Mountains of black sand litter DeKalb County, my home. It was a common belief that this sand was toxic to the community. These landfills were unwanted, but what to do? As a freshman in high school I began to research the dangers and benefits of the sand. By looking at the results of four years of research the scientific method will review the pros and cons of the sand.
The first year my research the plants showed an increased growth mixing 15% sand to the local soil. Using atomic absorption I determined the sand was less harmful than the common soil of the area. This research allowed me to win the local and regional science fairs thus qualifying to participate in the international science fair. My research also placed first in the state FFA agriscience competition.
The second year of research was field research as illustrated in the picture. Eighteen five by five test plots with varying amounts of sand were placed in a soybean field. The results using the 15% sand to soil mixture showed an 8% increase in the soybean yield. Although this research showed a use for the foundry sand it was not economically feasible to incorporate sand into the local fields. This research also won local and regional science fairs thus qualifying to participate in the international science fair. My research also placed first in the state FFA agriscience competition.
Looking for a feasible use for the sand, my third year of research created different mixtures of mulch for plant growth. This research mimicked the previous results and was economically feasible. The research received the same awards with the exception of placing third at the international science fair.
This project allowed me to be hired as an intern as a junior in high school at Metal Technologies, Incorporated. I duplicated my research using private testing companies. I also assembled an application for state approval for the use of sand as a mulch ingredient.
Mountains of black sand will no longer DeKalb County. By starting with a simple project and pursuing it to conclusion the foundry will be able to sell the previous waste product. The sand proved not to be a danger but a benefit.
· Date: December 28, 2010 · Views: 2402 · File size:21.8kb, 3216.8kb · Dimensions: 3264 x 2448 ·
Hours Volunteered: 461
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 16 to 64