“Where are Environmental Hazards?”
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DAY 5-7: WATER POLLUTION (TAP WATER TOUR: HANDS-ON TEST KIT AND MINI CURRICULUM AND DISCUSSION OF WATER TESTING LAB REPORTS)
One activity that the students will do here is a Water Testing Lab. This lab consists of two parts. It entails students to test tap water from each of their homes and from the school. The tap water is tested for chlorine, copper, iron, salts, zinc, pH, and hardness / softness. Students will learn why water can appear brownish-red, why rings can form in a tub or in a sink with a brown or green color, and why water can taste bitter. They will learn about acid rain, how it forms, and how it has effects on our environment. A series of tests with colored indicators (tablets and paper) will allow the class to make interpretations from their results in their experiments. They can also make comparisons of the various tap water samples and can do further tests with ocean water or distilled water. Here also the students will be reinforced with the steps of the scientific method: What is the problem they are trying to solve? What is their hypothesis? What initial observations can they make from current and previous knowledge? How will they conduct their experiments to obtain their data? How will they present their data? How will they analyze their data? How valid are their conclusions? These steps of the scientific method are repeated throughout the school year in my classes in order to demonstrate the route of obtaining answers brought on by scientific inquiry. My students enjoy this method of experimentation and tend to use high-level thinking skills throughout it.