your backyard or on your school campus. Lessen the negative impact of asphalt and concrete on our critter friends' homes! Create prairie lands, school gardens, or volunteer in areas that are being restored. Plan a volunteer workday to help clean up a vacant lot, river habitat, or other place in need of restoration. ↑ Return to top

30 Field Museum and the Underground Connection Just for Teachers Soil Studies
Welcome to the Underground Adventure Web site, a unique set of online soil education and biodiversity activities that invites students to develop and test a hypothesis about soil ecosystems in their neighborhood. Through the activities on this Web site, students will decide on a research question, propose a hypothesis, establish a study site at their school, conduct field research, take notes on their findings in a scientific journal, and modify their hypothesis based on what they find. More importantly, they will interact with the world around them in new and exciting ways. Each activity provided on this site is designed as a stand-alone learning opportunity that can fit in with your existing curriculum and lesson plans—or you can combine multiple activities into a cohesive curriculum unit on the physical properties and biodiversity of soil. This program was developed as a fifth-grade environmental science curriculum. However, the activities are interdisciplinary and are appropriate for grades 3-8. The Goals of Underground Adventure: To combine outdoor education with technology to create a unique learning experience To teach the scientific method by investigating soils and underground life To create soil education materials that help educators meet existing Illinois state learning standards To interest young people in careers in science To sow the seeds of environmental literacy and stewardship in a broad range of communities Why Do Outdoor Soil Studies With Your Students? Children are innately interested in the natural world in which they live. Seeing a new creature, rock, or constellation for the first time, students are often motivated to turn voluntarily to their textbooks to learn more about their discoveries. The quest for the who, what, and how of the world's mysteries can be an exciting adventure in learning. There is no more highly stimulating setting than the outdoor classroom. No books can rival the vividness of the real world. Outdoor learning involves all of the senses and changes with the seasons. By studying nature, students can see themselves as part of the natural world rather than removed or separate from it. Students may then develop a sense of responsibility for the world in which they live and on which they depend for survival. Meaningful outdoor learning experiences may lead to a more environmentally literate society. Who knows? One of your students may grow up to solve some of our most pressing environmental dilemmas. Scientific Inquiry The activities in the Underground Adventure Web site guide students through an outdoor field study of soil life and some of the variables that affect soil biodiversity. Through these activities, students will gain experience in scientific skills such as hypothesis, observation, and inference. When done together as a unit of study, the activities are designed to help students answer this research question: What is the relationship between the soil's physical properties, environmental and human factors, and soil biodiversity? However, each activity is written as a stand-alone lesson so that you can focus your study of soil biodiversity on one or more variables as best fits your time and your students' needs. Simply tailor the research question to reflect the activities you will do or choose activities that will help answer research questions posed by students. In addition, this set of activities can serve as a model after which students can design their own inquiry to study a research question that interests them. Getting Started Your students will need the following resources as they get ready to conduct soil research through the activities provided below: Field Journal Students will learn why scientists use field journals, take a peek at some field journals from Field Museum scientists, and start their own field journals. Time: 30 minutes Worksheet: Journal Cover Worksheet: Field Study Field Site Students will learn why a good field site is so important to field work. A Field Museum scientist will share his secret for finding a good field site. Then students will have an opportunity to try finding a good site for a soil study. Time: 30 minutes Setting Up Quadrants For several of the activities in their soil exploration, students will need to set up quadrants—50 cm x 50 cm squares in which to test the soil. This activity guides students through setting up a quadrant. Time: 15 minutes Field Guide The Underground Adventure Field Guide has information about soil types and soil critters students are likely to encounter in their soil explorations. Time: Varies Worksheet: Field Site Description

31 Field Museum and the Underground For Teachers Activities Soil Properties Activities
Soil Properties Overview This section includes information about soil types and soil compaction, as well as other information students need for testing the physical properties of the soil at their field site. All of the activities in this section use the following worksheets: Soil Properties Overview Soil Properties Data Texture Test In this activity, students will determine the composition of the soil by feeling the texture of the soil. They will then use these data to classify the soil as sand, silt, or clay. Time: minutes Worksheet: Texture-by-Feel Analysis of Soil Mud Shake In this activity, students will determine the composition of the soil by separating the soil particles into layers. They will then classify the soil as sand, silt, or clay. Time: minutes, over two days Soil Temperature In this activity, students will measure and record the soil temperature at their field site over time. Time: minutes Compaction Test In this activity, students will measure and record how far a pencil can be pushed into the soil at their field site. Students will use these data to infer the degree of compaction of the soil. Time: minutes Percolation Test In this activity, students will measure and record how long it takes water to soak into the soil at the selected field site. Students will use these data to infer the degree of compaction of the soil. Time: minutes Factors That Affect the Soil Overview This section includes an overview of environmental and human factors that can affect the physical properties and biodiversity of soil. These factors are variables—your students can measure and track these variables over time as part of their research on the physical properties and/or biodiversity at their field site. All of the activities in this section use the following worksheet: Factors That Affect the Soil Overview Air Temperature In this activity, students will measure and record the air temperature at their field site over time. Time: 5-10 minutes Worksheet: Environmental Factors Cloud Cover In this activity, students will measure and record the percentage of cloud cover at their field site over time. Time: 5-10 minutes Food Source Habitat In this activity, students will research the main food sources for four soil critters and match each critter to the soil habitat type best suited to its food source needs. Time: minutes Information Sheet: What Do Your Backyard Critters Eat? Information Sheet: Habitats in Your Backyard Worksheet: Critter Food Source Worksheet: Food Source Habitat Ground Cover In this activity, students will practice mapping skills, increase spatial reasoning and estimation, and gain an understanding of the soil environments at their field site. Time: minutes Worksheet: Map Your Field Site Worksheet: Ground Cover Soil Biodiversity Overview This section includes information about soil organisms and other information students need for observing and identifying the soil critters they find at their field site. The activities in this section use the following worksheet: Soil Biodiversity Overview Looking for Life In this activity, students will look for, identify and count the organisms found in soil samples from their field site. Time: minutes Worksheet: Looking for Life Rock Flip In this activity, students will sample the soil critter population at their field site by flipping over a board or rock and counting the different types of critters they find. Time: minutes on two day

32 Field Museum and The Underground Connection For Teachers Field Journal
Objective To emphasize the importance of accurate record-keeping, students will learn the proper techniques for recording observations in a field journal. In addition, the journals promote creativity and observation skills. Estimated Time 30 minutes Materials Notebook Writing instrument Journal Cover worksheet (optional) Field Study worksheet Educational Standards Click to view Why Keep a Field Journal? Keeping a journal is an important part of fieldwork. A scientist uses it to provide a permanent record of what is going on in the natural world, somewhat like a diary of nature. When you look back at pages from weeks gone by, you will know what day it was when you saw particular things. If you keep a journal for many years, you will begin to notice patterns. Eventually you will be able to predict when certain animals will return and when particular plants will bloom. Scientists call this phenology, the study of seasonal, weather-influenced changes in living things. Keeping a field journal is an excellent way to get students used to recording their observations. Observing nature is an engaging activity for most students. Writing down what they see encourages students to think about the world around them in a more meaningful way, to ask questions about it, and to see patterns in nature. Although this set of activities involves a study of the soil, field journals can be used for other types of studies as well. What Goes in a Field Journal? A field journal is a diary, where you keep all the information you gather in the field. As you observe nature and gather data through field tests and experiments, your field journal gives you one place to store all the information you gather. Think about the kinds of information you might keep in a field journal: What kinds of information will you need to record about the site where you are doing your field work? What kinds of information will you need to record about the critters you observe? What other information will help you to make sense of what you observe or help you to find patterns? What other information might you want to have when you look back at your notes after a week, a month, or a year? You may want students to discuss their ideas in small groups and then share them with the class, or you may choose to brainstorm as a class. In either case, write students' responses on the board and accept all reasonable responses. Watch the video of a field scientist explaining what he puts in his field journal. Compare the information the scientists included with the ideas you listed on the board. What types of information did scientists include that students did not mention? How might the type of information included in the field journal differ depending on the particular study?

