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This one will really be fun! We can make it as simple or as elaborate as we want. This project is to check the anchorage ability of grass. We need a shallow pan, such as a cookie sheet with edges about 3/4 inch tall. Wrong. We need two of them. Also, enough soil to fill each pan, some grass seeds, and two large sprinkling cans. The utensils can easily be returned after the project is finished, so perhaps somebody can borrow them. I think at the garden store we should ask for a kind of grass that has long, strong roots, of the type that would hold up a hillside.

Only one of our pans will have grass planted in it. The other one is going to be the "bare earth" model. Paying careful attention, they both will be given sprinkles of water in the same amounts, probably every day, until the grass grows nicely. When the grass is about a half-inch tall, somebody will have to bring their tiny lawn mower to school, or we'll have to use scissors, so we can cut the grass right down to the earth.

When this is completed, we'll do the thing that is fun. Some of you could build little toothpick and paper houses to set onto the soil at the end of each pan, in a row, like tract houses are built. Make sure the houses are set firmly into the soil, or having them in our experiment will be useless.

Let's go outside, near the water faucet, and prop up the pans so that the ends of the pans with houses on them are touching the ground, and the other ends of the pans are uphill from the houses. Large rocks would be good, or, if we can get them, concrete blocks would be better. Just one block for each pan. Now we will fill both sprinkling cans. Holding them at the same angle, two students can pour the water onto the hillside. This will be rain. Being careful to make sure each pan gets an equal amount of water, and that the water is equally distributed over the pans, we will make this rainstorm last a long time. The storm will empty huge clouds onto our pans. If any of you know how to make neat noises, we could even have thunder and lightning!

The soil will become saturated, and certain events will take place. What do you think will happen? Each of you should write down your opinions as to what is going to happen, and why, and then put them on the teacher's desk. After whatever will happen happens, our project will be finished, and we can discuss it.

What do you think would happen in the real world, if the circumstances were the same as those we simulated?

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