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The big dig

Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:27 pm
by sgraciano
Hi there, I have chosen this experiment for my kindergarden daughter, however, instead of choosing 5 different types of plastic cups, I buried a banana peel, an egg shell, a paper, a plastic yogurt cup and a small glass container, to see what happens with all the different kinds of materials. But my problem is that now I dont know what question to ask, and how to form an hypothesis. I am stuck :(
Could you please help me? Thanks a lot!


Re: The big dig

Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:49 am
by sunmoonstars
Hi Sol,

That's a great project to do with a child, and you picked some good materials to do it with! I think you have read through the project idea (all the tabs), and maybe even found the project guide, which helps get you through the steps of the scientific method.

The variable you have chosen is the material. It doesn't matter if it is 5 different plastics or a mix of plastic, paper, food, glass, etc., it is still the same varianble. The hypothesis, see the explanation here: ... esis.shtml)

•A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work.
•Most of the time a hypothesis is written like this: "If _____[I do this] _____, then _____[this]_____ will happen." (Fill in the blanks with the appropriate information from your own experiment.)

So maybe you would say: If we bury these items, then the glass will be unchanged, but the eggshell will degrade.

Let me know if you need any more help with your project. I hope you are enjoying it :)


Re: The big dig

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:20 am
by sgraciano
Hi Tonya,
Thanks for your answer, that is what I was thinking, that the banana and the egg shell with probably degrade, as well as the paper, and the plastic and glass will remain intact. But I need to explain that fact, or why that is happening... What topics should I focus my research on?

Re: The big dig

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:35 pm
by sunmoonstars

Have a look at the 'background' tab from the project you selected: ... background

I used some of those keywords in google and looked around a bit. It was a little hard finding some good resources, so I suggest you use sentences to search, like these ones:
Do paper towels biodegrade?
How long does it take for eggshells to biodegrade?

And basically, understand that biodegradable simply means to be consumed by microorganisms and return to compounds found in nature. Generally simple items that came from nature biodegrade well, like clumps of vegtables and grass clippings. Other food items and sturdier natural items, like eggshells or wood or paper, take a bit longer. Synthetic things like cans, glass, cement, etc. take very long times - we consider this not biodegradable. Since bacteria and fungus are doing all the work at breaking down the items, the speed this happens is related to the soil you dig in, it's composition, temperature, moisture level, etc. The wikipedia article on biodegredation is a pretty good start!

Re: The big dig

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:21 pm
by sgraciano
Thank you so much!!!!
I will show you the final product :)