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Over the course of this year I’ve been documenting our studies through World War 1. Last week I talked about our studies concerning Trench Warfare. Today I thought I’d talk about the experiment that we conducted.
We started off with three pig feet along with dirt from the construction site. We also had vaseline, one towel, several protective gloves (we used blue nitrile gloves), a container for dirt/water mix and several socks. Our goal to see how the pig feet will stand up to no care, wash/dry/change sock, and wash/dry/add vaseline/change sock.
Day one we put socks on and put the socked pig feet in dirt. This first day the lad didn’t use the nitrile gloves. The pig feet were clean just out of the freezer. I told him.. people use them for food, it’s no different than touching hamburger. 🙂 Putting this foot in he forget to wash and dry his hand first before putting the wash/dried pig foot in the sock.
The socks were used were old stretched out ones the lad had outgrown. We bought a container JUST big enough for the pig feet. The dirt he made wet and sloppy like the dirt in a trench would be. This was a big of guess work as we couldn’t actually feel the consistency we saw in pictures.
I will make the suggestion that you catch your experimenter BEFORE he starts doing this on the kitchen counter! We moved the experiment outside thereafter!
The smallest pig foot was our “we don’t know any better” foot. Change the socks once a day, but otherwise no care given.
Then the other feet,
- One was wash and dry thoroughly with a new sock.
- One was wash, dry, and slather with vaseline (we had no access to goose grease) with a new sock.
We originally planned to change them three times a days but only found time (due the Christmas season being upon us) to do it twice a day.
Foot inspections were taken very seriously by the army. Each time we changed the socks we examined them carefully.
The lad noted the little foot (no care) was starting to stink. Not bad just enough he noticed it. He also noted the foot pads were not in good shape and it had a couple of dark patches on it. Wet/dry and Vaseline foot were looking okay. The cracks in wet/dry were looking dark.
This foot, even I with a horrible nose for smelling things, noted ICK. Careful examination revealed decay and rot. Mostly on the extremities. But also between the digits. There were patches that were dark and “felt slimey” we didn’t cut into them. The lad was well…not handling the smell well. (he is a sensitive nose like his dad) so once we did our gross examination we called it a day.
Today we noticed more degradation on wet/dry foot. The exposed flesh were it was damaged by a knife had definitely started to rot and changed colour as well. The lad said this area definitely smelled worse than the other areas.
The lad was wildly impressed. Vaseline works mom! This foot hardly stinks at all, and look! The meat isn’t a wrong colour!!!
My mom thoughts… WOOT WOOT!!!! IT WORKED!!!
Want to teach your children about caring for their feet? Why it’s important to keep them clean and dry? Replicate this experiment. My suggestions are to do it in the spring or fall so you can do it outside as much as possible.
Here’s a science experiment lab report to help you report your discoveries.