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Biology and Chemistry of Soil

Kit #32

Students conduct a thorough evaluation of their local soil. They use simple, easy-to-follow staining procedures and microscopes to observe and identify a range of soil biota. Students then test the soil for cation exchange capacity and pH and relate these characteristics to its ability to support plant growth. All tests are performed using either a Chemplate or calibrated sample tubes.

Details at a Glance

  • 2-3 Days | 2-3 ~50 minute class periods
  • 2 Activities
  • Accommodates 1 class, with 12 groups of 3 students
  • Consumables service 36 students
  • Includes digital resources
  • Requires a water source

Complete Kit Equipment Package

Biology and Chemistry of Soil Experiment

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Scientific Concepts

•Identify the type and variety of soil biota
•Calculate cation exchange capacity
•Determine soil pH
•Correlate soil pH to % base saturation
•Use staining techniques and microscopes
KEY VOCABULARY: abiotic, cation exchange capacity (CEC), soil biota, base saturation, pH, soil

Guides & Student Sheets

Our kits and modules provide you with everything you need so you can open, review, and teach the material confidently the next day.

  • Full downloadable Teacher Guide with background information, detailed instruction, example data and answers
  • Downloadable Student Sheets with age appropriate background information, full procedure(s), and analysis questions
  • All materials necessary to carry out the investigation
  • Safety Data Sheets

Kit Components

  • 50 Cup, plastic 7oz.
  • 60 Glass microscope slide
  • 12 Tube, calibrated
  • 12 Calibrated tube cap
  • 12 Lab-Aids Chemplate
  • 4 Phenolic Rose Bengal, Drop control bottle
  • 3 Barium Chloride Solution, Drop control bottle
  • 2 pH Soil Indicator Solution, Drop control bottle
  • 1 Potassium Dichromate Solution, Drop control bottle
  • 50 Student Guide
  • 1 Teacher’s Guide
  • 1 Safety Data Sheet (SDS) packet
  • Not included and needed for instruction: Supply of soil,  supply of water, supply of plastic wrap and rubber bands, microscopes, alcohol lamps or Bunsen burners, boiling water bath(s). 

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