OK. This is a basic chemistry project, comparing the thermal properties of soil and water. Here's a possible experiment you could use for this project:
1. Place an equal volume of dry soil and water in identical containers. It would probably be best to use containers with a volume of a liter or larger and several centimeters deep. Place a thermal probe with a tip near the bottom of each container, ideally with a read out that you can read and record results over time. If you can get 4 temperatures probes, it would be even better if you could place a temperature probe at the top and at the bottom of each container. You can get a suitable temperature probe at a hardware store, or any large variety store that has a heating/air conditioning section. You will want to record results in degrees Centigrade, but you can convert from Fahrenheit if you have to.
2. Place a heat lamp or other source of heat a certain distance from each container. If you don't have a heat lamp, you could also do this experiment on a sunny day and use the radiant energy from the sun. Record the change in temperature over time. You will find out
if the soil or water gets hotter faster.
Now, for the science part.
Thermal energy is a form of energy that scientists measure in Joules, or kilojoules. Here is a website that describes there relationship between heat and energy:
In your experiment, you are using radiant energy from the heat lamp to transfer energy to the soil and water. The heat transferred to the water will be mixed by a process call convection when cooler liquid moves towards warmer liquid. Convection currents are circular.
The soil is a solid, and is a not a good conductor of heat energy. Materials that do not conduct heat energy are called insulators. It will probably take a lot longer for the bottom of the soil to reach the same temperature as the water sample.
If you want to get extra credit for your project, then you can repeat the experiment and cover both samples with black plastic, and white plastic.
If you want to make the experiment quantitative, you can measure the kilojoules of energy absorbed by the water. A Calorie is the amount of heat is takes to increase the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree Centigrade. A Calorie is 4,184 Joule. However, in order to measure the amount of heat exactly, you would need to do the experiment in a completely insulated container, so you would have to devise a different heat source, other than a heat lamp.
Remember when you do your experiment to be very careful and precise when making your measurements.
Please double check with your teacher before you proceed to make sure this is what was intended with the assignment. If this is not a chemistry project, then I may still be off-track in my advice to you. If you need more information about energy transfer or Joules, let me know.