martes, 13 de marzo de 2018

Andalucía mejor con ciencia: a short video

There are several schools in Andalucia working in order to improve the environment and to do science with people. Here you have a short video, produced by Fundación Descubre. We can see our project. Soon we will expose our results in a congress.

miércoles, 7 de marzo de 2018

How can we improve our environment?

Our results are clearly conclusive. Both, seeds germination and plants development are affected by products we usually use at home for cleaning or personal care. The inhibit germination of lentil seeds and growth of small plants. In conclusion, we have an environmental problem. And we have to solve it. And this is not only your responsability. 
I invite you to talk to your parents, your brothers and sisters, about the results of our experiments. It is important for them to know what we know, that home products can affect living beings and environment. An of course, we need to change our habits.
How can we reduce the impact of using these products? Please, write your decisions as comments.

How did our plants grow?

We have finished the next experiment. We have planted lentil seeds and we have waited until they have germinated. When small plants appeared, we treated them with disolutions of our home pollutants. 

Ten days lated, we had new results. Our lentil plants had grown but we noticed differences between treatments in growth. Here you have some pictures:

When plants were grown we pulled up the plants and we measured stalk lenght, root lenght and we weighed plants. We have compared results with different treatments. And here you have our results. What are your conclusions? Do our pollutants affects plants and environment? Please write our conclusions.

martes, 20 de febrero de 2018

Final results of the germination experiment

And these are our final results for the experiment of germination. What can you conclude about the effect of home pollutants on the germination of lentil seeds? Write your conclusion as comments!

lunes, 29 de enero de 2018

New experiments

Now, we are going to grow lentils plants to study the effect of home pollutants on growth and development of lentils. This morning we have put 10 lentil seeds into containers with potting soil. We have recycled used yogurt cups for this experiment. We have watered them. When seeds germinate, we will treat them with the pollutants and we will study the growth of plants. We will have untreated plants, watered only with water, as control experiments. 

New results

We have repeated some experiments. Seed didn't germinate in water with detergent at concentrations of 5% and 10% (weight/volumen concentration). So, we have studied lentils germination at lower concentrations (1% and 0,5%). We have tested another washing up product and we have repeated the experiment with hydrogen peroxide. In the previous experiment, seeds germinate with high concentrations of acetone; this wasn't the expected results as this product is toxic. So we have tested the effect of nail polish remover on germination as this product contains acetone. No seeds have germinate with concentrations of 10% and 5% (w/v); we are going to test lower concentrations this week. Finally, fabric softener doesn't seem to affect lentils germination as concentrations as high as 20% doesn't inhibit germination.
Please, study this data and make your own conclusions. Write them as comments.

lunes, 22 de enero de 2018

Our first results

After a week, we have our first results. In our control experiments, all the seeds irrigated with water have germinated. But we have observed differences between treatments. Here you have a table with our results. What are your conclusions? Is there any experiment with unexpected results? Will we have to repeat any experiments?

Control plate
Washing up liquid, 5%.
Grease remover 5% and 10%.

A new research project for our younger students: Home pollutants

Surely, your family has lot of chemical products for domestic use at home. Some of them are detergent or fabric softener; we use them for washing our clothes. Bleach, grease remover or antilime cleaner are used for cleaning our houses. All of them contain toxic chemicals we leave to the environment. And it is the same with other products we use with our own body like the alcohol or the hydrogen peroxide we use to disinfect wounds or the nail polish remover we use for cleaning our painted fingernails. Do they affect living beings?
This is the main goal of the project we are beginning. We are going to study if this products are toxic for the environment, especially for plants. We want to know if they affect aspects of plants biology as germination, growth and development of plants.

We begin our experiments studying the effect of these products on the germination of seeds. We are going to use lentil seeds (Lens culinaris). We have prepared seed germination chambers with Petri dishes; we have placed paper towel inside the plates and we have added 20 ml of the different solutions of chemical products. We have put 16 seeds per germination chamber.

We are going to carry out control experiments. In some plates we will add only water. We want to know the viability of seeds irrigated only with water. Later on, we will compare the number of germinated seeds in plates with water and chemical products. We consider that seeds have germinated when they show a little root at least one millimeter long. We will study seeds germination for a week.

lunes, 18 de diciembre de 2017

A cave full of crystals

We are reading chapter 3. This is the first morning after professor Lidenbrock, Axel and Hans climbed down through the crater. The journey continues and they go into a big, dark tunnel. They are walking for a long time when they find thousands of beautiful crystals in the wall of the cave. Crystals, beautiful crystals... Would you like to have some crystals? You don't need to go to the centre of the Earth to get crystals. In fact, it is very easy.
We are going to prepare an experiment to get crystals in our laboratory. But you can do it at home too; in this case you need the help of your parents.
Take hot water and stir salt until no more salt will dissolve. As hotter the water more salt you will dissolve. Carefully pour the solution into a container and leave it somewhere it will not be disturbed (no movement, constant temperature...). Wait and you will grow beautiful crystals.
Take your crystals to our laboratory. You will get points to go to the centre of the Earth.

After Christmas hollidays we have the result of our crystallization experiment. Hear your have some pictures. Have you got your crystals? Take them to the laboratory!

Copper sulphate crystals obtained in our laboratory.

Crystallization I (Maxi Morteyrú)

Beautiful salt crystals, by Claudia Moreno Villegas.

Marvellous crystals, by Iris Luque Barrio

miércoles, 29 de noviembre de 2017

Compasses for Professor Lidenbrock

Fortunately, we have compasses to give to professor Lidenbrock. You have made some compasses, so the journey is going on. Here you have one picture with some of your compasses. You can see that all of them work correctly, all of them point to the North.
By the way! What have you learn about magnetism? How does a compass work? Why is there a magnetic field in the Earth?
Don't worry!!! These are difficult questions for students of the first course of ESO. But that the study of magnetism has been very important to know the inner Earth structure. Try to answer them. You know... extra points to travel to the centre of the Earth.