In a previous article "Let's do a green science fair project" we had a look at the effects on soil erosion and rainfall of the cutting down of the rain forests. Our theme is still having a look at how nature works and what we can do to preserve our planet. Today we are going to have a look at trees and how they grow. We are going to try and understand why they differ in different parts of the world. This is a very good science fair project for someone who is interested in nature and loves going for walks. Remember, when you're doing this science fair project to take an adult with you to ensure your safety. Please do not go wandering on your own. To be honest this is probably a good science fair project for adults as well! A walk in nature is always relaxing.
In different parts of the world trees grow differently according to the kind of weather you get in different parts of the world. This is a good science fair project to not only learn about trees but also what the effect of weather is on the way that trees grow. Trees can be studied in your garden or when you go for a walk in a park. Choose an area that has a lot of different trees that you can study.
First we need to know a little more about trees in general before we continue. You get several different kinds of trees. In the tropical rainforest, at the equator, the weather never changes much and winter and summer have temperatures that are very close together. We have already seen how the trees influence the rainfall in our previous article. In the tropical forests most trees are evergreen as heat and water are not a problem. In areas where the weather is moderate trees have broad leaves that they shed during winter to slow down the tree's metabolism and conserve water for when it is less plentiful because the ground water is frozen and this also reduces damage by frost.
Our first project is to try and identify some trees in our area and then in a later project we are going to measure them.
This is what you will need to help you identify them:
* A field guide to the local trees
* A notebook
* A pen
* Colored pencils
This is what you need to do when identifying the trees:
1. Whilst walking in the area you have chosen, try and identify the trees according to your field guide.
2. Look at things such the general height and shape of the trees.
3. Use the appearance of the bark as well as the leaves to compare with your field guide. Look at the color and shape of the leaves and the fruits and the seeds of the trees to help you.
4. Make meticulous notes and drawings for your display.
5. Give attention to the height of the trees to help you.
6. If it is possible take samples of the leaves, fruit and seeds. (Do not pick them from the trees, as that is mostly forbidden as people damages the trees, only collect leaves, fruit and seeds that has fallen of naturally.)
7. To use them as a part of your display, press them between the pages of a book. (Place them between tissue paper to prevent their juices poisoning your book.)
8. When you get home, do your display and note what characteristics you have used to decide on each tree.
9. Give meticulous details of all the reasons such as color and shape of leaves, fruit or seeds.
10. Try to read up on the trees and use it as motivation for your decisions.
Now you know more about trees, their leaves and seeds, can you understand why cutting out the rain forests are such a bad idea?
This is a very good science fair project for budding biologists.