Look for images of local bioindicators either from botany books in your local/school library or on the Web. Make sure your source also has their Latin names and preferred pH levels. If you found images and data on the Web, download them onto smartphones or other mobile devices.
Record the reference information for your resource(s). For books, include their titles, authors, publisher, and year they were published. For information on the Web, record each site’s URL. Also record the date they were last updated. Usually, this information is found in the bottom of the webpage. Outside in the field
Go outside, ideally to a field or park, and look for plant bioindicators. Be sure to bring:
a. your smartphones/mobile devices or books with the plant images
b. a camera or smartphones/mobile devices with cameras
c. the gardening trowel
d. plastic bag(s)
e. the table and a pen/pencil.
Try to locate a plant bioindicator. Otherwise select one (or a few) plant(s) that are common to your area.
Enter the name(s) of the plant(s) in the table, including their Latin name(s), and preferred pH level.
Take a photo of it (them).
Use the trowel to dig several inches into the soil by the plant’s stem. Try not to harm the plant. Obtain about a tablespoon of soil from this depth and put this sample into a plastic bag or plastic container. Seal the bag or container. Mark it with a number and write down this number in the row with the plant’s name in the table. Repeat this step for each plant you want to examine. NOTE: If you take more than one soil sample, do not forget to mark the containers for each.
At school or at home
Mix the soil well in the container, add distilled water, stir, and let the mixture settle for several minutes.
No later than five minutes after you mixed the soil and water, measure the mixture’s pH level using your available equipment. Please refer to the manufacture’s manual for using pH strips or a pH-sensing device.