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seeya77
seeya77 asks:
Q:

3rd grader wants to do science project using sand from local beaches any ideas of what we could do?

In Topics: Helping my child with science
> 60 days ago

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bob
bob , Parent writes:
Your questions has been kicking around in my head for a couple of days now and it may take me a couple of days to finish an answer.

First thing that comes to mind is whether to use the sand as the "main character" in the project or to use it as a "supporting character."  By "main character" what I mean is this: the experiment concerns some aspect of the sand itself.  By "supporting character" I mean that the experiment is about something other than sand, but the sand is involved.

Ideas for "supporting character" that I've some up with are as follows:

1. An experiment concerning growing plants in sand, but the variable in the experiment is something else, like amount of watering, or fertilizer, or light, or type of seed.  If your sand is ocean sand, it will contain a good bit of salt and will have to be washed first.

1a. Compare how plants grow in washed and unwashed sand.

2. Something that involves building an ant farm using sand caked between two panes of glass.

Ideas where the sand is the "main character" are below.  In some of these, using store-bought construction sand or play box sand as a control might be needed.

1. Sifting the sand into two piles using a pies of screening and comparing the attributes of each type.  For example, with you pour sane in a stream into a single spot, it will form a cone-shaped pile.  The angle of the slope (or the ratio of the height to the diameter) of the pile is a function of several things such as the moisture level or grain size.

2. Scooping up wet sand, rinsing water through it and then looking for microorganisms in the water with a microscope.

3. How much water is held by sand?  I'm not clear yet on how to make a comparative experiment from this, but it might be interesting to find out mow much water can be help by wet sand.  Scoop up wet sand in shallow water and put it in a plastic food storage container.  Capture some sea/lake water in a separate container. Take it home and measure out a quantity of wet sand (I'd use arounf 2 cups) and weigh the sand (a postage scale or kitchen scale would work).  Then dry the sand thoroughly - spread it out in a lasagne dish and place it in the hot sun, gently stirring it occasionally.  Bring it in at night if it takes more than one day.  Weigh it again.  The difference in weight is how much water evaporated.  Find out the volume of that much water by using the scale and a measuring cup (hit the "tare" button when you put the measuring cup on the scale).

I wouldn't try melting sand into glass - sand melts at over 3000 degrees Fahrenheit and even lowering the melting point to nearly half that with soda ash can be a dangerous endeavor.

If more ideas come to mind in the next few days I'll add another answer.
> 60 days ago

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jaimeesmom
jaimeesmom writes:
If it's just the TYPE of sand you are looking for, your local Home Improvement store sells it by the bag for sandboxes. Same stuff, only purified and blowdried.
> 60 days ago

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dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Here are a few ideas you and your 3rd grader could consider for the science project...

Beach Bum Science: Compression of Wet Sand
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Geo_p023.shtml

Sand Experiment
http://www.sciencekidsathome.com/science_experiments/sand_1.html#more

Which Size Sand Particle Used To Make Bricks Makes The Most Durable Brick?
http://www.selah.k12.wa.us/JHS/Brown/CARMELLASciProj.html#top#purpose

Sand Dune Experiment (see right hand column)
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/socalval/597769/

And for fun...

Make a Sand Clock
http://www.education.com/activity/article/Sand_Clocks/

Art Connections: Sand Painting
http://www.education.com/reference/article/art-connections-sand-painting/

Enjoy!
> 60 days ago

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