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For our 2018 Exploratorium experiment, we are measuring type of deicer on how long it will take for the crushed ice to melt, that we are resembling as snow. This is definitely an issue worth thinking about, considering that we toss more than 20 million tons of sodium chloride on our roadways every winter. That’s about 13 times more salt than is used by the entire food processing industry. And the salt doesn’t just disappear when the snow and ice melts: it washes away into lakes and streams or seeps into groundwater supplies. Researchers in Minnesota recently found that, in the urban Twin Cities area, 70 percent of the salt applied to roads stays within the regions area. Once it gets there, the contamination is difficult and expensive to remove. That not only hurts the aquatic animals and plants, but when salty groundwater seeps into wells,  it is a health issue for people on restricted-sodium diets and a taste problem for everyone else. One of the most harmful components of road salt is sodium chloride. As previously mentioned, sodium chloride harms our drinking water, aquatic animals and plants, bodies of water, and the atmosphere. Because it’s transported more easily than sodium, chloride is the greater concern, and in total, an estimated 40 percent of the country’s urban streams have chloride levels that exceed safe guidelines for aquatic life, largely because of road salt. These high levels of sodium chloride interfere with how animals regulate the uptake of salt into their bodies, and elevated salt concentrations can reduce water circulation in lakes and ponds by preventing oxygen from reaching bottom layers of water. It can also interfere with a body of water’s natural chemistry, reducing the overall nutrient load, and dehydrating and killing trees and plants growing next to roadways. That is why we want the purpose of our investigation to create safer alternatives to road salts using food waste that will be safer for the environment, so we can find ways to melt snow and ice in an eco friendly way. Many people are trying to incorporate this into their day to day lives, but not many people are aware of the harmful chemicals of salt that are harming the environment. In a demonstration, a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation anti-icing truck sprayed a mixture of beet juice and brine on the driveway of a maintenance facility, and the results were highly effective. We have proven that this is a more impactful and safer way to melt snow and ice than salt, but we need to spread awareness about this, and teach everyone the importance of looking beneath the surface to find better ways to solve everyday problems that are often neglected. For our project, our independent variable is type of deicer. A deicer is the fluids used to melt down through the hard surface and snow and ice by lowering the freezing point of water. Our entire purpose of our project is recreating environmental friendly alternatives to road salt, out of natural materials. We are doing 10 trials for each level, and 5 levels. Our first level is going to be brand road salt because we want to be able to compare its effectiveness to all the other levels by seeing their difference. Then for all our other alternatives, we are using pickle juice, beet juice, potato juice, and soy sauce. These are all everyday products that people find in their pantry, yet all of these substances have proven to be more effective, better for the environment, needed in smaller amounts, and ultimately more cost efficient. We are doing 10 trials, and for each trial, we will place one teaspoon over the crushed ice mixture, and test its effectiveness on the ice. Next, our dependent variable is time it takes for ice to melt. The point of the project is to prove that we can use safer alternatives to road salt that will work just as well, so we are recording how long it will take to melt the ice. We will have 10 trials for each level, meaning that we will time how long the ice is melting for ten times, and average them out for each level. For each trial, we are pouring the deicer over ? cup of crushed ice, and waiting to record the data on how the deicer will affect the melting time.

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