Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Earth is Our Home Brownie Try-It

Several of these badges are great to do in the month of April in honor of Earth Day. Although, Earth Day has actually passed, we are still enjoying these activities and I'm trying to keep Shayla excited about the topic because the BIG Earth Day celebration at our local state park is next week.

How Long Does It Take?

This will definately be fun to see. We buried some trash in a hole in our yard. We will dig it up a month from today to check the decomposition process.

I tried to represent all the types of recyclables, including a plastic bag, a plastic soda pop bottle, a glass jar, a steel food can, a piece of newspaper, and a cardboard food box.


This is something we have done for many years. We do it every week on the way to scout meetings. I have explained to Shayla that we separate paper from cans and plastics.

We did discuss the kinds of products that the recyclables may be remade into.

Trash Busters

We had a family clean up time by helping Grandma with some of the leaves, yard waste, and trash in her yard. We did ours not long ago. Besides, it was supposed to be a service project.

Oil Spill

This was a cool experiment on pollution. Shayla really enjoyed doing it. I tried to get a picture, but her little hands were in the way with each one I took. Oh well, that's how it should be!

Make your own oil spill to compare to harmful pollution oil spills.

Fill a bowl with water. Add 3 Tbs. cooking oil and sprinkle ground red pepper or paprika. Drop bits of torn up paper, feathers, dandelion fluff, seeds, etc. Then take them out of the oil spill.

Explain that this is what happens to birds feathers, animal fur or fish gills when an animal habitat is polluted with oil. They become coated with oil just like the items mentioned above.

Now try to clean up the oil spill.

First, use cotton balls or a cotton rag to try to sop up the oil spill. How much oil can you clean up this way?

Secondly, since the cotton doesn't clean up all the oil, drop a few drops of dish detergent in the mixture. Explain why this creates a whole new pollution problem.

Create a MiniWorld Terrarium

Put a layer of sand, then soil and dead leaves in an empty peanut butter jar. We added some green moss. Water just a little, then put the lid back on the jar. Put somewhere not in direct sunshine. We will continue to observe this for changes.

Solar Cooker

Shayla and her dad built this solar cooker using the directions in the girl scout handbook. We have not been able to try it out yet, since the weather has not been good on the days we've been home!

We plan on trying hot dogs, brownies, cookies, maybe even bread in the summer.

Do you have any suggestions for cooking with a solar cooker?

We have not been able to try out the solar cooker yet. We have had rain, overcast skies, or cool temperatures since we constructed the thing. I'll post our findings at a later time!

*Note: I am having as much fun learning with scouts as Shayla! I sure wish my mom would have done these cool things with me!

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