Pollution Effects on Plant Growth

As industries transition from assembly lines to advanced manufacturing, there are more machines being utilized in the manufacturing and assembly process. These machines, as all machines do, require lubricants to run smoothly and efficiently. Owners also use chemical liquids to clean the machines periodically to maintain their performance. Once these lubricants and industrial cleaners are used, how and where are they disposed? There are laws governing this to protect our environment and there are check systems set up to ascertain that the laws are being upheld. But what about individual consumers; how well are we protecting our environment?
This investigation is designed to determine if the things we use on a daily basis to make our machines work efficiently can adversely affect the natural world around us.  Students will experiment to determine if typical liquids used and disposed of during basic car maintenance have a negative effect on plant life.  They may use motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, and soapy water to represent fluids that are used in the driveway or at the curb of a home while someone is cleaning and/or maintaining their vehicle.  Students will discover that care must be used in the disposal of toxic liquids so that plant life is not destroyed.

Scientific Ways of Knowing Grade 7 – Benchmark B: Explain the importance of reproducibility and reduction of bias in scientific methods.
Grade 8 – Benchmark B: Explain the importance of reproducibility and reduction of bias in scientific methods.
Measurement Grade 7 – Benchmark D: select a tool and measure accurately to a specified level of precision.
Data Analysis & Probability Grade 7 – Benchmark A: read, create and use line graphs, histograms, circle graphs, box-and-whisker plots, stem and leaf plots, and other representations when appropriate.
Grade 7 – Benchmark E: collect, organize, display and interpret data for a specific purpose or need.
Grade 8 – Benchmark A: Create, interpret, and use graphical displays and statistical measures to describe data.
Grade 8 – Benchmark B: Explain the importance of reproducibility and reduction of bias in scientific methods.
Grade 8 – Benchmark F: Construct convincing arguments based on analysis of data and interpretation of graphs.
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