Question:Do soaps and detergents affect wild life in lakes and ponds?
Hypothesis:We predict that detergents don't harm ducks in lakes and ponds.
1. Fill two clear containers with clean water.
2. Add one cup of laundry detergent to ONE of the containers.
3. Cut two 3" x 3" squares of wax paper. (You may decorate these and draw a picture of a duck on the wax paper if you wish.) We selected wax paper because it has a film on it to keep it dry and waterproof, just like a duck's feathers.
4. Place a wax paper square in each of the containers of water.
5. Gently push each square ONCE into the water.
6. Watch to see how the wax paper squares react.
Access to a sink and water.
Watch us in action:
The Science behind it
Some people think that putting things like soap and detergent into lakes and ponds is harmless. When there have been oil spills, detergent is even used to clean the oil off of birds that are dirty with oil. But, detergent CAN hurt ducks in lakes and ponds. Ducks need the oil on their features to help them float and make them waterproof. Really good soaps and detergents are made to take oil out of our clothes. But this also takes the oil out of the ducks' feathers, which hurts their ability to float and stay dry.
After conducting our experiment five times, we learned that our hypothesis was incorrect. Detergent IS harmful to ducks because the wax paper that was placed in the clean water floated even when we pushed it down. But the wax paper in the container with laundry detergent sank and fell apart. So our conclusion is that detergent can be harmful to ducks because it removes important oil from their feathers.
About Ellyn Drysdale
Ellyn loves to dance and act. She dances at Penny Lane and is on their Company team. The plays that she has been in were both at Yorktown Stage. They were The King and I and A Christmas Carol. When she has free time she likes to draw, write, read, and sing. Ellyn is also on Student Government and is in Ms.Debellis's class.
About Emma Murphy
Emma is in Mrs.Luke's class and likes to draw. She does Girl Scouts and plays soft ball. She has 3 sisters. When she grows up she wants to be a pilot. She is looking forward to Science Night and doing the experiment.