Semi-FREE Classroom Terraria

Students just LOVE a growing terrarium. Just think of how they will feel about one THEY build and take care of...

Real simple. You will need:

The "clear" balloons are easily attained at most department stores and party supply stores. They don't need to be 'crystal clear', just clear enough to see into. Also, keep in mind the balloon will actually become clearer as it inflates.

Want FREE supplies? Burpee Seed company will be happy to help out if you contact them. Also, your local Home Depot or Lowe's Improvement Center will donate seeds and potting soil to teachers for projects. Go in prepared with a smile and your schools Tax-Exempt info and ask for the Manager in charge of local schools. I have 3 local Home Depots who help me out all the time...

Procedure: Have kids drop some potting soil and a radish seed or two into a balloon. Inflate. Hang somewhere near light. Done!

I like to leave the kids directions open-ended somewhat. This allows each group, or kid, to use scientific "judgement" in the construction. In fact, this turns out to be a wonderful scientific study when the results start rolling in in a few days! If the kids have kept good records of their construction, they then can make real scientific conclusions pertaining to the important parameters of terrarium growth and survival. Which of the following were important?

Troubleshooting... If you get GOOD balloons, they should last a week without deflating. ALL balloons will eventually deflate due to air diffusion thru the latex - example of cell diffusion, actually... One week is enough time for growth to show up. However, if you plan on running this activity through it's logical conclusion, a FEW weeks, you'll need a way to re-inflate the balloons. Keeping them in a cool place helpds, but...

Send me your pictures and results and I'll post them here!

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