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  • Eco-Express::
    and holds on to that heat increasing daytime temperatures At night these surfaces release their heat back into the air preventing the air temperatures from cooling down to more comfortable levels This is called the Heat Dome effect As a living organism trees provide evapotranspiration a big word that really means how a tree breathes can have a cooling effect on our urban environment Trees drink a lot of water and hold this water within them like a big water tank This liquid water doesn t just sit within a tree When environmental conditions are right tree leaves breathe out this water as water vapor the gas form of water It takes energy to change liquid water to water vapor When you make coffee or hot tea you first boil water using energy from your stove or microwave and some of that water turns into steam Steam is water vapor As sunlight strikes the leaves of a tree the foliage not only blocks the sunlight but also absorbs its heat energy That heat energy is then used to change liquid water within a leaf into water vapor that the leaf releases into the air Evapotranspiration means that a tree is constantly intervening to absorb and transform heat energy before this heat can ever reach streets and buildings In addition to tangible effects trees provide a number of generally pleasant effects for people Breezes moving through the leafy canopy of a tree often create a gentle sound or susurration The shade of a tree yields an always changing dappled pattern which people often sense as less harsh than the abrupt dark shade edges projected from manmade objects Trees change throughout the year blooming beautifully in the spring and colorfully losing their leaves in the fall Finally trees are homes for birds

    Original URL path: http://ecoexpress.org/popup.php?templateId=952 (2016-04-30)
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  • Eco-Express::
    the plants with the spray bottle 2 Student challenge Why isn t my rain garden working Present a scenario where someone is using a regular garden as their rain garden but it isn t significantly reducing the amount of water going into the storm drain when it rains To make matters worse the neighbors are complaining about how bad it looks because some plants are dead and some are out of control Ask the students to come up with possible reasons improvements Explore the science behind each improvement i Challenge Water is not collecting in garden Improvement Rain gardens need to be dug so that water can collect in them Possible science concepts to explore slope rationale to put wide side of garden facing uphill etc ii Challenge Water that falls on the road and sidewalk around the rain garden is still going into the storm drain Improvement You need to redirect water that would normally go into the storm drain so that it goes into the rain garden Possible science concepts to explore engineering etc iii Challenge Some plants are dead and some are taking over Improvement You need plants in your rain garden that can tolerate standing water

    Original URL path: http://ecoexpress.org/popup.php?templateId=922 (2016-04-30)
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