33 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Field Journal Part 2
Creating Your Field Journal A field journal is always a work in progress, since you will add information to it for as long as you work in the field. However, there are some things you can do to get your field journal started: Decide what you will use for your field journal. A binder or notebook to which you can add pages will probably work best. Data recording worksheets are included for each activity in this set. Using a binder will allow students to include these printed worksheets in their journal. There are a number of other options, however, that you may find more suited to your students. You may elect to staple the worksheets and blank pages together to create a journal. You may also have students use a notebook and simply hand copy the worksheets into the notebook or design their own way to record their data. Students can also use the worksheets and then just record a synopsis of their data in their journals. Create a cover for your journal. Be sure to include your name, grade, school, and a title for your field study. You can use the Journal Cover worksheet or create your own. Define your research question. What is it you hope to learn from your field work? The activities on the Underground Adventure Web site will help you answer the question: What is the relationship between the soil's physical properties, environmental and human factors, and soil biodiversity? You may have a different question you want to answer, or your teacher may give you a different research question. You may choose to do only some of the activities provided. What question do you hope to answer through your research? When you decide on your research question, write it down in your field journal. What are some other questions you have about the soil and the creatures that live there? Write down two or three additional research questions. You may want to design a study to investigate those research questions later. The questions you ask here will guide your observations. Of course, you can always change your questions or pose new ones as you learn more through your research. The activities on this site are designed to help students study the research question mentioned here. If you choose to focus on only one or more of the activities on the Web site, you will need to adjust the research question to match the activities you select. You may also work with students to determine a research question about soil that interests them, and then select activities from the Web site to help answer this question. Have students explore the Underground Adventure Field Guide and Meet the Creepy Critters to stimulate their thinking. Generate a hypothesis, or an educated guess, to answer your research question. Think about the research question. You may want to find out more about soil life before you formulate a hypothesis. Meet the Creepy Critters, the Underground Adventure Field Guide , and the Resources section of this Web site are good places to start. Then try to answer the research question. Don't worry—your hypothesis might not be right, but make the best guess you can based on what you know about soil life. As you do the activities on this Web site, you will begin to find out if your hypothesis is correct, and you can always change your hypothesis as you learn more. If necessary, review the scientific method with your students. Students can begin to see the value of asking a guiding question and then designing a study or experiment to answer it. Several of the Underground Adventure activities include printable worksheets for collecting your data. Before you get started on an activity, print out the data sheets you will use and add them to your field journal so you'll be ready to collect data when you're working at your field site.

34 Field Museum and The Underground Connection For Teachers Field Journal Part 3
Tips for Using Your Field Journal You should bring your field journal each time you go into the field. Below are a few tips to help you use your field journal. For each soil activity that you do, there will be a worksheet that you can use to record your data. To make it easier to see how all the data fits together, you should also record the results from each of the activities together in one place. You can use the Field Study worksheet for this or create your own. You can easily adapt this to your students' particular interest levels and abilities. For more advanced students, you may ask them to determine what kinds of data they will look for in the field and have them create their own soil study page. For others, you may ask them to create a soil study page after they return from the first day of field work. They will then need to determine which data should be included in the synopsis of that day's field work. Write everything down. Be sure to include lots of blank pages in your journal, so that you can write or draw what you see, hear, smell, feel, even taste! Make a note if there is something new at your site, such as a new plant or a burrow under a tree that wasn't there the last time you observed. Always record the date and time when you make an observation. Students should record this on every page of their journal so that they can re-order their pages if necessary. Use as much detail as possible. Remember, you want to be able to get good information from your journal a week from now or a month from now. Question what you see. As you observe, you may have questions about what you see. Be sure to write your questions down. Who knows, they may become the guiding questions for another field study! As a follow-up to the Underground Adventure activities or as the field work progresses, you may ask each student or group of students to design an experiment or study around one of their questions. They can record information related to their question, in addition to the other information they are recording. ↑ Return to top ↑ Home Meet the Creepy Critters Kid Zone   Just for Teachers Field Journal Field Site Quadrants Field Guide Soil Properties » Texture Test » Mud Shake » Soil Temperature » Compaction Test » Percolation Test Factors That Affect Soil » Air Temperature » Cloud Cover » Food Source Habitat » Ground Cover Soil Biodiversity » Looking for Life » Rock Flip Worm Bins     Just for Families Take a Virtual Tour Planning Your Visit Resources

35 Field Musuem and the Underground Connection for Teachers Field Site
Just for Teachers » | Field Site Objective Students will develop observational and organizational skills necessary for accurate data collection. Why Choose a Field Site? Estimated Time 1-2 hours, possibly divided over two days Materials Field journal Writing instruments Tape measure or yardstick/meter stick in both customary and metric units Field Site Description worksheet (optional) Educational Standards Click to view Choosing a field site allows you to make observations and do studies and experiments at the same place over a period of time. When you observe in the same place over time, you can see how the place, its organisms, and other natural elements change. You can really get to know the area and its inhabitants. When you spend time choosing a good field site, you can be sure that you have a good chance to see the organisms or other natural elements you are looking for. If you want to study deer, for example, it may not make sense to go to a small park in the middle of a city to observe them. However, if you want to observe squirrels, that same park would be an ideal place to go. Thoughtfully choosing a field site encourages students to think about the focus of their study. Observing at one site over time gives them an opportunity for a much richer understanding of changes in nature, including life cycles of insects and the effects of temperature and weather on the soil and its inhabitants. What Makes a Good Field Site? Choosing a good field site can make big difference in the data you collect. How would you go about choosing a good site? What things do you need to consider when choosing your site? What resources might you use to find a good site? You may want students to discuss their ideas in small groups and then share them with the class, or you may choose to brainstorm as a class. In either case, write students' responses on the board and accept all reasonable responses. Watch the video of a scientist explaining how he chooses a field site. What kinds of things does he consider when choosing a site? Compare the information the scientist mentions with the ideas you listed on the board. What factors did the scientist include that students did not mention? What resources did the scientist mention that the students did not? Choosing Your Field Site Before you can begin gathering data, you must choose a good site. If you are working with a group or a class, you will need to make this decision together. Think carefully about the kind of data you will collect. In this case, you will be gathering data about soil and soil critters. What are some things that your site must have so that you can gather the data you are looking for? Some of the factors students might consider include: the amount of open soil available in the area, diversity of micro-habitats (e.g., rocks and logs, shaded areas and sunny areas, water). Think of at least two areas where you could go to collect data. If possible, go to these areas and look around. For each site you consider, make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of the site. Considering more than one site helps students to think more carefully about what makes a good field site. However, if you have a time constraint or lack multiple areas to consider as field sites, you can skip this step. Look at the advantages and disadvantages you listed for each possible site and choose one of the sites. Go out to your site and create a detailed site description and map of your site. You can use the Field Site Description worksheet or create your own. You can have students brainstorm important elements to include in their site description, either in groups or as a class. They can then compare these elements to the ones on the Field Site Description worksheet or they can use the elements they suggested to create their own site description. Add the worksheet to your field journal.

