Sunday Science: Mudfest - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Sunday Science: Mudfest

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BURLINGTON, Vt. - It's Mudfest at ECHO, and that means you can find worms in the spotlight, and mud everywhere.

"There's the mud tables where kids can have fun just playing in the mud with little trucks and cars and making mud pies," says ECHO Science Education Specialist Linda Bowden.

But first -- they have to learn where that mud comes from. 

In each of these bags are the ingredients, starting with rocks, which make up 45 percent of soil.

 "So the sun helps break down all of these rocks that I've put in here," says Bowden.

  Then add water, wind, grass and leaves, and creatures like bugs and bacteria to break it all down...

 "That smell that we have when we go out and we smell all the wonderful earth -- that's bacteria doing its work," says Bowden.

 And mix that all together over the span of 500 to a thousand years and... voila!

 "Together we have made soil!" says Bowden.

 And for the kids and parents who don't mind getting their hands dirty, in the afternoon they have their mud fling. Kids will take mud from the deck up there and try to hit this bullseye on the target.

"You can take a look over the edge!" says Bowden.

 For children barely tall enough to see where their mud is going, getting it off the ledge and keeping it off of clothes is a victory.

 "Keep hold of the spoon for me! Nicely done!" says Bowden.

Kids tried a variety of techiniques, from tipping the spoon to ditching it altogether. Others needed a bit of encouragment from their siblings, but everyone found that staying on target was tough.

NATS Jacob throws... misses... Jacob: 014858 It's harder than it looks

Jacob and his sister Susannah are visiting ECHO and say at home, flinging mud is too messy.

 Reporter: But here you get to throw mud.

 Susannah Winfield: "And I like that I get to throw mud."

Reporter: "What is your guys' favorite part about mud?"

Jacob Winfield: Well, it's squishy and it's really soft. And you can get lots of dirty with it. And the best part is when you come in, your mom usually freaks out."

 And they're also doing other activities during Mudfest, like making seed bombs, balls of clay and compost rolled in seeds from native plants that people can throw out into the fields and give wildflowers a better chance at growing. And there's music at noon and 1 p.m. through Earth Day. That festival wraps up Sunday, April 27.

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