Kids' Science Challenge: Claire - Sampling: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.

Airdate: Aug 17, 2009
Scientist: Adina Paytan

Kids' Science Challenge: Claire - Sampling

Kids' Science Challenge: Claire - Sampling
Grade school kids are instructed to write legibly, and when it comes to scientific inquiry, third-grader Claire Dworsky now understands why.


music; ambience

CD: “I look down and I see that the turf water is actually really different from the grass water, so I wanted to compare the runoff water of the turf and the grass fields.”

When San Francisco began converting some soccer fields from natural grass to artificial turf, well that’s when third-grader Claire Dworsky took notice. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Claire is one of the winners of this year’s Kids’ Science Challenge, our nationwide competition for 3rd to 6th graders. With the guidance of oceanographer Adina Paytan, she’s been collecting and testing the water runoff from grass and turf fields, to determine which field-type might be healthier for the environment.

CD: “I’m taking another sample.”

[ambience sampling water]

CD: “Now I’m going to write the date and what time it is.
AP: “And why are we doing that?”
CD: “So I don’t lose track.”

Having collected over a hundred samples from fields city-wide, Claire quickly came to realize the importance of clearly marking and storing each one, in preparation for a lab test. Claire’s work on the subject is so comprehensive, in fact, that she’ll be presenting her findings to city planners in nearby San Carlos.

CD: “In San Carlos they’re having a big debate on whether or not they should put turf on the fields, instead of grass. I’m going to tell them what really happens, if they should put turf or not. I’m going to probably help this debate.”

Until her research is complete, Claire has her own preferences when it comes to the fields she plays on.

CD: “I would prefer turf, because it doesn’t have gopher holes, it’s recycling, and you don’t have to color it. When grass, you have to use a lot of money, and a lot of water, and there’s just lots of gopher holes. So that’s why I prefer turf.”

Pulse of the Planet’s Kids’ Science Challenge is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.