Rate of Biodegradability

Ms. Twohig’s 3rd and 4th Class investigated the how well different materials biodegrade. In nature, different materials biodegrade at different rates. Children placed bread, tissue and a plastic wrapper in identical clear bags and taped them on the windows. This was to help accelerate the rate at which the materials may biodegrade. Children observed the materials for any changes. After 1 month the results were that the bread had changed colour and size, the tissue had changed colour but remained mostly intact and the plastic wrapper’s colour faded but remained mostly intact. Throughout the investigation, children learned that to be able to work effectively, most microorganisms that assist the biodegradation need light, water and oxygen. Temperature is also an important factor in determining the rate of biodegradation. This is because microorganisms tend to reproduce faster in warmer conditions. Observing how slowly it can take for materials to break down re-emphasised for us the importance of trying to reduce, reuse and recycle materials so that we can help protect our environment.

Water Cycle Experiment

Ms. Russell’s Class became aware of the importance of the Earth’s renewable resource, water. They investigated the process of the water cycle by putting water in a transparent plastic bag and labelled clouds, water and sun. They taped the bags to the window and over time observed the water at the bottom of the bag evaporating and changing from a liquid to a gas. Then they observed the gas cooling and condensing forming ‘clouds’. Afterwards, droplets formed and fell back down to the bottom of the bag, precipitation.

Mouldy Bread Investigation

Ms. Brennan’s Class investigated conditions that help germs to spread. Children has four slices of bread. Two slices of bread were placed plastic bags and put in the fridge. One of the pieces of breads had been touched by the childrens’ hands while the other had not been touched and handled with a tongs. Two pieces of bread were kept on the display board in the classroom. Again, one of the pieces of breads had been touched by the childrens’ hands while the other had not been touched and handled with a tongs. After a couple of weeks children observed the results. They observed a that the bread that was kept at room temperature decayed much faster than the bread that was kept in the fridge at a cooler temperature. They also identified that the bread that had been touched by classmates’ hands had much more mould than the bread that was untouched. This experiment illustrated the importance of washing your hands and also the need to keep food in proper storage.

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