GLOBE looks at soil at the Celery Bog

07-16-2013

Author(s):Tim Brouk

Six science teachers from as far away as South Dakota, Massachusetts and Michigan took advantage of Purdue College of Science’s affiliation with the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) by digging in some West Lafayette dirt.

Led by Steven Smith, outreach coordinator for the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences and GLOBE partner, the teachers sharpened their earth science skills by previewing a soil measurement and analysis experiment that they could use in their own classrooms and labs.

Using an auger and measurement tools, the teachers dug out one meter of soil at the Celery Bog wetland. One group of teachers took black, wet; root-filled earth from near the bog’s shore while another trio took brown, crumbly dirt from a spot in the woods near a hiking trail. The samples were then taken back to the Lilly Nature Center and Purdue campus for analysis.

By digging a meter down, the teachers found different levels of soil, which shows the evolution of the land.

Purdue is the only GLOBE affiliate in the Midwest that allows open workshops for all kinds of science teachers – middle school, high school and even instructors at science museums.

This summer’s workshop ran from July 15 to 17. Aside from the soil study, the teachers tested out a new GLOBE iPad application that helped identify and analyze clouds.

GLOBE is an international organization that specializes in hands-on educational programs for all-ages.

Two teachers look for a good place to dig for soil samples on the shore of the Celery Bog.

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