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Distance Learning Young Naturalists Club

What’s your water’s pH?

Last week, we talked about some clues to water quality that you can see, like what lives in a stream. Today we’ll talk about an invisible part of water quality: pH.

The pH scale measures how acidic or basic water is:

  • An example of an acid is lemon juice (acids often taste sour).
  • An example of a base would be soapy water (bases often feel slippery).
  • Plain old water from your sink should be neutral (in the middle between acidic and basic).
  • Ever done the science experiment where you mix baking soda and vinegar, and it bubbles up like a volcano? That’s because you mixed a base and an acid!
Vinegar and baking soda reacting in a ‘volcano’. Photo:JShontz

Can you think of some items around the house that might be an acid or base? (Here are some examples to compare).

Categories
Distance Learning Young Naturalists Club

Stream Life

On Monday, you learned what a watershed is and how to make a mini watershed with paper. Today we will talk about some of the things that make up a watershed: streams and the organisms that live in them. 

Streams are where water first gathers in a watershed. They join together to make big rivers and eventually flow into the ocean. Streams are home to many forms of life, including plants, bugs, and animals.

Organisms make their home in different parts of streams, such as:

  • under rocks
  • in tree root clumps
  • in vegetation.

For example, salamanders prefer to live in spaces under rocks. Fish like to live in deeper pools in and around tree roots. Some bugs like to live in clumps of dead leaves. One type of fish called “darters” even likes to live right on the stream bed!

Here are some common critters you might find in streams in Ohio: