Polluted Soil

In our tests, the soil mixed with latex paint hardened and the seeds did not grow. Latex paint is plastic-based andseals off pores in the soil, so no air or water can get through. Without air or water, the seeds could not germinate. Sprouts started to grow in the oily soil but they grew brown leaves, which wilted right away. The seeds in the plain soil (our control) grew into healthy plants. As an extension, do the same activity using other "pollutants" such as household detergent and vinegar (to simulate battery acid).

  • Adapted from SuperScience Red, March, 1995, issue