Question Sheet: The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
- Why would someone work on the same science project for many years?
- Can a kid make important scientific discoveries? Why or why not?
- What are snow fences? How do people normally use them?
- What is different about the way Erica is using snow fences?
- Why is Erica interested in sagebrush?
- What types of fences did Erica use?
- What do Erica’s results show?
- How do snow fences affect wildlife?
- What are the constants in Erica’s experiment? What are the variables?
- How have science fairs changed Erica’s life?
- Now that you’ve read about Erica’s project, how do you think you might
approach your science fair project differently? Give two examples.
- Compare the plastic snow fence to the wooden one. Why would you use one
fence rather than the other? Which fence makes more sense for Erica’s project?
- What other plants might benefit from Erica’s research? (See www.wy.blm.gov/botany/wyspecies.phpfor clues).
- How do snow piles change the distribution of water in the environment? How
might those changes help or hurt the environment?
- Erica is studying snow in Wyoming. How much snow does Wyoming get in the
winter? Do different parts of the state get different amounts of snow?
- What other states might use snow fences? Explain your reasoning. See www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ussc/pagemap.html for a state-by-state guide
to snowfall statistics.
- What other countries might use snow fences? Explain.
- Erica has been speaking at science conferences about her research. Pretend
that you have been asked to make a presentation at a snow-fence conference.
Write a speech to deliver to the other scientists in attendance.
- What is sagebrush? Using the library or the Internet, come up with three
interesting facts about sagebrush. Some sites to try include: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagebrush (Wikipedia), www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/artped/all.html (USDA
Forest Service), and plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARTR2 (U.S. Department of
According to the Canadian Department of Agriculture (www.agr.gc.ca/pfra/water/snowfence_e.htm), a snow fence with
horizontal boards can trap 25 percent more snow than a fence with vertical
boards. If a fence with horizontal boards traps 7.3 inches of snow in one storm,
how much will an adjacent fence with vertical boards trap in the same storm?