Airdate: Aug 03, 2009
Scientist: Adina Paytan
Kids' Science Challenge: Claire - Crumb Rubber
You won't find pesticides or fertilizer in artificial turf, but what else is showing up in the water runoff from these fields?
music; ambience refereeâ€™s whistle and soccer ball being kicked around; water extraction; soccer game
CD: â€œIâ€™ve been playing soccer since I was three.â€
Well, sometimes Claire Dworsky plays on grass fields, while other games are played on an artificial turf. And while the grass is sometimes greener on the synthetic fields, itâ€™s whatâ€™s under the grass thatâ€™s got Claire thinking. Iâ€™m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Claire Dworsky is one of the winners in the Kidsâ€™ Science Challenge, our nationwide competition for 3rd to 6th graders. Sheâ€™s testing the water runoff from both types of fields to determine which is friendlier to the environment. Today sheâ€™s sampling an artificial turf field.
CD: â€œWhen the ball bounces on this [SFX ball bouncing] the crumb rubber jumps up and flies, and it can get in your shoe, which thatâ€™s not good, and also when you put your hand down and touch it, it comes off.
Crumb rubber is made from recycled tires, and itâ€™s used on artificial turf fields to simulate the feel, grit and grip of a grass field. Oceanographer Adina Paytan is assisting Claire as she compares the water runoff from an artificial turf field to a sample she collected earlier from a grass field.
AP: â€œI think we have enough here. What do you see? Whatâ€™s the difference?â€
CD: â€œThis oneâ€™s way lighter.â€
AP: â€œThis oneâ€™s way lighter, yeah. It doesnâ€™t have much color, but what does it have in it?â€
CD: â€œCrumb rubber.â€
AP: â€œIt has the rubber, yeah. These black pieces down there. Okay, and now weâ€™ll compare the pollutants in these two different types of runoff that is coming from these grass and turf fields, huh? Nice!â€
From the soccer fields, Adina and Claire are off to the lab, where they can see what chemicals might be found in the water samples. You can track Claireâ€™s research at kidsciencechallenge.com.
Pulse of the Planetâ€™s Kidsâ€™ Science Challenge is made possible by the National Science Foundation. Iâ€™m Jim Metzner.