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General Chemistry Science Fair Project

Soil as an Electrical System

Soil as an Electrical System | Science Fair Projects | STEM Projects
Soil is more than just dirt. It's an electrical system that can be used to attract and hold plant nutrients. By using a dry-charge lantern battery, two pieces of copper wire, and some clayey soil, you can observe how soil can act like an electrical system.


The hypothesis is that soil can act like an electrical system and can be used to attract and hold plant nutrients.

Method & Materials

You will place 60 grams of clayey soil in a 500 mL jar, add 500 mL of tap water, stir or shake the container, let the suspended soil settle, connect one end of each wire to the terminals of the battery, and place the other ends of the electrical wires in the clay suspension.
You will need 60 grams of clayey soil, one 500 mL glass or plastic beaker or jar, one 6 volt dry-charge lantern battery with two screw top terminals, and two pieces of 12 gauge, plastic insulated, multiple strand, twisted copper wire about 50 cm in length.


The experiment confirms the electrical principle that likes repel and unlikes attract. It also confirms the fact that soils are electrical chemical systems that provide remarkable potential to attract and hold plant nutrients. The more positive charges associated with the nutrient, the tighter the adsorption to the soil.

Why do this project?

This science project is interesting and unique because it demonstrates how soil can act like an electrical system and how it can be used to attract and hold plant nutrients.

Also Consider

Experiment variations to consider include using a Methylene Blue dye solution instead of a clay suspension, and using silver chloride as the plating material in an electrolysis experiment.

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!

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