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Studying Erosion


Erosion: A Force to Play With

      While many branches of the natural sciences are directly impacted by erosion studies, students at the Dingman-Delaware Middle School (DDMS) learned that this powerful force of nature affects all of our lives.  “If you’re a contractor or construction worker,” explained Max Walsh, “erosion affects where you can build a house.” Walsh and his peers worked hands-on to explore this natural process under the direction of DDMS science teacher, Mr. David Koretz. The students created a streambed using rocks, pebbles, and soil, then tested how the steepness of a slope impacted erosion by pouring water through the streambed while raising the angle of the streambed at various levels. True to the nature of experiments, students learned by both failed and successful attempts to reproduce the effects of erosion. “Ours didn’t really erode because we put way too much water in,” Rylee Etzkorn said of her group’s first attempts, “it just turned to mud.” But subsequent attempts gave a clearer picture. “When we poured the water slow, I could really see how the water picked away the rocks and dirt,” Etzkorn added. Like Walsh, many students realized the importance of understanding erosion in real life. “So we can identify if it’s happening,” classmate Victoria Wilson emphasized. “And so we can explain why,” Alex Mancuso agreed. While not all the students plan to become full-time scientists, playing with erosion has definitely affected how they will carry this learning over into the rest of their lives.

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