Cleaning Water

From their sweat to the water vapor in their breath, astronauts recycle every possible drop of water while in space. After watching a short video describing the different ways materials are recycled and reused in space shuttles, young scientists work in small groups designing, building, and testing water filters using common household materials.

274 Views 173 Downloads NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Include this activity in an upper-elementary science unit on water and/or water conservation
  • When discussing pH levels, use litmus strips to test acid, base, and water samples to demonstrate for students the differences between each type of liquid
  • Create different mixtures of "grey water", testing to see if certain water contaminants are harder to remove that others
  • Extend the lesson by having students redesign their water filters based on their initial results
Classroom Considerations

  • Lesson requires about 40 minutes of prep time, seek the help of a classroom aide or parent/student volunteer to speed up this process
  • Send a letter home a week or two prior to the lesson asking families to donate two-liter bottles or any other materials necessary for the activity
Pros

  • Key words associated with the steps of the scientific process are highlighted in bold throughout the lesson
  • Lesson plan includes a break point for splitting this activity over two days if needed
  • A rubric is included for assessing students' water filters
  • Additional copies of the lesson plan and worksheet are included in Spanish
Cons

  • None