TAC Experiment - Logistics

30 minutes to set the stage and brainstorm ideas
20 minutes to propose an experiment (more if you want students to conduct background research on their topic)
20 minutes to set up experiments
10 minutes a day, two to three times a week, for 1 month, to make observations and record results
30 minutes to organize results and draw conclusions
5 minutes per group to present the results to the class
optional: 45-50 minutes to create posters displaying scientific results prior to the presentation

Teams of 2-4 students

Each team needs:

  • 2 fully constructed terraqua columns (reuse the ones from the Terraqua Columns lesson or see Bottle Biology building instructions)
  • 1 foot wick (1-2 cm wide strip of old cotton towel)
  • other materials brought from home, varies for each group depending on the experiment the group wants to try
  • copies of the “TAC Experiment Checklist”

Materials for the class to share:

  • Soil, either store-bought potting soil or soil from outside
  • Hand trowel
  • 1 package radish seeds OR Wisconsin Fast Plant seeds
  • Water
  • Graduated cylinder
  • rulers
  • pH test strips
  • dissolved oxygen test kit (see the Water Analysis lesson - Sources section)  
  • pool or aquarium thermometers
  • optional: microscope and glass slides

You may want to have on hand for students to use in testing:

  • fertilizer
  • creek/pond water
  • an herbicide like Round-Up
  • a weak acid like vinegar

If you wish each team to create a poster to display their results, you should have (or have the students get):

  • for each team - 1 piece of posterboard, tri-fold display board, large sheet of cardboard (Costco and other warehouse distributors have lots of cardboard), or even 11x17 sheets of construction paper
  • markers
  • glue sticks
  • scissors