cylinder graduated reading
Each student should bring to school a one-pound coffee can filled
with a soil sample from their garden, woodlot or lawn. The sample
needs to have the student's name and the exact location where
the sample was collected written on the cover or taped to the
side of the can. See previous activity on soil sampling techniques.
This sample will be enough for the several activities listed in
this book. Each group of students will also need the following:
a 50 ml graduated cylinder, 250 ml beaker, 100 ml Coors evaporating
dish, Bunsen burner with hose, burner lighters, stirring rod,
metal scoop, beaker/crucible tongs, metal ring stands with associated
3 inch diameter rings, wire gauze square (4x4) inches, notebooks,
and pens. Each student will need to wear safety glasses or goggles
during the heating portions of this activity. The class as a whole
should have access to at least one (two or three would be better)
triple beam or electronic balance with a minimum capacity of 300
grams. Paper towels should also be available.
PART I. Have the students use the graduated cylinder to measure
out 30 ml of tap water and place this in a 250 ml beaker. Dry
the graduated cylinder thoroughly. Place 20 ml of soil into the
cylinder just as it comes from the can. Do NOT pack it in. Let
it settle naturally by its own weight. Gently add the 30 ml of
water to the cylinder and let stand for 3 minutes. Read the level
of water in the cylinder (make certain that the students read
the bottom of the meniscus); this last reading will be called
the final reading. The following calculation will provide a rough
idea of the percentage of pore space, and thus the air component,
in the soil.
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