Interim Report

Team Number: 030
School Name: Kirtland Central
Area of Science: Environmental Science
Project Title: Acid Rain: Rate Of Diffusion
Project Abstract: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/abstracts/030.html
Interim Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/interims/030.html
Final Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/finalreports/030/finalreport.html

Acid Rain: Rate of Diffusion

One of the most serious impacts of acid precipitation is on forests and soils. One of the main causes of acid rain is sulphur dioxide. Natural sources which make this gas are volcanoes, sea spray , rotting vegetation and plankton. However, the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, are largely to be blamed for about half of the emissions of this gas in the world. When sulphur dioxide reaches the atmosphere, it first forms a sulphate ion. It then becomes sulphuric acid as it joins with hydrogen atoms in the air and falls back down to earth. Oxidation occurs the most in clouds and especially in heavily polluted air where other compounds such as ammonia and ozone help to catalyze the reaction, converting more sulphur dioxide to sulphuric acid. However, not all of the sulphur dioxide is converted to sulphuric acid. In fact, a substantial amount can float up into the atmosphere, move over to another area and return to earth as sulphur dioxide.

The proposed idea for out project was the effect of acid rain on the soil. However, after attending the Glorieta Conference, we realized this was just not suitable enough for a Supercomputing Project.

After first realizing that we must narrow down our project, we were able to start our research and development. A few members looked around in books, magazine articles, and used the computer to find out exactly what acid rain was and how it affected the earth. The rest of the members were able to find a Chemistry teacher willing to help with the experimental portion of the project.

By finding an appropriate definition of our subject, the project began to come to life. First of all, Kirtland is not exactly flowing with acid rain. Mr. Haroldson, the Chemistry teacher, pointed out that in order to observe acid rain, we must be able to make our own acid rain. Several samples of soil must be used in order to determine the rate of diffusion of acid rain. The types of soil planning to be used are still in question. The number of soil samples is probably going to be about 4 or 6. The area of diffusion will probably be as small as possible. The diffusion will be measured horizontally and vertically. The experiment will be performed enough times to obtain usable or constant data. The amount of acid rain will be kept constant. For the scientific portion of our project, much discussion and research is still needed.

In order to successfully accomplish the Supercomputing Challenge, one must have knowledge of computers themselves. In order to obtain this knowledge, our team members are currently enrolled in a Computer Programming class. Our sponsor, Mrs. Janet Clafton is working hard to teach C++ Programming. We are just beginning, however, we are fast learners and are prepared to complete the computer program needed to participate in the challenge. Not as much research has been done on the C++ Programming section because we are learning as we go.

In conclusion, we hope our project turns out as great as we expect it to be. We are fully committed and excited to continue our project.

Team Members:

Sponsoring Teacher(s):

Project Advisor(s):

New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge