This past week in APES was all about weathering, erosion, and soil formation. It's amazing how these process that generally escape our notice are responsible for most of the landforms we see around the world. Furthermore, soil is the most integral of climate components. This small layer, in fertile areas, represents the intersection between the abiotic world and the biotic world. The College Board loves soil and wants students to know everything about it. Consequently, we spent most of the week working on a lab about soil. I must complement the class, all groups performed beautifully in the lab, and I think they might have even learned something along the way. For this week's week in review (2/18-2/22), we have contributions from Mohammad Chenchar and Ailin Cabrera.
This week Monday started off with a twist, instead of Mr. Kite teaching his regular power point lesson on unit 4 he surprised us by telling us that we had to teach the class the lesson! But it still went great. Our fellow classmates taught us how earth formed and the different layers, the theory of plate tectonics, plate movements and earthquakes, and lastly volcanoes. Then Mr. Kite gave us info on the new experiment we were going to work on for most of the week; it was dealing with soil formation and its properties.
On Tuesday we started on the soil formations experiment, The main materials used were rocks; granite, clay, and marble to figure out how each rock was affected by either chemical or mechanical weathering. For mechanical weathering we took containers of the 3 different types of rock and shook them vigorously for 3 minutes. But for chemical weathering we had to pour hydrochloric acid on the rocks in each vial. Probably the funniest part was watching students tiredly shake the containers filled with rocks trying to mimic the effects of mechanical weathering.
Wednesday wasn’t a really busy day since Mr. Kite was absent, but we were given instructions to take notes on edmodo about “The Rock Cycle.” After we were done with all our notes we had time to work and plan out our biomes projects.
Thursday was the continuation of the soil formation experiment. We were to finish and record the results of the chemical weathering part and continue activity 3, 4, and 5 on the organization of soil. To save time we had to split up the work, but in the end most didn’t finish so the rest of the experiment was left for tomorrow.
And lastly Friday, great news for students because it was a 3-hour delay so our class was cut short. It was also the last day of the soil formations experiment and the butterfly experiment as well. We had to carefully pluck out the soon to be butterflies out of their homes, weigh them, and figure out what person would take them home. As for the soil experiment we were to finish the rest of the activities and also the lab questions and recordings.
This week’s lab was all about erosion. Erosion is one of the most important science concepts that we have yet studied. By far, the most effected area by erosion in the United States is the Grand Canyon; the Grand Canyon is one of the greatest tourist regions to visit in all of North America, the mountains are carved beautifully and rise high enough to be a hiker’s dream come true. According to many years of study by scientists, erosion occurs in two different ways; either by water or by air. Differentiating between the two is very simple; all you need is a pair of magnifying glass. After you place your rock under the magnifying check for the following:*See if the rock is shiny.*Observe the rock’s edges. If the rock is shiny, then it has been transported by water, if it’s not shiny, then the rock has been transported by air. If the rock has pointy shaped edges, then the rock has barely or never been transported by neither water nor air, but if the rock has round edges, then it has been transported, and through that process, it collided with other rock, which resulted in the edges to loose their shape and become round.