36 Field Museum and the Underground Connection for Teacher Field Site 2
Tips for Choosing a Field Site Choosing a good field site is very important. Below are a few tips to consider as you choose your site. Think about what you want to study and find a site that matches. In this case, you want to study the soil and soil critters, so be sure to choose an area where you can easily get to and study the soil. Students may also want to consider the condition of the soil and the amount of litter found there. Another option is to find a site that has been altered significantly by humans and compare it to a more "natural" site. Think about diversity. A field site with several micro-habitats might give you more interesting data than one that is all the same. Choosing a diverse area will allow for interesting comparisons as students gather data from different areas of the site. Be practical. Choose a site that is close by and easy to get to. You will want to visit your site regularly. Be considerate. Choose a site where your work won't be a problem for other people who use the site. For example, it is probably not a good idea to dig holes on the sports field, where players may be injured if they step in one. Students may also want to consider traffic through the area. For some activities, students will set up roped quadrants in which to work. Think about the size of your field site. For some of the activities on this Web site, you will divide your field site into smaller quadrants to study. Look for an area that is large enough to be interesting and challenging, but not too large to manage. Keep in mind that for some activities, students will be setting up 50 cm by 50 cm roped quadrants. The site should be at least large enough to accommodate these quadrants for groups of two to four students. ↑ Return to top ↑ Home Meet the Creepy Critters Kid Zone   Just for Teachers Field Journal Field Site Quadrants Field Guide Soil Properties » Texture Test » Mud Shake » Soil Temperature » Compaction Test » Percolation Test Factors That Affect Soil » Air Temperature » Cloud Cover » Food Source Habitat » Ground Cover Soil Biodiversity » Looking for Life » Rock Flip Worm Bins     Just for Families Take a Virtual Tour Planning Your Visit Resources

37 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teacher Quadrants
Objective Students will practice measuring and following directions as they create quadrants. Why Work in Quadrants? Estimated Time 15 minutes Materials String Markers (2 colors) Four stakes (pencils or short dowel rods can be used) Meter stick Printout of instructions It is important to work in an area of the same size each time, so that you can accurately compare your data with the data from other groups or from other days. By creating a quadrant within which to work, you can be sure that you work in a square area with the same dimensions each time you do an experiment. If you know you're going to do several experiments, try to set up your quadrant somewhere that will not be disturbed so you can leave it in place and come back to it for the later experiments. Working within a quadrant acts helps to control variables of size and space and allows students to compare data meaningfully. Setting Up Quadrants Choose an area of the field site to investigate. If you are working with a class, be sure to spread out over the field site. Then follow the directions below to set up a 50 cm by 50 cm quadrant. You can also watch the video to see a Field Museum scientist setting up a quadrant. Tie a small loop in one end of your string. From the end of the loop, measure and mark the string at 50 cm, 100 cm, 150 cm, and 200 cm. Place a stake in the loop of the string, and push the stake into the ground. Pull the string out straight and locate the 50 cm mark. Push a second stake into the ground at the 50 cm mark. Bring the string around the second stake to form an 'L' shape, and place a third stake into the ground at the 100 cm mark. Bring the string back around the third stake and locate the 150 cm mark. Push the fourth stake into the ground at the 150 cm mark. Bring the string around the fourth stake and back to the first stake to create a square. Line up the 200 cm mark with the first stake. Step back and look at your quadrant. The goal is to have a square area in which to work, that is 50 cm by 50 cm. If the area doesn’t look square or if any of the marks on the string are not quite aligned with the stakes, adjust your stakes accordingly. Then tie or wrap the end of the string around the first stake. Students should set up a quadrant for each of the experiments in the Soil Properties or Looking for Life sections. Once they have set up the quadrant, they can do some or all of the experiments outlined on this site, depending on your preference. Students should use the same quadrant for all of the activities they conduct within their Underground Adventure to ensure that they control for extraneous variables.

38 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Using a Field Guide
Objective Students will observe soil and soil creatures and use tools to identify them. Why Use a Field Guide? Estimated Time Varies Materials Underground Adventure Field Guide Scientists use field guides to help identify the organisms they find. There are so many plants and animals in the world that it would be impossible for one person to know them all. Field guides allow experts to put their knowledge together in a way that is useful to others for identifying unknown plants, animals, or other objects in nature. There are field guides for types of birds, insects, plants, animals, and even mushrooms! Field guides are often made for a certain place or region, showing just the organisms that can be found there. Field guides usually have pictures or drawings, as well as descriptions and other information to help you identify things in nature. Some field guides are organized by color, others by when or where the organism can be found. Some are written for adults and some for children. But all field guides help you get to know the world around you. It is important that students understand that scientists also use tools, such as field guides, to help them in their work. What's in the Underground Adventure Field Guide? The Underground Adventure Field Guide has information about several critters that you are likely to find in the soil, as well as information about different types of soil. Some of the information you can find about soil critters includes: Size Color Habitat Distinctive characteristics Other interesting information To make the field guide easier for students to use, only brief information is included for each critter. It is important to note that the kind of information included will vary for each creature. If students are interested in finding more information, see the Resources section for additional resources. Using the Underground Adventure Field Guide Use the index below to find critters and soil types in the field guide. You can find the critters by name or by type. Browse through the guide to identify any unknown critters you find. It will be helpful for students to look through the field guide before doing field work. They may also want to do the Meet the Creepy Critters and Critter Quiz online activities. When students find an unknown critter, challenge them to think about whether it is an insect, an arachnid, another arthropod or another invertebrate. Students can use the overview information for each of these types. Once students have reviewed the soil type information, they can also explore which types of soils might be the best habitat for each critter. About Invertebrates and Arthropods Insects Arachnids Other Arthropods Other Invertebrates Ants Centipedes Cicadas Crayfish Earthworms Earwigs

39 Isopods (sowbugs and pillbugs) Millipedes
Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Using a Field Guide Part 2 Ground Beetles Grubs Isopods (sowbugs and pillbugs) Millipedes Mites (oribatid and predatory) Mole Crickets Nematodes Pseudoscorpions Rove Beetles Snails and Slugs Spiders Springtails (springing and nonspringing) Soil Formation and the Rock Cycle About Soil Types Clay Silt Sand Loam

40 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teacher Social Properties
Just for Teachers » | Soil Properties Soil Properties Overview Even though you might not have thought about it before, there are many types of soil and they can be very different from each other. Soil can be sticky, slippery, or crumbly. It can be smooth or gritty. It can be brown, black, gray, tan, or red. Some of the different characteristics of soil have an impact on what kinds of organisms can live there. How, you ask? You've come to the right place to find out! What Are We Doing? In these five activities, students will collect data about the physical properties of the soil at their field site. Their investigations will enable them to figure out what type of soil it is. All of the activities in this section use the following worksheets: Soil Properties Data Texture Test In this activity, students will determine the composition of the soil by feeling the texture of the soil. They will then use this information to classify the soil as sand, silt, or clay. Time: minutes Worksheet: Texture-by-Feel Analysis of Soil Mud Shake In this activity, students will determine the composition of the soil by separating the soil particles into layers. They will then classify the soil as sand, silt, or clay. Time: minutes over two days Soil Temperature In this activity, students will measure and record the soil temperature at their field site. Time: minutes Compaction Test In this activity, students will measure and record how far a pencil can be pushed into the soil at their field site. They will use the data to infer the degree of compaction of the soil. Time: minutes Percolation Test In this activity, students will measure and record how long it takes water to soak into the soil at the selected field site. They will use the data to infer the degree of compaction of the soil. Time: minutes

41 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For teachers Social Properties 2
How Does This Help Our Inquiry? Before beginning these activities, remind students of the research question—What is the relationship between the soil's physical properties, environmental and human factors, and soil biodiversity?—or the research question that they posed instead. As they do the activities, ask students to consider how each relates to their research question. Depending on your research question, you may elect to do only some of the activities in this section. If you do intend to do several or all of the activities, you may choose to introduce only one or two activities each field visit for the first few visits. Once students have had practice with each of the activities, they should be able to complete multiple activities in a field visit. The activities should be done in the same location each time they are done. If possible, students should do the activities at the same time, or do them at the same time of day on different days. Doing this allows students to control the variables of time and location. You may also give students the opportunity to identify and find ways to control other variables that could affect the outcome. This topic is also addressed in the summary exercise. Students should keep all of their data and observations in their field journal to facilitate comparison. They can also experiment with different ways to display their data for easy comparison, such as creating their own charts and graphs. In each of these activities, students will gather data about the soil. Students can compare this data and the data they gather in Looking for Life and Rock Flip. This will help them to see the relationship between soil type and soil biodiversity. Some connections they can make with this data include: How soil compaction affects the critters that can live in the soil. How soil temperature affects the critters that can live in the soil. How soil texture/type affects the critters that can live in the soil. Students can also compare the data they gather in these activities and the data they gather in Factors That Affect the Soil. This will help them to see how a variety of factors affect the properties of soil. The factors that affect the soil can also affect what lives in the soil. Some connections students can make with this data include: How soil temperature relates to air temperature and cloud cover. How soil compaction relates to food source habitats.

