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How do you make dirty water clean?

Ann Bishop (abishop@uiuc.edu) (ready to use)

Coauthors
Emma Bishop


ASK
Subject Areas
Science

Grade Levels
Preschool, Kinder, Informal

Unit Keywords
capillary action, water purification, water filtering, water pollution, water quality, NSFSTC

Open Directory Category
http://dmoz.org/Science/Environment/Water_Resources/

Rationale of the Unit
My 4 year old was looking at a mucky pond in our neighborhood and asked why the water was dirty and how it could get clean again. We wanted to find a fun experiment that would demonstrate a water purification process.

  INVESTIGATE Go to Topgo to top
Background and Resources
BACKGROUND

We had a neat little cardset called "52 amazing science experiments" and found that one of them was about water filtering.

  CREATE Go to Topgo to top
Activities and Open-ended problems
LAB ACTIVITIES -- work to do in labs or other special settings

Here's how we did our experiment (see picture below):

1) Take one container and fill it with muddy water.

2) Take an empty container and set it below the one with muddy water (we used bowls and our porch steps).

3) Get a dish towel and put one end in each bowl.

4) Leave it overnight... when you come back, the bottom container will be filled with clean water and the top one has only dirt left! Voila--it's capillary action!

emma with bowl of muddy water

  DISCUSS Go to Topgo to top
Dialogues, Discussions, and Presentations
Emma really had fun with this. If any other little kids who try it want to tell us what they thought of it or share any other cool experiments, please add your comments below.


  REFLECT Go to Topgo to top
Assessment, Related Questions, and Story of the Unit


Credits & Acknowledgements
The little card set we bought of "52 amazing science experiments" is terrific and doesn't require any materials beyond what you probably already have lying around at your house. Its widely available in bookstores and toystores.

Uploaded Files:
emmastc.jpg

Users' Comments on this Unit
  • I'm Emma. I'm 8 now.    -   by wandapottery@yahoo.com
  • And nnnnnnooooooooowwwwww I'm 9. :)    -   by wandapottery@yahoo.com
  • Heehee. I'm 10.    -   by wandapottery@yahoo.com
  • 11 now, woo-hoo.    -   by wandapottery@yahoo.com
  • you rock, emma! you should add a new photo. no tatoos or piercings, please.    -   by abishop@uiuc.edu

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