Soil – The laboratory of life

Sujata C

red-mud-hills The Earth is the only known planet with a soil cover. The word ‘Earth’ originally meant soil, later it began to mean the planet itself.

A project on soil should be fun for children who love playing with it, getting their hands dirty, jumping into muddy pools. For the farmer, soil is no less than a mother, for the healer it is a medicine, for the poet a muse and so on. Soil is indeed the very laboratory of life. The nutrients present in the soil have life-giving properties.

Soil is a non-renewable, natural resource , yet we take it so much for granted and use, misuse and abuse it for our never ending needs without so much as a thought for the future generations. To increase awareness about soil, 2015 has been designated as the UN International Year for Soils. December 5 of every year is celebrated as World Soil Day.

So what can you expect your class to learn from soil? Add to this list.


Why does the Tower of Pisa lean? It is said the Tower of Pisa in Italy is leaning partially due to some fault line in the soil structure below the tower. It is a live model for students of geology and construction engineering.

Soil mechanics is a major branch of the discipline of construction engineering as it is a determinant in the life of the building. Principles of geology, soil physics, geotechnical engineering are applied by builders of dams, bridges and high rise buildings.

The author is a freelance writer based in Hyderabad. She can be reached at

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