42 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For teachers Social Properties 3
For additional experience with the scientific method, students will be asked to form a hypothesis around a given question for each activity. The questions posed in each activity are very basic and are structured so that they can be answered in one session. They can serve as a simple way to introduce students to the activity, before they begin using the tests as part of their field study. For the best learning opportunities, however, students should return to the field site repeatedly to conduct these tests over a period of time. This will allow them to record how changes in temperature and season affect the soil, as well as note the impact any human disturbance might have. The questions for each activity can easily be tailored to reflect this extended study or to directly reflect your research question. For example, if students will be doing both soil temperature and air temperature activities, you may ask them to hypothesize whether or not the two temperatures will be similar. Before students begin these activities, hand out the Soil Properties Overview worksheet and have students place it in their field journals. Students can use this worksheet to analyze the data they have collected in the field. You may choose to have them do this analysis after each visit to the field or after they have completed several sessions. The Big Picture section of the worksheet prompts students to make connections between the activities in the different sections. Background Information Soil Structure The soil we see around us is made up of small pieces called particles. Soil particles form clumps called aggregates. Soil structure refers to the way soil particles of different sizes are clumped together. Soil Particles There are three different types of soil particles—sand, clay, and silt. Particle descriptions Sand particles are the largest and heaviest particles. Silt particles are middle size and weight. Clay particles are the smallest and lightest particles. Spaces in Soil When soil particles form aggregates they leave spaces for air and water to get into the soil. Air and water are vital for everything that lives and grows in soil. These spaces are where tiny living things such as plant roots, microorganisms, insects, and fungal hyphae are found. The amount of spaces in the soil depends on the type of soil. A sandy soil will have lots of spaces, and a soil high in clay will have fewer spaces.

43 Field Musuem and the Underground Connection For Teachers Social Properities 4
Spaces in Soil When soil particles form aggregates they leave spaces for air and water to get into the soil. Air and water are vital for everything that lives and grows in soil. These spaces are where tiny living things such as plant roots, microorganisms, insects, and fungal hyphae are found. The amount of spaces in the soil depends on the type of soil. A sandy soil will have lots of spaces, and a soil high in clay will have fewer spaces. Investigating Soil Structure Compaction describes how tightly the spaces in the soil are packed together. Soils that are highly compacted have fewer spaces for air, water, and living things. Percolation describes the movement of water through the soil. Percolation is another measure of the amount of compaction of your soil. The faster the water runs through the soil, the less compacted the soil is. The texture of a soil refers to the particle sizes found within it. Remember that most soils are composed of a mixture of different-sized particles. The three main categories of soil particles are sand, silt, and clay. These three particles can exist in a soil in almost any combination. Soil scientists classify different types of soil by both their texture and color. Making Connections Soil structure and soil type can affect the diversity of critters that are found in the soil. If the soil is made mostly of clay, for example, it has less space for air and water. Less space for air and water means fewer living things can be found in the soil. Living things help to nourish soil and make it healthy. Healthy soil is important to us for many reasons. Without soil, we could not eat breakfast. Everything from the wheat in cereal to the oranges in juice to the animal proteins in milk, bacon, and eggs were nourished by the soil and what grows in it. Believe it or not, without soil, we couldn't wear blue jeans! Jeans are made of cotton denim stitched together with cotton thread. Their blue color comes from indigo dye. Cotton and indigo come from plants that need soil to grow. If you wanted to grow a garden at your school, it would be important to know what kind of soil you have. Soil with too much sand or clay would not be good for growing plants. You might need to add special soil for the plants to grow.

44 Field Museum and The Underground Connection For Teachers Social Properties 4
General Tips Be ready for dirt! You may want to have students bring an extra pair of shoes to wear while they are doing field work. They can change shoes before going outside and then leave those dirty shoes at the door when they return to the classroom. Remember to do the soil study at the same location and time of day each time. Be prepared to do the activities in Soil Biodiversity and Factors That Affect the Soil at the same time and place as these activities. Be sure students bring their field journals, writing utensils, all necessary data sheets and—if possible—clipboards so they can record their data and observations.

45 Field Museum and the Underground Connection for Teachers Inquiry 2
Worm Bins for Your Classroom Classroom worm bins provide an excellent opportunity for students to observe worms in action. It's easy to create a worm bin for the classroom. You can prepare the worm bin yourself, using the directions below, or involve students in the process of setting up the worm bin and feeding the worms. To create your own classroom worm bin, you will need: Large plastic tub (5 gallons or larger) with lid or an old aquarium Shredded newspaper Tub of red wigglers from a local bait store 1 cup of soil from the schoolyard ½ cup of sand Vegetables or other organic items to serve as worm food Note: Do not feed the worms meat or dairy products, as this can cause the growth of undersirable bacteria and attract rodents. Plan it! Clean the container to remove any chemicals that might harm the worms. Soak the newspaper in water overnight so the chlorine will evaporate and will not harm the worms. Do it! Fill half of the container with the shredded newspaper or worm bedding. Add a tablespoon of soil and a half-cup of sand to the bedding. Finally, add the worms and a little food. Make sure to bury all food at least 2 inches deep to deter fruit flies. Add food and spray with water regularly. A worm bin can be made out of anything from an aquarium covered with black paper to a plastic tub with vent holes in the lid. The soil contains microscopic creatures and molds that will help the worms decompose the vegetables that you add to the worm bin. Adding the sand actually helps the worms digest their food. They store the sand in their gizzard, like a bird, and they use the sand to grind their food. Worm Activities: Have students observe the worm bin and record what happens. What changes do they notice over time? How long does it take the worms to consume the food you give them? Are there certain foods they seem to prefer over others? Have the students place various items inside the worm bin, such as plastic caps, pieces of wood, or peanuts in the shell. Observe what happens to these objects over time. Is there anything the worms won't eat? Place one or two worms on a Petri dish on top of a moist paper towel. Cover half of the dish with black paper, leaving the other side of the dish exposed. What happens? Do the worms move toward one side of the dish? Do they seem to prefer the light side or the dark side? Does this mean worms can see? Make one side of the Petri dish cold and the other side warm. Which side does the worm prefer? Try placing different foods on opposite sides of the Petri dish. Which does the worm prefer? Resources: Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System Mary Appelhof Kalamazoo, Mich.: Flower Press. ISBN: ; 162 pp. Worms Eat Our Garbage: Classroom Activities for a Better Environment Mary Appelhof, Mary Frances Fenton, and Barbara Loss Harris Kalamazoo, Mich.: Flower Press. ISBN: ; 214 pp. Soil Biodiversity

46 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Factors that Affect Soil
Many factors affect the soil—from things we can't control like the weather, to things we can control, like how we humans interact with the soil. The activities here will give you an opportunity to learn about these factors and what kind of impact they can have on the soil. What Are We Doing? In these four activities, you will measure and record air temperature and cloud cover at your field site. You will also research the main food sources for some soil critters, match them to the best habitat, and do a close mapping of the soil habitats at your field site. Dig In! Use the links below for the activities on the environmental and human factors that affect the soil. All of the activities in this section use the following worksheet: Factors That Affect the Soil Overview Air Temperature Measure and record the air temperature at your field site. Time: 5-10 minutes Worksheet: Environmental Factors Cloud Cover Measure and record the percentage of cloud cover at your field site. Time: 5-10 minutes Food Source Habitat Research the main food sources for four soil critters and match each critter to the soil habitat type best suited to its food source needs. Time: minutes Information Sheet: What Do Your Backyard Critters Eat? Information Sheet: Habitats in Your Backyard Worksheet: Critter Food Source Worksheet: Food Source Habitat Ground Cover Map the soil environments at your field site to gain an understanding of the different micro-habitats that exist there. Time: minutes Worksheet: Map Your Field Site Worksheet: Ground Cover

47 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Factors that Affect the Soil
Want more information before you get started? Read on to find out: How does this help our inquiry? What do we need to know? Why is this so important, anyway? How Does This Help Our Inquiry? Remember our research question—What is the relationship between the soil's physical properties, environmental and human factors, and soil biodiversity?—or the research question you asked instead. In these activities you will see how climate and human actions can affect the soil. Look at the data you gather in these activities with the data you gather in the activities in Soil Properties. This will help you to see the how the properties of the soil are affected by the surrounding environment. Look at the data you gather in these activities along with the data you gather in Soil Biodiversity. This will help you see how soil life is affected by things that happen in the surrounding environment. The more data you collect, the easier it will be to see the relationships between soil biodiversity, environmental factors, and soil type. Keep all your data in your field journal so that you can easily compare. Before you begin these activities, print the Factors That Affect the Soil Overview worksheet and place it in your field journal. After you complete each activity, use this sheet to summarize and analyze your results. When you have completed all of the activities in this section, fill in the Big Picture section of the worksheet. What Do We Need to Know? Climate and Soil Climate and soil are important factors in determining the distribution of plants and animals everywhere on Earth, including your neighborhood. Changes in local weather affect when seeds will begin to sprout from the soil and when animals will burrow underground to settle down for the winter months. Therefore, to understand the soil in your area, it is important to understand the local weather and to monitor any changes that might occur. Some weather events and forces, like flooding and erosion, can have dramatic and lasting effects on the soil. Such events can change the composition of the soil and affect the kinds of soil critters that can live there. In addition, normal weather conditions, such as rain, can affect the kinds of soil critters you see on any given day. As you study soil critters in their habitats, it is important to understand how these changes can affect what you find.

48 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Factors that Affect Soil Part 3
Human Impact on the Soil We humans change the world around us every day. Sometimes, our actions can have unintended consequences on the soil and the critters that live there. Pollution and the dumping of waste, as well as the loss of agricultural land and other soil habitats to development, can cause significant changes in the environment. Such actions can make soils much less hospitable to life and reduce the biodiversity in the area. Our actions can also have a positive impact on the soil. Restoration and preservation efforts, such as replanting native plants, changing land use and preserving wetlands, have reclaimed lost habitats and protected valuable existing habitats. Many people have begun to support a native plant industry, selecting these plants rather than non-native species for their landscaping. These native plants offer natural habitats for many soil creatures. The increasing popularity of organic farming and organic produce has begun to lessen the impact of pesticides and chemical fertilizers on the soil. All of these efforts make a difference in keeping and protecting the soil habitats that soil critters need. Keeping Soil Healthy Each of us can do simple things to help keep the soil healthy. Composting organic waste instead of sending it to the landfill helps to return valuable nutrients to the soil. Gardening with native plants, organic fertilizers, and limited pesticides helps to protect your soil. Choosing to buy products from companies that support soil conservation efforts lets them and their competitors know that soil health is important to you. What other ways can you think of to help keep the soil around you healthy? Why Is This So Important, Anyway? All life depends, in one way or another, on the soil. Healthy soil supports high biodiversity—both in the soil and in the surrounding environment. Understanding how our actions and other factors affect the soil helps us to make choices that are good for the soil and all the life it supports. General Tips Be ready to get dirty! You may want to bring an extra pair of shoes to wear while you are doing your field work. Soil study can be messy! Remember to do your soil study at the same time and place each time. Be prepared to do the activities in Soil Properties and Soil Biodiversity at the same time and place as these activities. Be sure to bring your field journal so you can record your observations and all the data you gather.

49 Filed Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Soil Biodiversity
Soil Biodiversity Overview There is plenty of food and water to be found in the soil, the climate is stable, and there are great places to hide from predators. For all these reasons, soil is full of living creatures. In fact, so many different kinds of organisms live in soil that thousands of new species are discovered each year. Biodiversity means the number and variety of living organisms that are found in an area. Generally, the higher the degree of biodiversity, the healthier an ecosystem tends to be. The healthier the soil, the more life that ecosystem can support, resulting in a greater degree of biodiversity. In these activities, we'll investigate the biodiversity of the soil in your field site. What Are We Doing? In these two activities, students will sample the soil organisms at their field site in two different ways. The activities in this section use the following worksheet: Looking for Life In this activity, students will look for, identify and count the organisms found in soil samples from their field site. Time: minutes Worksheet: Looking for Life Rock Flip In this activity, students will sample the soil critter population at their field site by flipping over a board or rock and counting the different types of critters they find. Time: minutes over two days Worksheet: Rock Flip How Does This Help Our Inquiry? The data students collect in these activities will likely be central to their research question. Before beginning these activities, remind students of the research question—What is the relationship between the soil's physical properties, environmental and human factors, and soil biodiversity?—or the research question that they posed instead. As they do the activities in this section, ask students to consider how each relates to their research question. Depending on the research question, you may do one or both of these activities in conjunction with the activities in the Soil Properties and Factors That Affect the Soil sections. Rather than introducing all of the activities to students at once, you may want to introduce only one or two at a time, saving the activities in this section for last. Once students have had practice with each of the activities, they should be able to complete multiple activities in one field visit. Doing this once a week, or even once a month, will enhance the activity by allowing students to collect data over an extended period of time and to gain an increased familiarity with their field site.

50 How soil compaction affects the critters that can live in the soil.
Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Biodiversity Overview 2 The activities you choose to combine for your field study should be done together at the same time and place each time they are done. Doing this allows students to control the variables of time and location. You may also give students the opportunity to identify and find ways to control other variables that could affect the outcome. It is important to give students an opportunity to review and assimilate the data they have collected in their field work. Students should do this following each field study activity. Allowing students to display and discuss their data with other students will help them to relate their data to the research question. Over time, students may want to revise their hypotheses or add activities to their field studies to answer new questions. Students should keep all of their data in their field journals to make it easier to compare data and draw conclusions. In each of these activities, students will gather data about the critters that live in the soil at the field site. Students can compare this data and the data they gather in Soil Properties. This will help them to see the relationship between soil type and soil biodiversity. Some connections they can make with this data include: How soil compaction affects the critters that can live in the soil. How soil temperature affects the critters that live in the soil. How soil texture/type affects the critters that live in the soil. Students can also look at the data they gather in these activities and the data they gather in Factors That Affect the Soil. This will help them to see how a variety of factors affect soil life. Some connections they can make with this data include: How soil temperature relates to the numbers and types of critters found in the soil. How food source habitats relate to the critters found in the soil.

