Rachel’s Chapter Challenge
Rachel had the Chapter Challenge “Wild Card” which was number 8. She decided to make a powerpoint on pesticides and how they affect the environment. Rachel explained that pesticides are substances that destroy pests, to keep insects and weeds from destroying crops. These substances are used by farmers and home owners. The problem with pesticides is that some of the chemicals run off into the water and can be very harmful.
Rachel also explained about the Dirty Dozen foods. These foods are called that because they have the most pesticides and fertilizers sprayed on them. You should buy these organic if you can. The list is this: strawberries, blueberries, apples, peaches, celery, sweet bell peppers, white potatoes, lettuce, nectarines, grapes, cherries, and spinach.
Pesticides can also contribute to environmental issues. Pesticide drift occurs when the chemicals are moved to other areas by wind or rain. Rachel explained that we could use alternative, organic based solutions instead of chemicals to keep all the pests away. We can also release natural predators that will not harm the plants but control the pests.
Word Count: 179
Julia’s Chapter Challenge
For Julia’s Chapter Challenge, she completed the Chapter Challenge “Smart Snack” also known as Chef Surprise. This is a chapter challenge where a student uses multiple food items to demonstrate some chapter aspect. She helped our class make a water treatment plant out of graham crackers, icing, and pretzels.
The blue icing represented water, the pretzels represented piping and the graham cracker represents the place where the water is cleaned and helps to connect the piping. The red food coloring represents sedimentation. The amount of the sediment decreases each time the water is cleaned, again and again until, there is almost no dirt at all. The yellow water at the very end represents the chlorification the water goes through. The triangle made of pretzels serves as a storage facility for the water. Now fully cleaned, the water waits to be shipped to the public.
Next we were allowed to eat the project. The great thing about creating the project out of food is that we were able to understand visually what happened in a water treatment center and the steps taken to clean the water and make it drinkable for the public in a creative way that made it interesting as well as fun.
Word Count: 204
Joey’s Chapter Challenge
Joey had the Chapter Challenge “Artsy Pants” number two. He showed us exactly how a sewage treatment plant worked. The water that goes down drains is called sewage and can contain harmful organisms that can make people sick. Sewage water that comes from homes and businesses is purified in three stages. These are called the primary stage, the secondary stage and the tertiary stage. After the water has gone through all these stages, it is pumped back into the river.
In the primary stage big metal screens are used to remove the largest of the solids from the sewage. The water flows through the screen and the solids are left behind. Then the sewage flow slows down as it enters a settling tank. Joey explained that here the smaller solids settle eat the bottom of all the water. The water has now been purified to the point where there are no solids but there are still big amounts of bacteria remaining.
In the secondary stage the sewage water is pumped into a bed of gravel where it trickles over the stones. The gravel has bacteria that breaks down any remaining solids into very fine particles. After this the wastewater flows to a different tank. The tertiary stage gets rid of all the bacteria and nitrogen and phosphorus. I learned from Joey that bacteria are killed by adding chlorine or UV rays. To remove the nitrogen and the phosphorus, the water passes through another bed of gravel and a sand filter. Then the water is discharged from the plant.
Word Count: 259