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All About Wood

based on 4 ratings
Author: Judee Shipman

Grade Level: 4th - 8th; Type: Earth Science

Objective:

This project examines different types of wood.

Project Goals

  • To display classifications of different types of wood
  • To examine the ways in which we use wood.
  • To discover new uses for wood.
  • To encourage the development of improved wood products.

Research Questions

  • How many different types of wood exist?
  • What are the practical uses of wood?
  • How are the properties of wood used advantageously in architecture, carpentry, fine arts, music, food science, and nature?
  • What else can we do with wood?

Wood is an organic material found in the stems of trees.  We can learn about types of wood by comparing them to each other, and to various wood substitutes.  In this way, we can explore the many practical uses of wood, and compare wood to other materials that may serve the same purpose.  Perhaps there are new uses for wood not yet considered.

Materials:

  • Computer with internet access.
  • A number of wood samples of different types (species)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Microscope (optional)
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/craft supplies (such as paper, pens & poster-board)

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Read overviews of relevant topics (see bibliography and terms listed above).
  2. Collect real wood samples, along with digital images of wood.
  3. Classify your samples in terms of their properties and uses.
  4. Build scale models that demonstrate these uses (optional)
  5. Study your samples under a microscope (optional)
  6. Discover a new use for a particular type of wood.
  7. Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
  8. Show results visually using charts and graphs.
  9. Display any interesting photos taken throughout the course of the experiment.

Terms/Concepts: Hardwood; Softwood; Engineered wood; Heartwood; Sapwood; Wood Grain; Knots

References:

Wikipedia's List of Types of Wood

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