CD: â€œI 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.â€
When San Francisco began converting some soccer fields from natural grass to artificial turf, well thatâ€™s when third-grader Claire Dworsky took notice. Iâ€™m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Claire is one of the winners of this yearâ€™s Kidsâ€™ Science Challenge, our nationwide competition for 3rd to 6th graders. With the guidance of oceanographer Adina Paytan, sheâ€™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: â€œIâ€™m taking another sample.â€
[ambience sampling water]
CD: â€œNow Iâ€™m going to write the date and what time it is.
AP: â€œAnd why are we doing that?â€
CD: â€œSo I donâ€™t lose track.â€
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. Claireâ€™s work on the subject is so comprehensive, in fact, that sheâ€™ll be presenting her findings to city planners in nearby San Carlos.
CD: â€œIn San Carlos theyâ€™re having a big debate on whether or not they should put turf on the fields, instead of grass. Iâ€™m going to tell them what really happens, if they should put turf or not. Iâ€™m going to probably help this debate.â€
Until her research is complete, Claire has her own preferences when it comes to the fields she plays on.
CD: â€œI would prefer turf, because it doesnâ€™t have gopher holes, itâ€™s recycling, and you donâ€™t have to color it. When grass, you have to use a lot of money, and a lot of water, and thereâ€™s just lots of gopher holes. So thatâ€™s why I prefer turf.â€
Pulse of the Planetâ€™s Kidsâ€™ Science Challenge is made possible by the National Science Foundation. Iâ€™m Jim Metzner.