51 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Biodiversity Overview 3
What Do We Need to Know? Giving Back to Soil All critters that live in the soil play a role in keeping it healthy. Ants bring soil to the surface and food down into the soil, mixing up the soil and enriching it with new nutrients. Decomposers like the millipede help to break down dead plants and animals, returning those nutrients to the soil. As earthworms tunnel through the soil, they mix in organic matter and break up clumps of soil while creating spaces for air and water in the soil. Each of these critters, as well as many others found in the soil, gives something back to the soil, making it a healthier place for other organisms. Classifying Critters Scientists classify all living organisms, or sort them into groups based on their properties. Organisms are first sorted into large groups by looking at just a few main properties. They are then sorted into smaller and smaller groups as more properties are considered. Classifying organisms in this way allows scientists from around the world to call each unique creature by the same unique name, regardless of what language they speak. It also helps them to keep track of the many diverse and amazing creatures with which we share our planet. Most of the soil critters that you will see are invertebrates. Invertebrates have one important characteristic in common—they have no backbone. Some of the invertebrates you will see are arthropods. Although all arthropods are different, they all have jointed legs and a hard outer skeleton called an exoskeleton. Insects are arthropods that have three body regions; a head, a thorax, and an abdomen. They have one pair of antennae on the head and they have six legs that are attached to the thorax. Arachnids are arthropods with eight legs, one or two body regions, no antennae, and no wings. Why Is This So Important, Anyway? The creatures we find in the soil can help to make the soil healthier. They can also help us to judge how healthy the soil is. Healthy soil tends to have lots of different kinds of organisms living in it. The health of the soil is very important to us. We depend on it for food, clothes, and many other things we use every day. By understanding the creatures that live in the soil, we can better understand the soil itself and we can work to keep it healthy. Understanding the creatures that live in the soil can also help us to make important decisions. If you were going to plant a garden, for example, you would want to plant it in soil that was full of earthworms, but not full of slugs! The farmers who grow the food we eat must understand the critters that live in the soil in order to have good crops. General Tips Be ready for dirt! You may want to have students bring an extra pair of shoes to wear while they are doing field work. They can change shoes before going outside and then leave those dirty shoes at the door when they return to the classroom. Remember to do the soil study at the same time and place each time. Be prepared to do the activities in Soil Properties and Factors That Affect the Soil at the same time and place as these activities. Be sure students bring their field journals, writing utensils, all necessary data sheets, and—if possible—clipboards so they can record their data and observations.

52 Field Musem and the Underground Connection For Teachers Soil Biodiversity Looking for LIfe
Objective In this activity, students will look for, identify, and count the organisms found in soil samples from their field site. Making the connection: Estimated Time 45-60 minutes Materials Looking for Life worksheet Field journal Underground Adventure Field Guide A trowel or spoon Paper plate Magnifying glass 12-inch plastic ruler (optional) By collecting and observing soil samples over a period of time, students can learn about the types and numbers of organisms living there. By doing this activity along with the Soil Temperature Test, Compaction Test, Percolation Test, Texture Test, and Mud Shake, students can learn how the physical properties of soil affect the critters that live there. By doing this activity along with Air Temperature and Cloud Cover, they can learn about how these environmental factors affect the creatures living underground. Activity Hypothesize What types of creatures live in the soil at your field site and how many of them are there? Plan it! If you haven't already done so, choose a field site and map it in your field journal. Decide how often to collect soil samples. If you are working with a group or as a class, you should decide together. As you decide, think about these questions: How might your results be affected if you collect daily samples? How might your results be affected if you collect monthly samples? How might your results be affected if you collect annual samples? Before you get started, review the Underground Adventure Field Guide to become familiar with the organisms listed there. Print out a copy of the Underground Adventure Field Guide to take with you into the field. You can also prepare by doing the Critter Quiz online activity. Note: Field guide pages can be laminated to protect them from dirt and moisture. Once you are at the field site, each student or group of students should set up a quadrant in which to work. Spreading out over the field site and taking multiple measurements will ensure that a representative sample is recorded and will allow opportunities for students to compare their data with data taken at other areas of the site. If the ground is frozen at your selected field site, you should select another day for this test. Do it! Within your quadrant, dig a small hole with a trowel or spoon to a depth of about 2 inches. If you have difficulty estimating the depth, you can use a plastic ruler to check your estimate. Place the soil from the hole onto a white paper plate to get a better look. Students can also use a piece of white paper if a paper plate is not available. Search through the soil for organisms. Use a magnifying glass to get a closer look at the organisms in your soil sample. Students should work fairly quickly to find the different types of creatures and to count them. They can then take more time to observe and draw the organisms. They may need to gently herd escaping critters back onto the plate as they work. Record it! Record the characteristics of each different organism you see on the Looking for Life worksheet . Count each different type of organism and record this number on your worksheet. Use the Underground Adventure Field Guide to identify each organism. Record your identification on the worksheet. In your field journal, draw the organisms you find in the soil sample. Add the worksheet to your field journal.

53 The Field Museum For Teachers Part 2
Setting Up Quadrants Choose an area of the field site to investigate. If you are working with a class, be sure to spread out over the field site. Then follow the directions below to set up a 50 cm by 50 cm quadrant. You can also watch the video to see a Field Museum scientist setting up a quadrant. Tie a small loop in one end of your string. From the end of the loop, measure and mark the string at 50 cm, 100 cm, 150 cm, and 200 cm. Place a stake in the loop of the string, and push the stake into the ground. Pull the string out straight and locate the 50 cm mark. Push a second stake into the ground at the 50 cm mark. Bring the string around the second stake to form an 'L' shape, and place a third stake into the ground at the 100 cm mark. Bring the string back around the third stake and locate the 150 cm mark. Push the fourth stake into the ground at the 150 cm mark. Bring the string around the fourth stake and back to the first stake to create a square. Line up the 200 cm mark with the first stake. Step back and look at your quadrant. The goal is to have a square area in which to work, that is 50 cm by 50 cm. If the area doesn’t look square or if any of the marks on the string are not quite aligned with the stakes, adjust your stakes accordingly. Then tie or wrap the end of the string around the first stake. Students should set up a quadrant for each of the experiments in the Soil Properties or Looking for Life sections. Once they have set up the quadrant, they can do some or all of the experiments outlined on this site, depending on your preference. Students should use the same quadrant for all of the activities they conduct within their Underground Adventure to ensure that they control for extraneous variables. ↑ Return to top 

54 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Soil Biodiversity Looking for Life
Remember, be sci-wise! If the ground is too hard to dig in, try moving to a nearby spot. If the ground is frozen throughout your field site, you should schedule this activity for another day. Be careful while digging with a trowel. The edges are sharp. Handle the magnifying glass carefully to prevent it from breaking. Even if you think you know what an organism is, it is a good idea to double check with the Underground Adventure Field Guide . Handle all insects gently and respectfully. Return the organisms and soil to the ground when you have finished. Be sure to clean and properly store all equipment. You'll need to prepare for the dirt and mud that will be brought back on students' shoes. Consider having students bring in an old pair of sneakers or boots to use for your field activities. Students can leave their dirty shoes "at the door" and then shake or brush them off when the mud has dried. Assessment and Reflection Did you find the creatures you expected to find in the soil sample? The types of critters students find will depend on many factors. Most students will probably expect to find worms, ants, and spiders, but may be surprised to find some creatures they've never seen up close before. If students do not find many critters in their sample, that can be informative as well. Based on the data you collected, do you think your hypothesis was correct or incorrect? Why? Answers will vary. How did the creatures compare to their descriptions in the Underground Adventure Field Guide ? Did they look the way you expected them to? By comparing their own observations with field guide descriptions, students begin to develop an understanding of group characteristics and individual variations. How might the depth of the soil sample affect the types of creatures found there? What data could you collect to test this? Different soil creatures can be found at different depths. To learn more, students could revise the experiment to dig deeper as they collect their soil sample. What effect might moisture have on the types and numbers of creatures in the soil? What data could you collect to test this? Some soil creatures are more likely to be found near the surface when the soil is moist. What relationship did you notice between the creatures found in the soil and the air and soil temperature? Some creatures may avoid the surface of the ground under certain weather conditions and temperatures. What would you expect to observe in your soil sample if you used a microscope? Students should realize that there are many more creatures in the soil than can be seen with the eye or a magnifying glass. Some are so small they can only be seen with a microscope. If you were to continue collecting soil samples for a whole year, what differences would you expect to find? In some climates, you can expect to find different organisms in the soil at different times of year. In addition, some creatures may be in different life stages, and look quite different, at different times of year. How do the types of creatures found in the soil affect the soil? How do they affect the plants? Animals? People? Some possible answers include the negative effects on agriculture and gardening from creatures considered "pests." On the other hand, some organisms are vital to the health of soil. Soil organisms are part of the food chain and have a direct or indirect relationship with other organisms in the ecosystem. How does the data you collected here differ from the data you collected in Rock Flip? Why might this data be different? What data could you collect to try to prove your hypothesis? Answers will vary. Complete this section in the Soil Biodiversity Overview worksheet . Looking at the bigger picture, how might the data you collected here help you to answer your research question? Answers will vary, but students should be able to connect the data they collected in this activity with the data they collected in other activities to answer their research question.

