Sponging It Up Environmental Science Lab 4/1/2012 Mitchell Rabideau
Environmental Science Lab Sponging It Up Statement of the Problem: How does a protective covering affect water retention? Hypothesis: A protective covering will help the sponge retain more moisture when in direct sunlight.
Materials: The following materials are needed for this experiment:
Two (2) sponges Water Plastic wrap Electronic balance
Procedure: The following are the procedures for this experiment: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Completely saturate the two sponges with water. Drain excess water from sponges. Measure mass of each sponge on electric balance. Record the mass. Wrap one sponge in plastic wrap. Place sponges outside in a sunny place for 15 minutes. Bring sponges indoors. Measure mass of each sponge on electric balance. Record the mass.
Results: The following chart shows the data that was collected: Sponges Sponge 1 (without plastic wrap) Sponge 2 (with plastic wrap)
Starting Mass (g) 160 g 158 g
Ending Mass (g) 124 g 134 g
Conclusions: This lab (experiment) investigated how a protective covering can provide an adaptation in hot environments. In order to study the problem, I simulated the feature of the leathery leaves of plants in the chaparral biome with the plastic wrap to look at the effect. My results showed that the sponge without the plastic wrap lost the most mass, thus proving my hypothesis was true. I believe this happened because the plastic wrap served to protect the sponge from evaporation form sun. It was better able to retain moisture. I believe the results are accurate because the plastic wrap served as a covering similar to the adaptations of the plants in the chaparral biome. Plants, such chamase, mancanita, shrub oak and olive trees all have small leathery leaves that retain water. The plastic wrap covering the sponge serves a
Environmental Science Lab Sponging It Up similar purpose as the leathery leaves of the plants in this biome. Further investigation on environmental adaptations may include other ways plants adapt in their environment. For example, I could investigate how the same plants are able to survive and re-sprout after being in a fire. I could try to simulate a covering with protective oils that would prevent the plant from being destroyed.