What’s My Yard Got to Do With It? Chemistry of Nutrient Runoff
Driving or Multi-dimensional Question:
What does my yard/ garden have to do with the fish in the river?
In this unit, students will compete to grow the best yard (paint tray) of grass. Also, students will investigate the side effects of nutrient runoff using nitrate, phosphate and dissolved oxygen testing kits. Students will also analyze samples in parts per million and parts per billion (ppm, ppb)
It’s a competition!
Who can grow the best _________?
To begin the study, students will grow grass seed or garden seed in a controlled environment collecting the runoff water and testing the phosphate and nitrate content of water. Students will defend or discredit the use of commercial fertilizers
in the manner in which they used these additives to grow the best yard. Students will participate in a field day in collaboration with TVA, TDEC and the US Forestries division. After the field day with the experts, students will build
a “public broadcast” to inform the public of the damage misplaced fertilizer can cause.
CHEM1.PS1: Matter and Its Interactions
7) Analyze solutions to identify solutes and solvents, quantitatively analyze concentrations (molarity, percent composition, and ppm)
From the ACT standards A 601. Manipulate expressions and equations
ELA and Other Standards:
For more information on this lesson, please see the Lesson Resources below
|Activities||Description||Resources and Materials|
|Activity One||Plant/ seed the paint tray for the competition- fertilize as wanted. Grow and collect water samples after 1 week. Record plant growth on a Google sheet then shares it with the class and with all chemistry classes.|
|Activity Two||Test water samples for nitrates, and phosphates and record data as a group-generated Google sheet. Then share with the class and with all chemistry classes.|
|Activity Three||Send soil samples to Waypoint Analytical Lab for testing – Guest speaker USDA.|
|Activity Four||Math day of parts per million/parts per billion video lesson at: https://www.sophia.org/tutorials/parts-per-million-calculations with quiz|
|Activity Five||Conservation field day|
|Activity Six||Broadcast day|
Technology Integration: Students will use google drive and google docs/Sheets to record the process they choose to fertilize their yard/garden as well as collect and document data on plant growth. Students will also use google docs to write a script for the announcement as well.
|Community Partners||Contribution to Learning Experience||Contact Information|
|TVA – O’Quinn, Terry Shannon||Conservation field day|
|Shawn R. Puckett | Environmental Scientist, Division of Water Resources/Cookeville Environmental Field Office||Conservation field day|
USDA -Soil Conservation Technician-
|Soil testing and guest speaking|
H and H Hardware
Students will make a “public broadcast” announcement citing actual data or events relating to the project to inform the public of how to be mindful of the effects of runoff nutrients as they seed their yards or plant their gardens. This video will be accompanied by a document scripting the announcement.