In March, the Environmental Adventures team at Austin College and Career Academy tackled some of the toughest questions in our national world: What types of trash fill our communities? We created trash scavenger hunts to find 10 items of trash around the school. We then went around the school cleaning up a ton of garbage while searching for our trash treasure to win a prize.

After cleaning up a mess, we decided to make one of our own! We studied the ground below us, all four thousand miles! We learned all about volcanoes and earthquakes and why some areas are more likely to face natural disasters. After learning the science we constructed structures capable of withstanding earthquakes. Then, utilizing the recent snowfall, we constructed Baking soda and vinegar volcanoes. When that boom wasn’t big enough we added some food dye to diet soda and some mentos mints and watched the show! “It’s crazy to think that volcanoes and shaken up pop are the same thing, just gas” said one student after dodging the explosion.

In one of our deeper experiments, students gathered soil from all around the school and utilizing chemistry techniques determined the quality of the soil. It turns out dirt from the football field (found with worms in it) had better had a better Ph level and a good amount of nitrogen when compared with store brought soil.

In a slightly less explosive experiment we used a plethora of sandwich bags and other lunch supplies to create the layers of our earth. We learned how scientist see what the earth used to look like with core samples! It’s exciting to see where the world’s oldest fossils are and representing them with crunchy goldfish crackers!

Guest speaker Juanita Garcia came by for two days to teach us all about the life cycle of plastics and where our energy comes from, both start with fossils! We learned how long plastics take to break down and what can and can’t be recycled. We also learned about alternative energy sources and how consumption has outpaced production.

Written By: Kyle Reid

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