Featured in PASCO’s College Environmental Science Instructor Guide

College Environmental Science Instructor Guide

(PS-3809A)

College Instructor edition with experiments covering introductory and general environmental science topics.

Determine Soil Quality

Lab Summary

Use a carbon dioxide gas sensor, a pH sensor, and a conductivity sensor to analyze the capacity of soil to support plant growth by examining the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of different types of soil.

Theory

Students explore the requirements and capacity of soil to support plant growth by examining the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of different types of soil.

Method

Students gain experience conducting the following procedures on three soil samples:

  • Using the carbon dioxide (CO2) gas sensor to determine the soil respiration rate.
  • Using pH and conductivity sensors to measure the soil pH, salinity, and buffering capacity.
  • Using a dissecting microscope and a light microscope to analyze the physical and biological characteristics of the soil samples.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Water Quality Sensor

(PS-2169)

Measures temperature, conductivity, pH/ISE/ORP and dissolved oxygen. It is specifically designed for convenience in conducting water quality lab experiments. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

PASPORT Carbon Dioxide Gas Sensor

(PS-2110)

The PASPORT Carbon Dioxide Gas Sensor measures carbon dioxide concentration CO2 (parts per million) in gases such as air. Ideal for studies of photosynthesis, respiration, fermentation and more.

Materials Used:

Beaker, 100-mL - 4
Beaker, 50-mL 
Digging tool 
Dissecting microscope 
Distilled or deionized water - 300 mL
Graduated cylinder, 100-mL 
Labeling tape - 1 roll
Microscope slides and cover slips - 3
Microscope with magnification up to 400x
Microwave oven - 1 per class
Permanent marker 
pH calibration standard solution, pH 4 - 25 mL
pH calibration standard solution, pH 7 or 10 - 25 mL
Pipet, disposable, 1-mL 
Plastic bags - 4
Soil samples (from 3 different locations) - 3
Stirring rod 
Wash bottle containing distilled or deionized water
Waste container 
White household vinegar - 4 mL

The Associated Bundle:

College Environmental Science Sensor Bundle

(PS-2930A)

Contains the probeware needed to perform all 26 experiments in the College Environmental Science instructor guide.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.