55 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For teachers Soil Biodiversity and Looking for Life 3
Extensions Adaptation: A Day In the Life Have students pick a favorite soil organism and write a story about it. Ask them to imagine that they are that soil organism, and write about a "day in the life" of this creature. What did they do, and whom did they meet? Have students do some research on their creature by using the Underground Adventure Field Guide and other resources. Be sure to have them include information about the organism's prey and predators. Sampling You can't count all the critters at your field site. Instead your students, like all scientists, counted only a sample. Through this sub-sampling technique, students can use math to estimate the total number of each type of organism can be found at their field site: Find the area of a quadrant (the length multiplied by the width). Figure out how many quadrants there are in the field site (the total area of the field site divided by the area of a quadrant). Multiply the number of each creature found in one quadrant by the number of quadrants in the site to estimate the number that would be present in the entire field site. (For example, 5 ants multiplied by 400 quadrants equals 2,000 ants.) ↑ Return to top ↑ Home Meet the Creepy Critters Kid Zone   Just for Teachers Field Journal Field Site Quadrants Field Guide Soil Properties » Texture Test » Mud Shake » Soil Temperature » Compaction Test » Percolation Test Factors That Affect Soil » Air Temperature » Cloud Cover » Food Source Habitat » Ground Cover Soil Biodiversity » Looking for Life » Rock Flip Worm Bins     Just for Families Take a Virtual Tour Planning Your Visit Resources

56 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Soil Biodiversity and Rock Flip
Objective In this activity, students will flip over a board or rock in their field site and count the critters they find beneath it. Sampling is a common technique used by scientists to get an accurate population sample for small critters. By collecting this data over a period of time, students can establish a baseline population for their field site and note how the population changes over time. Making the connection: Estimated Time Session 1 (preparation):30 minutes Session 2: minutes Materials Rock Flip worksheet 4 x 4 sheets of plywood or waxed cardboard (one for each group of 3-5 students) Pencil and paper Clipboard By doing this activity along with the Soil Temperature Test, Compaction Test, Percolation Test, Texture Test, and Mud Shake, students can learn how the physical properties of soil affect the critters that live there. By doing this activity along with Air Temperature and Cloud Cover, they can learn how these environmental factors affect the creatures living underground. By doing this activity along with Looking for Life, students can compare the numbers and varieties of critters they find in different micro-habitats. Activity Hypothesize What types and numbers of soil critters can you find under a rock or board at your field site? Plan it! If you haven't already done so, choose a field site and map it in your field journal. At least a week before you do this activity for the first time, place your board out on a grassy area so that it lays flat on the ground. If possible, the board should be hidden under leaf litter, grass clippings, etc. If you plan to collect this data over a period of time, be sure to place your board where it will not be disturbed or disturb others. If this is not possible, look for large rocks already in your field site that you can turn over instead. Sampling from different locations at the field site and collecting the data on multiple occasions will allow opportunities for students to analyze comparative data over time. Decide how often to check your board or rock. If you are working with a group or as a class, you should decide together. As you decide, think about these questions: How might your results be affected if you collect this data daily? How might your results be affected if you collect this data monthly? How might your results be affected if you collect this data annually? Before you get started, review the Underground Adventure Field Guide to become familiar with the organisms listed there. Print out a copy of the Underground Adventure Field Guide to take with you into the field. You can also prepare by doing the Critter Quiz online activity. Note: Field guide pages can be laminated to protect them from dirt and moisture.

57 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Soil Biodiversity and Rock Flip
Do it! Flip over the board or rock. Count the number of each different type of critter you find under the board or rock. You should work quickly to count the critters before they run away. If you have anticipated the types of critters you may find, each student in the group can be responsible for counting one type of critter, with one student responsible for any critters not assigned to others. Alternatively, each student can count all of the organisms. The results can be averaged, with the high and low counts dropped. After counting, students can then take more time to observe the organisms and to look up any unknown organisms in the field guide. Record it! Record the types and number of critters you find on the Rock Flip worksheet . If you are working with a group, have one person record the data while others count. If you are not sure what a critter is, draw it or record a description of the critter. After you have counted and recorded the organisms you found, look up any unidentified organisms in the Underground Adventure Field Guide . Record this identification on the worksheet. Add the worksheet to your field journal. Remember, be sci-wise! If you are able to collect data from beneath your rock or board over a period of time, remember to collect the data at the same time of day each time and to collect it on a regular basis. Treat the critters you find with respect. Do not handle them unnecessarily. You will need to prepare for the dirt and mud that will be brought back on students' shoes. Consider having students bring in an old pair of sneakers or boots to use for your field activities. Students can leave their dirty shoes "at the door" and then shake or brush them off when the mud has dried. Assessment and Reflection Did you find the creatures you expected to find under the rock or board? Were there more critters than you expected to find? Fewer? The types of critters students find will vary. Most students will probably expect to find worms, ants, and spiders, and may be surprised to find some creatures they've never seen up close before. Based on the data you collected, do you think your hypothesis was correct or incorrect? Why? Answers will vary. How did the types and numbers of creatures you found here differ from the creatures you found in the soil sample in Looking for Life? What might cause those differences? Students will likely see greater numbers of critters under they rock or board than they saw in the soil sample. The rock or board provides a good micro-habitat for some soil critters, so you can expect a greater concentration of critters on the surface there than in other places in your field site. How did the critters react when you moved the board or rock? Did they move quickly or slowly? Why might they have reacted like this? Some critters will likely move quickly when the board or rock is moved, although others will not. One reason these critters may move quickly is that some of them prefer dark places and so will move quickly to get back out of the light. What effect does moisture have on the types and numbers of creatures in the soil? Some soil creatures are more likely to be found near the surface when the soil is moist. What patterns or links did you notice between the creatures found in the soil and the air temperature? Did the air temperature have more or less of an effect on the critters you saw in this study than they had on the critters you saw in Looking for Life? Some creatures may avoid the surface of the ground under certain weather conditions and temperatures. The effect is likely to be less in this study than in Looking for Life.

58 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Soil Biodiversity and Rock Flip 2
If you were to continue collecting this data for a whole year, what differences would you expect to find? What differences would you expect to find if you collected this data over 10 years? In some climates, you can expect to find different organisms in the soil at different times of year. In addition, some creatures may be in different life stages, and look quite different, at different times of year. This type of monitoring is effective over a long period of time, such as 10 or more years. This makes it possible to establish a "baseline of health" or a population size for that specific area. If you were to see major declines or increases in population size over a short amount of time, this may be due to human impact. Fill in this section of the Soil Biodiversity Overview worksheet . Looking at the bigger picture, how might the data you collected here help you to answer your research question? Answers will vary, but students should be able to make connections between the data they collected here and the data they collected in other activities to help answer the research question. Extensions Bug Moves Students probably observed the soil critters moving quickly when they flipped the board or rock. Ask students to draw a bug and animate its movements based on what they observed. Students can do this by creating a flip book or using a computer animation program. Bug Art Ask students to create a piece of music, a dance, or a piece of art inspired by the activity they found when they flipped the board or rock. The art doesn't need to depict the critters they found, but should give the same sense of movement. ↑ Return to top ↑ Home Meet the Creepy Critters Kid Zone   Just for Teachers Field Journal Field Site Quadrants Field Guide Soil Properties » Texture Test » Mud Shake » Soil Temperature » Compaction Test » Percolation Test Factors That Affect Soil » Air Temperature » Cloud Cover » Food Source Habitat » Ground Cover Soil Biodiversity » Looking for Life » Rock Flip Worm Bins     Just for Families Take a Virtual Tour Planning Your Visit Resources

