Mystery Pollution

By Eve Pranis

The second graders in Lynn Hervey's Peacham, VT, class didn't know what they were using to water the corn in their GrowLab, but it soon became clear that some plants were not doing well. Lynn had collected "mystery solutions" for watering the corn plants-water mixed with motor oil from the floor of a garage, salt water, rain water, and tap water. Students cared for their plants, watered them regularly, but then, said Lynn, "I soon had a rebellion on my hands -- if was clear that some of the solutions were harming the students' precious plants. The students were shocked and didn't want to continue. They quickly made a connection to how destructive polluting our environment can be, and the lesson served it's purpose."

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