Sinister Cleans Up – DIY Terrarium

Sinister is starting off his school year by creating his own world to command and conquer.

I like this teacher already.

Sinister is in Year 5 OC (Opportunity Class – like a Gifted program in the public school system). In Science they are studying Space – Significant astronomers; Creation of the Golden Record; How to Survive in Alien Environments (biospheres).

As part of his assignment, Sinister has chosen to develop his own terrarium, focussing on the creation of a self-sustaining environment.

It’s a huge project but he is already noticing how to break it up into smaller scientific components.

For example: we bought a demijohn glass jar on eBay for $20 to house his terrarium (with cork plug). However, it needed a clean.

After a bit of research, Sinister came up with the following:

Hypothesis: That we can clean the demijohn with vinegar and uncooked rice; that the vinegar would wash and disinfect the jar without leaving a heavy chemical residue; that the rice would lightly scrub the jar without scratching.

Method:

  1. Pour about a litre of plain white vinegar into the large demijohn.  
  2. Add about a cup of uncooked rice  
  3. Put in the cork and shake it like a Polaroid picture… Well, make sure you use two hands; it’s heavy!!
  4. Empty out the vinegar and rice
  5. Rinse out with copious amounts of water.

Results:

  

Damn thing pretty much glistens. This mini-experiment produced the exact results he was looking for.
Next week: Sinister figures out how to fill and build the soil layers for his terrarium. That’s a tight neck there on the demijohn … But he has a plan!

7 thoughts on “Sinister Cleans Up – DIY Terrarium

  1. I’m looking forward to the next episode! We have several large ex-apple juice bottles (about half the size of that demijohn) that my daughter is keen to turn into terrariums. Just because. But then again she has a science fair coming up… maybe we’ll think of a terrarium-based experiment. Possibly tie in to reading The Martian and watching the movie too? I like the idea of it being a self sustaining environment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let’s be honest: I don’t know if it will be self-sustaining because that’s the assignment… Or partly because he knows how lazy we are 😀 Either way, it’s one of the best projects yet.

      And movies: I’ve been tossing around the idea of showing Interstellar. Haven’t seen/read The Martian yet.

      Like

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