59 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Worm Bins
Worm Bins for Your Classroom Classroom worm bins provide an excellent opportunity for students to observe worms in action. It's easy to create a worm bin for the classroom. You can prepare the worm bin yourself, using the directions below, or involve students in the process of setting up the worm bin and feeding the worms. To create your own classroom worm bin, you will need: Large plastic tub (5 gallons or larger) with lid or an old aquarium Shredded newspaper Tub of red wigglers from a local bait store 1 cup of soil from the schoolyard ½ cup of sand Vegetables or other organic items to serve as worm food Note: Do not feed the worms meat or dairy products, as this can cause the growth of undersirable bacteria and attract rodents. Plan it! Clean the container to remove any chemicals that might harm the worms. Soak the newspaper in water overnight so the chlorine will evaporate and will not harm the worms. Do it! Fill half of the container with the shredded newspaper or worm bedding. Add a tablespoon of soil and a half-cup of sand to the bedding. Finally, add the worms and a little food. Make sure to bury all food at least 2 inches deep to deter fruit flies. Add food and spray with water regularly. A worm bin can be made out of anything from an aquarium covered with black paper to a plastic tub with vent holes in the lid. The soil contains microscopic creatures and molds that will help the worms decompose the vegetables that you add to the worm bin. Adding the sand actually helps the worms digest their food. They store the sand in their gizzard, like a bird, and they use the sand to grind their food. Worm Activities: Have students observe the worm bin and record what happens. What changes do they notice over time? How long does it take the worms to consume the food you give them? Are there certain foods they seem to prefer over others? Have the students place various items inside the worm bin, such as plastic caps, pieces of wood, or peanuts in the shell. Observe what happens to these objects over time. Is there anything the worms won't eat? Place one or two worms on a Petri dish on top of a moist paper towel. Cover half of the dish with black paper, leaving the other side of the dish exposed. What happens? Do the worms move toward one side of the dish? Do they seem to prefer the light side or the dark side? Does this mean worms can see? Make one side of the Petri dish cold and the other side warm. Which side does the worm prefer? Try placing different foods on opposite sides of the Petri dish. Which does the worm prefer?

60 Filed Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Worm Bins 2
Resources: Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System Mary Appelhof Kalamazoo, Mich.: Flower Press. ISBN: ; 162 pp. Worms Eat Our Garbage: Classroom Activities for a Better Environment Mary Appelhof, Mary Frances Fenton, and Barbara Loss Harris Kalamazoo, Mich.: Flower Press. ISBN: ; 214 pp.

61 Soil is the difference between life and Lifelessness Self on the earth the one below between living things

62 What would it be like without soil?

63 Our Evolving Planet is progressing because of humans and the inventions, and the research and knowledge we have to protect our planet. Earth has lost species and plants due to meteorites and the ice age. Today 35 species were lost not because of nature but because of humans.

64 Recycling in the Kirksville Area
City of Kirksville Street Maintenance 2001 N. Osteopathy Street Kirksville, Missouri 63501 Phone: Fax: Purpose: Landfill Maintenance for grinding brush into wood ships and composing leaves and grass D & D Recycling 35702 state Highway 6 Brashear, Missouri 63533 Phone: Purpose: Scrap and Waste Material Recycling Diversified Services 313 N. Rollins St. Macon, Missouri Phone Purpose:

65 Recycling in the Kirksville Area
Granuband Macon 612 Blees Industrial Drive Macon, Missouri Phone: Purpose: Recycled Rubber High Hope Recycling 906 W. Shepherd Ave. Kirksville, Missouri 63501 Phone: Purpose: Paper and cardboard Bins are located at this address Kirksville Recycling 22949 Potter Trail Kirksville, Missouri Phone: Purpose: Earth Compactors, Scrap and Waste Material Recycling Nemo Recycling Inc. 1512 Brook Drive Phone: Purpose: Corrugated Paper Board

66 Recycling in the Kirksville Area
Republic Services Macon, Missouri Purpose: Solid waste collection, transfer, recycling and disposal Non-hazardous solid waste collection services Community Opportunities 1001 Osteopathy Street Kirksville, Missouri Phone: Purpose: Cardboard and paper Bins are outside the Community Opportunities ( in the past the name was Sheltered Workshop) S & H Auto Salvage & Recycling 1603 Green St. Kirksville, Missouri 64501 Purpose: Auto crushing, scrap and waste machinery

67 Recycling in the Kirksville Area
Truman University no longer has their Recycling Center for the Public, however they do continue to recycle as listed below: Truman University Biology Department Dr. Kelrick Truman University Farms 100 E. Normal Street Kirksville, Missouri 63501 Phone Purpose: Composting food waste for Truman Farms Recycling Center 100 E. Normal Phone: Purpose: University Only: Collect cardboard and paper that is sent to the Sheltered Workshop for recycling Collect Aluminum that is transported and sold to Perfect Metals Toner Cartridges for the University only are mailed to a company Electronics are sold at surplus auctions or disposed of properly No plastics No Glass There is no more public drop-off service at the campus Physical Plant Purpose: Pick-up site for Hazardous Waste Twice a Year usually January and June by a contractor under state of Missouri Contract Barnett hall Printing Services: Cleaners, inks, developer, and fix picked up by crystal Clean Contract Boiler Plant: Physical Plant-- paint shop: thinners and oil-based paint; boiler room—chemicals and used oil; Electrical shop—PCB ballasts; mechanical maintenance—part cleaner solvents; HVAC—refrigerants (reclaimed); Dulaney-Baldwin—used oil not hazardous; Magruder Hall—science labs: acids, bases, cryogens, ketones, etc.; McKinney Health Center—biohazards (picked up under consortium arrangement); University Farms-Ag Science—used oil not hazardous

68 Recycling in the Kirksville Area
Perfect Metals USA 3602 North Industrial Road Kirksville, Mo Phone: Purpose: Metal Recycling (aluminum cans, copper, brass, stainless steel, structural steel, aluminum, lead, electric motors, dry transformers, refrigerators/appliances, automotive recycling, radiators, condensers, heater cores, aluminum wheels, aluminum bumpers, catalytic converters, brake rotors and drums, starters/alternators, batteries, and aluminum engine/transmission cases

69 Perfect Metals USA 8/2/2011 Pricing
Steel per lb Ton Scrap $ $ # 2 Steel Prepar. 0.1125 $ # 1 Steel Prepar. 0.125 $ Auto lb Ton Complete $0.11 $215.00 Parted Out $0.10 $200.00 Radiators per lb Aluminum, clean $ Aluminum, dirty $ Brass, Clean $ Brass Dirty $ Copper/Alum Dirty $ Copper/Alum. $ Brass Clean Dirty Breakage $ Shavings $ Electric Motors Starter/Alt. Wheel Weights Lead Aluminum per lb ACSR Wire $ Breakage $ Full Screen doors $ Clean Cans $ Dirty Cans $ Cast $ Shavings $ Extrusion Clean $ Extrusion Dirty $ Old Sheet $ Unprepared $ Wheels Clean $ Wheels Dirty $ Stainless per lb Clean Prepared $ Unprepared $ Breakage $ Cast per lb Ton Large Breakage $ $ #1 Cast $ $ #2 Cast $ $ Clean Auto $ $ Mixed/Dirty $ $ Copper per lb # 1 Wire $ # 2 Wire $ Burnt Wire # 1 Tubing # 2 Tubing Sheet $ #1 Chop wire $ #2 Chop wire $ Low grade $ #1 Bright $ Batteries per lb Small/Large $ Car Appliances A/C $2.00 ea Refrigerators 0.05


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