This year, as part of the GLOBE initiative, our class has been examining the weather in the school environment. We have been analysing clouds and measuring the amount of Particulate Matter (PM) in the air using our cloud charts and the Calitoo instrument. We have also been measuring the amount of rainfall using our rain gauge and examining the temperature and barometric pressure using a thermometer and a barometer. Every time we completed our analysis, we recorded the data onto the GLOBE website.
Some students in our class made a homemade thermometer and barometer to see if they could be used as an accurate way of reading the temperature and the barometric pressure. We compared our results to the actual readings on the thermometer and barometer in our instrument shelter.
This year, we were given special test tubes which measured the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the school environment. Nitrogen dioxide is generated when nitrogen from the car engine mixes with oxygen in the air. We chose to place these test tubes in three locations around the school. These locations were; the school gate, the staff car park and the school garden. We made predictions about which location we felt would have the most and least amount of NO2.
School gate: 26. 85 (µg/m3)
Staff car park: 24.85 (µg/m3)
School garden: 20.92 (µg/m3)
Our predictions were correct!
|NO2 concentration (µg/m3)
|45 – 50
|40 to 45
|35 – 40
|30 – 35
|25 – 30
|20 – 25
|15 to 20
|10 to 15
From there, we decided to complete a project on acid rain as our research told us that nitrogen oxides are present in acid rain. We completed 3 experiments.
Acid Attack: This involved us placing 5 bean seeds on damp cotton wool which were on two jam jar lids. Each day, a student from our class sprinkled both lids with water and poured lemon juice on just one of the lids (labelled acid rain). This was used to show how acid rain affects vegetation.
We also took a piece of cement and placed it in a jar of vinegar to show the affect of acid rain on buildings.
Acid Rain Indicator: This involved us making an acid indicator from red cabbage. We tested the rainwater in our school environment. We compared our results to a jam jar with baking soda and a jam jar with vinegar. This enabled us to identify whether the rain water was acidic.
The Water Cycle: We placed a food bag with some water out on the window sill in the sunshine which demonstrated how acid rain is made and falls.
Acid Attack: The beans on the lid labelled acid rain were more eroded than the beans which had no lemon juice on them.
Acid Rain Indicator: The acid jar turned a pink colour and the base jar turned a light purple. The rainwater in our environment was neutral as the colour of the indicator did not change.
The Water Cycle: This demonstrated how acid rain is made and falls to the ground through the water cycle.