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Soil Does More Than Get You Dirty - Learning Center - Soil Electronics

Learning Center 4
Soil Electronics


  • worksheet (to record student's answers)
  • 3 electronic game folders
  • 3 battery-bulb systems
  • pencils
  • folder - to collect worksheets

Instructions for students

  1. Each one take a folder, electric system (instructions for making on the back), a worksheet and a pencil.
  2. Put your name on the worksheet.
  3. Choose a question, touch one wire to the hole on the left and the second wire to the hole on the right that correctly answers the question. (The bulb lights up if your answer is correct.)
  4. Write answers on worksheet.
  5. If there is time, trade folders with someone else who is finished.
  6. When you leave, put your papers in the folder.

Questions used on folders

Yellow folder:

  • In the 1930's what did wind-erosion cause? the Dust Bowl
  • What goes in when the sun shines but goes out when there's rain? Look for it on a clear day and you look in vain. the earthworm
  • Besides water what is the one other thing that can cause soil erosion? the wind
  • What is a sign of people-caused erosion? mud puddles under the swings
  • Wind erosion occurs in areas of high prevailing winds and low-annual rainfall. How can we prevent wind erosion? windbreaks
  • Soil erosion can do what to the price of food? increase it
  • Land slippage is similar to what? an avalanche
  • What can we make by using our grass cuttings after mowing the yard? a compost
  • What in soil does not pack well and has large grains? sand
  • Where does the wind cause a lot of soil erosion? dry areas

Blue Folder:

  • What soil particle group is soft and velvety? silt
  • What soil particle group is rough? sand
  • What soil particle group allows for good packing? clay
  • What soil particle group consist of twigs, leaves, and wood chips? humus
  • What in soil do plants and trees depend on for growth? nutrients
  • What can we compare a bomb to? a raindrop
  • What do we need to do to the soil? protect it
  • What is one problem we face with soil erosion? low-food production
  • What is erosion? a force that takes away or disrupts the soil
  • What happens to an earthworm when it rains? comes to the top

Green folder:

  • What type of soil erosion occurs on a steep slope? gully
  • What was the film that we found in the water after separating the soil particles? clay
  • What particle is in the type of soil that tends to make things dirty? humus
  • Where is wind erosion of greatest concern? prairies
  • Besides food production what other problem can soil erosion cause? washing out of roads
  • What should we do to our soil? conserve it
  • Where is soil? everywhere
  • Where can you find "clean" sand? beaches
  • Soil erosion can be reduced by doing what? planting
  • What type of soil is most likely to be taken first during soil erosion? the top soil

Directions for making battery, bulb, wire system


  • 6-volt lantern battery
  • 3 insulated wires with 1" stripped from each end
  • 1 screw-in lantern bulb that can handle 6 volts (Radio Shack, Walmart, K-Mart, etc.)
  • 1 screw-in type lamp base to hold bulb
  • tape

Diagram of battery, bulb, wire system


  • 3 folders - yellow, blue, and green
  • aluminum foil
  • tape (cellophane, masking or mailing)
  • hole punch
Diagram of outside of folder Mark and punch holes for 10 questions and 10 answers. Leave enough space between holes to write questions and answers beside each punched hole (see illustration at left).

Write questions and answers on the outside of the folder, mixing them so answers are not directly across from the corresponding question.

Diagram of inside of folder Turn folder over and on the backside of the folder front place aluminum foil strips from the question to the correct answer. Tape foil in place. Make sure foil completely covers holes. Individually, completely cover the entire foil strip with tape or circuit will not complete (see illustration below). As you add foil strips, turn folder over and test each strip with battery device, making sure answer and question match correctly. If light burns, circuit completes.

When all circuits work correctly and all questions and answers match as you intend, tape the folder flaps together so connections are not disturbed.

Diagram of foil strips

Example of worksheet