The premier destination for fun science projects & experiments for kids grades K-8 since 2010!

BIO-JAR

Build your own biosphere

Suitable For

Grade 8

Difficulty

3

Time Required

 <2 Weeks

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

A ‘biosphere’, also called an ‘ecospheres’ is a mostly closed ecosystem, of a specific size, that contains a mix of plants and animals that is completely self-sufficient. The only input to a biosphere is energy or ‘light’.

All other materials needed by the biosphere such as water, nutrients, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, amongst others, are sealed within it and recycled through the process of life, death, and decay. Planet earth is also a biosphere, even though it is much, much larger than the biosphere we will be creating in the following science experiment:

Topics covered

Biosphere

What will I need?

  • LARGE GLASS JAR
  • PEBBLES
  • MIXING BOWL
  • HORTICULTURAL CHARCOAL
  • CLOTH
  • SCISSORS
  • SMALL BEAN PLANT
  • SPOONS
  • VERMICULITE
  • POTTING SOIL
  • PEAT MOSS
  • COMPOST
  • AQUARIUM SAND
  • DUCT TAPE

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

The ‘biosphere’ you created in this science experiment should be a completely self-sufficient eco-system. The soil / water mixture and the air present in the jar contains all the necessary nutrients, water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and everything else all the organisms in this system needs to be independent, except for light. A glass jar is used because it is transparent to admit light and allow observation.

Everything within the ‘biosphere’ is recycled. The bean plant uses the carbon dioxide to release oxygen, while some bacteria in the soil mixture use oxygen and release carbon dioxide in turn. These cycles maintain the balance of the ‘biosphere’ and keep the life in the glass jar going. Since all the mass in the system is fixed, the trick in building a biosphere is to adjust the amount of plants, animals / bacteria, and buffer space (water, air) so that everything is in balance. If anything is out of balance, the system will eventually break down and all life forms within the jar will perish.

Like the sound of it?

Why not check out the full worksheet in one of our popular e-books?

This particular science project can be found in any of the following Experiland e-books:

Experiland e-books contain detailed steps, including illustrations, to complete the science projects from start to finish.

Science project ebooks for kids

Experiland's science e-books contain a diverse range of several hundred of exciting science projects, ideas and experiments.

A project introduction and background, complete listing of required materials, step-by-step instructions on how to carry out the project, why it works, learn more section, as well as a science glossary with all the relevant terms make up each of the all-inclusive science project worksheets in our e-books!

Get your e-Book!