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Explore with your Decomposition Column

What peaks your curiosity about decomposition? Consider questions that interest you, and design an experiment to look for evidence that could lead to a scientific explanation.

Jim Leidel's 6th-grade students in Madison, WI build Decomposition Columns and try to model natural systems. Some students, for example, pour vinegar solutions through their columns in order to model acid rainfall. Vinegar solutions are also poured through limestone and granitic gravel buffers in order to imitate what might be occurring in eastern U.S. lakes. Levels of pH are measured and compared. In the past, Jim's students tested solutions of their own choosing, among which were tomato juice and sugar water.

For more ideas about investigating decomposition and other scientific experiments using Bottle Biology, check out the Bottle Biology book.

National Science Foundation   Bottle Biology, an instructional materials development program, was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation administered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.   Wisconsin Fast Plants