Students in Year 9 Agriculture are participating in the "Soil your Undies" program run by UNE.
‘Soil Your Undies’ is a fun and engaging citizen science campaign run by UNE’s Dr Oliver Knox and CottonInfo.
The science project aims to increase awareness and understanding of soil health, exploring soil health concepts in a novel and fun way.
The project encourages students to share their experiences. The challenge is an opportunity for students to become scientists, and not only collect data themselves, but to learn about soil acidity and alkalinity (pH), temperature, moisture, and the processes whereby the soil breaks down cotton underpants.
For the challenge, participants receive a pair of 100% white cotton undies to bury in topsoil for two months. After this time, the undies are retrieved, photographed, and the level of decomposition recorded.
If the undies have decomposed significantly, there is good biological activity - this indicates healthy soil! These same soil organisms that break down the cotton can break down plant materials in much the same way.
Students look forward to sharing their results in two month's time.